Our region has significant racial economic disparities, including growing areas of concentrated poverty. Thrive MSP 2040 identifies equity as one of five primary outcomes for our region as we grow increasingly racially and ethnically diverse.

Approaches to reach more equitable outcomes

Ways we can reach more equitable outcomes through TOD planning and implementation:

  • Involving people of all incomes, backgrounds, and abilities in planning and implementation

  • Making places more inclusive through urban design, public spaces, services, programming, and activities

  • Retaining and expanding living-wage jobs in locations with access to transit

  • Preserving housing affordability and developing new housing choices near transit

  • Addressing concerns over rising land values and rents near transit investments

  • Improving access to recreation, schools, healthcare, and daily goods and services near transit


Contact us

We can help! Contact for resources on equity and Met Council initiatives:

Michelle Fure, Manager of Community Involvement
[email protected]

LISC conducted the Corridor Development Initiative process for the stations along the planned extension of the METRO Green Line. Source: Southwest Community WorksInclusive and effective TOD planning considers the needs of people across the region and within their communities. Local community engagement should build relationships with local residents, property owners, business owners, and other community stakeholders. Planners can support the capacity of their communities to address issues and affect planning decisions. Doing so can help broaden commitment to implementing plans.

Involving People Who Depend on Transit

Community engagement helps involve a full range of participants, especially those who depend on transit or may have been underrepresented in earlier planning efforts. These include people who do not own cars or cannot drive, communities of color, low-income households, people with disabilities, immigrants, and people with limited English proficiency.

Corridors of Opportunity

There is no a single, all-purpose approach to community engagement. Principles, lessons learned, and community experiences, however, can inform local TOD planning efforts. Corridors of Opportunity was a partnership that supported community organizations in transitway planning and development, including efforts to engage historically underrepresented populations. Based on their work, we recommend:

  • Initiating and maintaining ongoing partnerships with community groups

  • Building relationships with leaders of underrepresented groups

  • Engaging people at convenient times and locations to improve participation

  • Engaging people who will be affected by TOD and involving them in decisions


We Can Help!

Metro Transit Community Outreach Coordinators 

Sam O’Connell, Manager of Public Involvement
Metro Transit - METRO Green Line and Blue Line Extension Offices
[email protected]

Sienna Green in Roseville is located near Metro Transit’s A Line Rapid Bus.

Living near transit can reduce the cost of living, enhance mobility, and increase the quality of life for many in the region. New housing development near transit, whether or affordable or market-rate, increases these opportunities. 

Housing Policy Plan and Affordable Housing Need

The Metropolitan Council’s Housing Policy Plan identifies the roles of the Council and local governments in addressing housing needs, opportunities, and challenges. One of the priorities of the Metropolitan Council’s Housing Policy Plan addresses housing near transit investments: :

“Creating or preserving a mix of housing affordability around emerging transit investments, helping low-income households benefit from transit investments and expanding opportunities to reduce the combined costs of housing and transportation.”

Roseville, Sienna Green Apartments. Residents of this affordable housing project can walk to Metro Transit’s A Line Rapid Bus.The Housing Policy Plan does not suggest that new affordable housing should only be built in locations well-served by transit. In fact, most low- and moderate-income households use a personal vehicle as their primary transportation. However, given the regional investment in transit, cities should ensure that their plans and programs support a full range of housing choices and levels of affordability near transit. This should include the preservation of naturally-occurring affordable housing where it may be at risk of gentrification or redevelopment.

Case studies:

Resources:Downtown Minneapolis. Development that supports transit service varies from moderate to high densities.This market-rate project is 112 dwelling units per acre.

We Can Help!

Contact your Sector Rep with any questions. 

The Midtown Exchange includes Allina Health as a major tenant. Allina employs many neighborhood residents and is a source of living wage jobs in in an area of concentrated poverty.Improving access to jobs by transit increases access to opportunity, especially for low-income households, people without cars, and people with disabilities. It can also reduce the cost of living for lower income households if car ownership can be reduced or avoided. Job growth near transit can make existing transit service more cost-effective or support potential service improvements.

Reinforcing Job Centers

Job growth in areas already well-served by transit is more likely to support transit ridership than in areas with more limited transit service. Familiarity with future transit investments will also help planners as they consider future employment locations or work with prospective developers and employers. Chapter 6 of the 2040 Transportation Policy Plan (TPP) identifies future regional transitways, while Metro Transit’s Network Next planning is identifying potential cost-effective improvements to the bus network.  Metro Transit Commuter Services can help support employers when they locate or expand in a new location served by transit.

Job centers served by high-quality transit support economic opportunity.Transportation Needs of Industries and Jobs

Planners should explore what types of jobs and industries are suited to locations near transit. They should consider both the land use and operational needs of the industry as well as the skill level and pay scale of jobs. Planners should consider the employment density of industries (e.g., jobs/acre), as well as how many employees might benefit from transit. Suburban office complexes may have a higher employment density than industrial uses, but the overall transportation needs of employees may be different. If jobs centers have a low employee/acre density, cities might focus on improving sidewalk connections, adding bicycle sharing programs, or help implement connecting shuttles.


We Can Help!
Commuter programs to serve employers and institutions
Theresa Cain, Manager
Metro Transit – Commuter Services
[email protected]


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