The Transformative Transit-Oriented
Development (TTOD) Initiative is MassINC’s multi-year effort to advance strategic state policy for Gateway City growth and renewal

In an age when many residents prefer to live and work in transit-accessible locations, cities across the US are building rail and bus rapid transit lines to spur growth through transit-oriented development.

The Gateway Cities Innovation Institute kicked off its TTOD Initiative in April 2018 with the release of a study quantifying the potential opportunity and impact of transit-oriented development in 13 Gateway Cities with current or planned commuter rail service. Until 2021, we will expand this foundational research to test a range of strategies that improve the transit rider experience by promoting frequent, all-day, accessible service and stimulating inclusive growth and development in Gateway Cities and surrounding communities.

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Latest News

Extending TTOD Competition proposal deadline to the first week of January!

Announcing the new schedule

Dear Gateway City friends and supporters, We have received great, constructive feedback in the past few weeks about our TTOD Planning and Design Competition. We have heard from many students and professors that our November 6th deadline for proposal submissions is challenging considering the confines of semester and capstone project scheduling. Our cities are also

Gateway City leaders speak on opportunity zones

Gateways Episode 34.5

On this bonus episode of Gateways, we continue the conversation on federal Opportunity Zones legislation. Last episode, our guests broke down what Opportunity Funds can do and pointed out areas where they are failing the highest-need communities in our Commonwealth.

Poll: Massachusetts residents support major changes to rail service, restructuring fares

Residents see opportunities to expand rail overall, improve the Commuter Rail system, and show interest in Gateway Cities development possibilities this could unlock

Massachusetts residents support major changes to the Commuter Rail system and several ways to pay for them, according to a new poll from The MassINC Polling Group. The survey, which was conducted with input from MPG’s parent think-tank MassINC, was funded by the Barr Foundation. Three-quarters of residents statewide support moving the commuter rail towards

Gateway City TTOD Planning and Design Competition

Call for Participants

MassINC invites Gateway City planning and development teams to participate in the 2020 Transformative Transit-Oriented Development (TTOD) Planning and Design Competition. The purpose of the competition is to connect Gateway City planning and development teams and community-based organizations with budding urban leaders from our state’s universities and colleges. Click here to see the Call for Proposals

Fares for Gateway Cities residents are off the rails

Gateways Episode 32

MassINC recently published a report on fare equity that confirmed what most of us already know: the lowest-wealth Commonwealth residents pay more of their incomes to get around the state than wealthier folks. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the MBTA’s commuter rail network, a public

Reducing train fares to achieve equitable TOD

The Gateway Cities Journal

MassINC released a policy brief this week that is a “classic” in the sense that its main finding—many Gateway City residents can’t afford to ride commuter rail—is blatantly obvious. While this problem has been apparent for some time, we think now is the moment to seek a remedy. Transportation has risen to the top of the

MassINC study finds Gateway City residents priced-out of public transit

Report says state must reduce rail fares in order to achieve more equitable growth

To address the state’s transportation woes, planners and policymakers are evaluating major upgrades to the Commonwealth’s rail network. At the same time, a report from the nonpartisan think tank MassINC argues state leaders must consider new methods of discounting train fares so that low- and moderate-income residents can afford to ride. The new report presents

Tackling Smog and Congestion with TCI

Gateways Episode 30

Traffic congestion in Massachusetts has reached crisis proportions. And while some leaders and officials assure it’s a “symptom of success,” that explanation offers little solace to Bay Staters stuck in mind-numbing traffic everyday. To top it off, gas and diesel-burning cars, trucks, and trains dominate greenhouse

Press coverage

  • Re-examining gas tax could provide funding for upgrading commuter-rail system

    The majority of Massachusetts residents apparently are all for dramatically improving the state’s commuter-rail system.

    As long as it’s not on their dime.

    That’s essentially the conclusion of a MassINC survey of 1,430 Bay State residents published last week.

    Respondents overwhelming supported several ambitious projects, including the North-South Rail Link, the South Coast Rail project, and extending commuter —  rail service west to Springfield and Pittsfield.

    In addition to these infrastructure improvements, nearly 85% of those surveyed want a wholesale overhaul of the rail’s delivery system, which would entail replacing the existing diesel fleet with electric-powered trains.

    Read More…

  • Mass. Residents Want More Commuter Rail Service And Lower Fares, Poll Finds

    Massachusetts residents want a lot more commuter rail service, including more frequent trains and expanded service throughout the state, according to a new MassINC poll (topline resultscrosstabs).

    The poll found 76% of residents support moving the commuter rail toward a “regional rail” system. In this type of system, there would be trains every 15 to 30 minutes, day and night and on weekends, so people could use the commuter rail for more than just riding to and from work.

    More than two-thirds of residents also want the commuter rail extended to western Massachusetts, the South Coast — including Fall River and New Bedford — and to southern New Hampshire. And 81% of poll respondents want the long-discussed North-South rail link, which would connect North and South stations in Boston.

    “Residents think that the rail system in Massachusetts as it’s currently constructed could do more and that there’s space for rail to go to more places than it does now,” said Steve Koczela, president of the MassINC Polling Group.

    Read More…

  • Poll Tests Mass. Residents’ Appetite For Transpo Projects And Funding

    A majority of residents want to see significant improvements to the commuter rail system, but they also believe the costs should not be passed along to commuters in the form of higher fares or an increased gas tax, according to a new poll.

    Proposals such as a North-South Rail Link, the South Coast Rail project, and extending the commuter rail west to Springfield and Pittsfield all saw support of 75 percent or more in a MassINC poll of 1,430 Massachusetts residents published Thursday.

    The most popular among those was replacing the existing diesel fleet with electric trains: 84 percent of residents polled said they strongly or somewhat support the idea, which is included in a handful of options an MBTA panel is exploring for the future of the commuter rail system.

    Read More…

  • Lynn appeals for commuter rail service at subway prices

    Lynn, though, is a Zone 2 stop, which costs $7 each way. In a recent report, MassINC specifically highlighted the city as one area where commuter rail prices leave public transportation out of reach as an option for many residents.

    ”We could use that transportation option in Lynn,” Capano told the T’s board. “It would give us economic opportunity. Transportation can definitely help with that and reduce congestion on the way into Boston.”

    Read More…

     

  • Report: high commuter rail fares holding back growth in Brockton

    BROCKTON — Transit advocates say a reformed commuter rail system could spread growth from Boston into the region’s smaller cities, but with higher-frequency service still a distant possibility, a new policy brief from MassINC makes the case for a quicker fix: charging less money for a ticket.

    Though the train takes only 35 minutes to reach downtown Boston on a good day, a majority of Brockton’s public transit riders still prefer a bus that can take two or three times as long at rush hour, according to the latest data from regional transit authorities in both cities.

    MassINC argues in its new report, “Prioritizing Equitable Growth Through Fare Policy,” that much of that choice is based on cost.

    Read More…

Transformative-Development

@GatewayCities

Boston metro, like Seattle & other cities & towns, need more #upzoning to make #housing accessible & affordable. @Sightline explains: https://t.co/dMk95DZAtV #MassTOD
Oct 19, 2019
Tonight, amazing man shared journey w/ recovery & homelessness + introduced me to @BigIssue. Addiction, housing, poverty & community dev in Ireland & UK scary similar to US but more dignity 4 people in Irish/UK policies. Still, lotta work ahead 4 all! #MassTOD
Oct 19, 2019
Want to help make inclusive, walkable communities the norm in New England? APPLY TODAY to be a fellow w/ LOCUS in Boston! @LatinosPlanAPA @NALCAB @blackurbanist @PBCDiv @ULOCNetwork @cnunextgen @NextCityOrg https://t.co/Dy6mw6SD6u
Oct 14, 2019
What an exciting recognition for @BeyondWallsLynn! We were proud to celebrate with you last night. 👏 @RudyBrunerAward #urbanexcellence #LynnMA https://t.co/HLlrgI72Qd https://t.co/ZfyCdGGzbg
Oct 17, 2019
Important tool for #GatewayCities & other communities. #MassTOD https://t.co/PVdqGtazOT
Oct 16, 2019
This week on Gateways, Ben sits down with @CityofChelseaPD Police Chief Kyes. They talk about how policing has changed over time and unpack the department’s adoption of what’s known as the Hub model https://t.co/MdYqu8oR9q
Oct 15, 2019
Take a look friends--last week for submitting applications for LOCUS Boston fellowship. Send me your best & brightest! @jarjoh @JayAshMACP @berkie1 @HellerRachel @jessekb @APA_Planning @MAPCMetroBoston @MassInc @Northeastern @Harvard_JCHS @MITdusp @TuftsUEP @HarvardGSD thks 🙏 https://t.co/n5PlmDBKP8
Oct 14, 2019

Coming up

Explore TTOD Research Reports

  • MassINC is a key partner to the Boston Foundation, and all of us who are seeking to advance the regional conversation around economic opportunity and a strong quality of life for all.  MassINC's robust, nonpartisan research is exactly what our citizens and leaders need to make good decisions.

    Paul Grogan, President of The Boston Foundation

  • I watch my inbox for CommonWealth magazine’s Daily Download. I can count on the newsletter to tell me succinctly what’s happening in politics and public policy. The magazine itself always delivers in-depth news, analysis and commentary. It's simply outstanding, quality journalism. I am happy to support unbiased reporting through my participation in Citizens Circle.

    Helen Chin Schlichte
    Former Public Administrator; President Emeritus, South Cove Manor at Quincy Point

  • MassINC's long-term dedication to Gateway Cities makes them a valuable resource to all of our communities. They are a true thought partner. They go the distance to help others appreciate our unique opportunities, needs, and perspectives.

    Tim McGourthy Executive Director of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau

  • MassINC serves as a credible, thoughtful resource for all of us who are invested in the future of the Commonwealth. Its emphasis on careful analysis that is grounded in data, research, and polling makes an important contribution to and helps elevate the conversation about the challenges and opportunities facing the region.

    Trevor Pollack, Manager of Special Projects for the Barr Foundation

  • The potential of Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities is limitless. MassINC’s dedicated work in promoting these cities has been, and will continue to be, instrumental in their individual and collective success.

    Jay Ash
    Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development and former chair of the Gateway Cities Innovation Institute

  • MassINC has always provided research showing the detrimental impact of the state’s unforgiving criminal justice system on our communities. Their polling confirmed that the public understood the need for change in our system. That criminal justice reform is at the forefront of bipartisan local and national debates today is in no small measure due to MassINC’s persistent and fair commitment to the issue.

    Juliette Kayyem Faculty Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Founder Kayyem Solutions LLC

  • Through my partnership with MassINC, the Building On What Works Coalition is working to unite a diverse collection of civic leaders around an urgent call to encourage the state to act on the progress that has been made ensuring all children in Massachusetts have a true chance to succeed in the state’s economy. MassINC’s research and commitment to data driven public policy are helping to give the children of Massachusetts a better education.

    Kim Driscoll Mayor of Salem

  • MassINC's work with the Gateway Cities is unmatched. As Eastern Bank strives to help businesses in these communities thrive, MassINC has been a tremendous partner, providing data-driven research and affirming that these cities are full of opportunities.

    Bob Rivers Chairman and CEO of Eastern Bank

  • When MassINC speaks, it’s well worth listening. After all, the nonpartisan think tank has established itself as a thoughtful, careful, credible voice on public policy in Massachusetts.

    Scot Lehigh Boston Globe Op-Ed Columnist

  • Few organizations in the country have better understood the important role of governance reform and accountability in education policy and economic development than MassINC.

    Bruce Katz Former Vice President and Founding Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at The Brookings Institution

  • [MassINC's] understanding of the complexity of the challenges facing the state’s older cities, its belief in the opportunities that present themselves in those communities, and its advocacy of the role that public higher education can and should play in them, has added to the understanding that policy makers need to have as they move our state toward the future.

    Jean MacCormack

Why support massinc?

  • We enjoy what we do.

    Whether it’s planning events, conducting research, or analyzing the news, our team works on projects that we’re passionate about.
  • We develop leaders.

    Former MassINC employees have gone on to work at reputable organizations like Harvard University, Boston University, City Year, EnerNOC, and Governor Baker’s office.  
  • We stick with it.

    Our work on transformative development, which uses public and private funding for projects to revitalize an entire downtown or urban neighbor­hood, began as Policy Center research report in 2013. A year later, the state legislature passed a bill funding transformative development projects across Massachusetts.
  • We are nonpartisan.

    Our Board of Directors includes prominent Massachusetts Democrats and Republicans. We are interested people’s ideas, not which side of the aisle they sit on.
  • We have a complete toolbox.

    We aren’t just a think tank. We bring nonpartisan research, civic engagement, journalism, and independent polling together under one roof.
  • We have state-wide reach.

    We know that Beacon Hill isn’t the only place to make progress. We’re on the ground in cities across the state working with local leaders.
  • We have unique networks.

    We use our connections to bring together a cross-section of diverse leaders to solve problems. Our networks include mayors, economic development directors, superintendents, business people, newspaper editors, arts leaders, and regional transit officials.  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

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