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UTA mulls new approaches to transit-oriented development

The Utah Transit Authority’s (UTA) board plans to consider a broader scope of transit-oriented development (TOD) goals, including ways to promote affordable housing and job development, encourage sustainable development and support a regional vision for development.

This marks a departure from traditional TOD strategy, which focuses on increasing public transit ridership and revenue, UTA officials said in a press release.

In addition, the board will reexamine the agency's overall role in TOD. Some public transit agencies solely provide technical assistance and station planning, while others act as full partners with local government and private investors, contributing funding and managing development.

As the population in Salt Lake City and neighboring cities grows in the coming years, TOD will become "increasingly critical," UTA officials said. Developments that combine housing, shopping and accessible public transportation could help improve air quality, reduce the cost of living and decrease cities' infrastructure needs, they added.

Currently, UTA is participating in five active TOD sites along the Wasatch Front, which is a 120-mile strip of land that includes Salt Lake City and several smaller suburbs.

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More News from 6/16/2016