Transit-Oriented Development

One of the foundational principles of Elevate SD, is the belief that public transit is part of the solution to greater challenges facing our region – housing, access to jobs, traffic congestion, environmental sustainability and more. To that end, in 2018, MTS made sweeping improvements to Board Policy 18 to better utilize its real estate assets for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), which can facilitate increased transit ridership and help grow our region in responsible ways.

TOD is the creation of mixed-use communities on transit agency-owned real estate or centered within a ten (10) minute walk, or one half (0.5) mile distance, of mass transit systems, and which promotes increased transit ridership and integrates environmentally with passenger amenities.

MTS has a track record of success working collaboratively with other agencies to build housing along transit lines in San Diego. The most recently completed TOD was The Villa Encantada Apartments, located in Southeast San Diego at the Encanto Trolley Station. It consists of 67 high-quality apartment homes and 1,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving retail. Villa Encantada is a 100% affordable housing project, with all units reserved for households earning between 30% and 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI).

Exciting TODs MTS is working on include:

  • Palm Avenue (UC San Diego Blue Line): 408 units (324 affordable)
  • Beyer Blvd (UC San Diego Blue Line): 100 units (100% affordable)
  • Rancho Bernardo Transit Station (Rapid 235): 100 units (100% affordable)
  • Grantville Trolley Station (Sycuan Green Line): 410 units (156 affordable)

MTS recently updated its joint development program to more aggressively cultivate other partnerships to redevelop its top-tier park and ride locations into TODs. Program changes include prioritizing density, setting aside a minimum 20% of units for qualified families, and identifying partners through a competitive bidding process.

MTS’ primary responsibility is the safe operations of its transit service and therefore encourages joint development that increases ridership, creates vibrant communities that offer a range of equitable and affordable housing types, and fosters the economic development our neighborhoods need.

Check out the MTS Real Estate webpage for more information about TOD program.