Appendix D — Supplementary Maps

D.1 Transit Market Areas

Transit Market Areas are a tool used to guide transit planning decisions. They help ensure that the types and levels of transit service provided, in particular fixed-route bus service, match the expected demand in a given area

At the regional level, transit market areas approximate the level of transit service an area can support. The concept was initially developed in 1996 transit redesign to provide general guidelines on the mix of transit services that may be appropriate for a given area. This guidance is provided for broad regional context; appropriate transit services are defined through professional transit service planning processes.

The current Transit Market Areas, developed for the 2040 TPP update, are based on an index of population density, employment density, automobile availability (total automobiles available minus population over 16 years old), and intersection density (an indicator of urban form measured as a weighted count of intersections by block group).

Table D.1: Transit market area descriptions
Area Description
Transit Market Area 1 TMA 1 has the highest density of population, employment, and lowest automobile availability.
Transit Market Area 2 TMA 2 has high to moderately high population and employment densities.
Transit Market Area 3 TMA 3 has moderate density and is typically Urban with large portions of Suburban and Suburban Edge communities.
Transit Market Area 4 TMA 4 has lower concentrations of population and employment and a higher rate of auto ownership. It is primarily composed of Suburban Edge and Emerging Suburban Edge communities.
Transit Market Area 5 TMA 5 has very low population and employment densities and tends to be primarily Rural communities and Agricultural uses.
Emerging Market Area 2 EMA 2 is a non-contiguous area within TMA 3 that has higher potential for transit service than TMA 3. These areas are typically freestanding town centers.
Emerging Market Area 3 EMA 3 is a non-contiguous area within TMA 4 that has higher potential for transit service than TMA 4. These areas are typically freestanding town centers.

Parts of Stillwater, Hastings, Waconia, and Forest Lake are considered freestanding town centers. Freestanding town centers are areas that historically grew independently of Minneapolis and St. Paul and are still separated from the urban and suburban areas of the metro by rural land. Because of their concentrated downtowns laid out in a traditional urban form, these areas have a transit market index value that would indicate market area III or higher. However, their relatively small population and land area, as well as their distance from other transit-supportive land uses, limits the potential for local fixed-route transit.

Learn more about Transit Market Areas in Appendix G of the TPP