Lowcountry Rapid Transit – TOD Plan

SB Friedman helped create a TOD plan along a proposed 26-mile bus rapid transit (BRT) line that would connect the communities of Charleston, North Charleston and Summerville. We prepared development forecasts, developed an equitable growth strategy, quantified potential for transformation, and explored feasible value capture strategies.

Working as part of a consulting team led by HDR, we:

  • Prepared a market assessment projecting residential, industrial, office, retail and hotel development in the region and the BRT study area from 2020 to 2040.
  • Analyzed the impact BRT had on comparable communities, both in terms of shifting development patterns and changes to population and employment.
  • Assisted in identifying opportunity sites and segmented the demand projections into seven subareas for more granular station area planning.
  • Analyzed the affordable housing inventory in the study area, including legally restricted and naturally occurring affordable housing.
  • Identified the current affordable housing gap in the region and designed an affordability model to project unmet demand for affordable housing in 2040.
  • Conducted outreach to jurisdictions, non-profit organizations and community groups.
  • Prepared a value capture toolkit, including joint development strategies, to inform municipalities of the tools available to leverage the BRT investment and incentivize higher density.
  • Developed policy recommendations to encourage affordability and prevent displacement following BRT implementation.

Results: In fall 2021, the BCDCOG prepared and submitted to the FTA a New Starts application, which included components of the TOD plan, to secure funding for the LCRT. SB Friedman and Renaissance Planning Group were engaged in the fall of 2022 to begin a Phase 2 of LCRT TOD planning which will focus on implementation of TOD policies across the corridor.