High Quality Transit Area (HQTA) Pilot Projects

SCAG Region of Southern California

The 2016/2040 Regional Transportation Plan for the SCAG Region calls for a majority of new job and population growth to be located within High Quality Transit Areas (HQTAs), formed along high-frequency transit routes. SCAG aims to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by creating higher density, walkable transit villages within designated HQTAs. To implement this vision, SCAG selected Gruen Associates to lead the HQTA Pilot Project, which offered technical assistance to five jurisdictions in the SCAG region. Gruen prepared a TOD Toolkit that will enable communities to analyze their station areas, develop a vision, and select relevant infrastructure and development projects drawn from a number of precedents throughout California and the United States.

Gruen worked with the five jurisdictions to prepare a transit-oriented vision plan that identifies new higher-density development, infrastructure improvements, partnerships, studies, and other implementation measures to foster growth in HQTAs. The Gruen team prepared 3D graphics for each community, identified funding sources, phasing, and estimated the vision plans’ impact on VMT and GHGs should the development scenarios be realized. Metrics developed by the Gruen team will allow SCAG to track growth, mode shifts, ridership impacts, VMTs, GHGs, and other key TOD indicators within pilot project areas over the next several years.