Last month, Caltrain’s staff presented to its board the process, which is currently underway, being used to craft a transit-oriented development (TOD) plan as part of their land-use policies for the Caltrain corridor.
Caltrain staff is aiming to improve the transit corridor and community access to transit, by placing homes near stations and jobs, to form active, lively communities. The plan will show potential development sites, and provide guidance on how these communities can support Caltrain’s ridership and revenue.
Greenbelt Alliance, along with other smart growth advocates, supports a TOD plan. It is a unique opportunity to help alleviate our region’s housing crisis and improve the livability of our cities and towns. Community members that live close to their jobs in homes they can afford have more time to participate in neighborhood affairs, improve their job skills, and get an education.
Greenbelt Alliance is asking Caltrain to create more homes near stations that are affordable across the income spectrum, through a policy that would require 25% of the new homes built on Caltrain land to be affordable for lower income households. This follows the precedent set by BART, the Valley Transportation Authority, and LA Metro.
A recent study by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) found that those who live and work within ½ mile of public transportation are 10 times more likely to choose that transit option. That means building affordable homes near transit stations has the potential to both boost operational revenue for Caltrain and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Lower-income households in particular are more likely to use public transit if they live nearby, compared to others living similar distances from that transportation option. Affordable homes also help businesses attract and retain employees. It is critical that Caltrain build affordable homes near stations along its transit corridor so our communities can benefit from the above factors.
By the summer of 2019, Caltrain aims to finalize their TOD plan.
Join the campaign to improve our communities! Email South Bay Regional Representative Kiyomi Honda Yamamoto at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s tell the Caltrain Board that we want to see more affordable homes built near Caltrain stations.
Photo: Albert via Flickr