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City of Omaha - Nebraska

City of Omaha Urban PlanningOmaha, Nebraska

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Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Initiative

Metro Transit is rolling out a new service, Omaha Rapid Bus Transit (ORBT). ORBT will unite smart technology and streamlined travel for faster, more frequent public transportation. For more information on ORBT, visit http://www.rideorbt.com

ORBT is the biggest transit investment the region has seen in decades. The projected capital cost of the transit service is $30.5 million and $450 million in economic development is forecasted. Bus Rapid Transit lines have transformed corridors around the world. With an estimated $450 in impact here in Omaha, there is a need to review and develop potential future land use policies to ensure that we make the most of this significant public infrastructure investment.

The type of development that responds best to a transit station is “Transit Oriented Development” (TOD). As stated in Smart Growth America’s TOD Analytical memo for Omaha, Nebraska, TOD naturally generates more riders, and therefore more financial support for the transit system, making it more successful. TOD is associated with increased private investment, property values, and property tax revenues, which means it provides outweighed returns for the city and the economy. It also provides a mix of housing and transportation choices for city residents that are scarce in many markets—allowing people who want to, and people who must, live more walkable, less car-dependent lifestyles. And, when done with intention and foresight, TOD can also increase access to opportunity for lower income households. As a result, TOD is competitive and desirable in the marketplace, with cities across the country seeking to attract talent and businesses into walkable centers and neighborhoods.

What is TOD?
TOD is development centered around or located within walking distance of a transit station, and includes:

  • Quality Connections
  • Mix of Uses 
  • Greater Density
  • Pedestrian scale design

TOD focuses on the pedestrian environment with uses and density that will support transit ridership. 

What is being done by the Planning Department on behalf of the City?

The initiative has two major steps:

  1. Proposed potential amendments to the City’s Master Plan to support and encourage Transit Oriented Development along the ORBT line.
    As a basis for potential changes to the zoning code or any other components of the TOD initiative, the Planning Department will recommend revision to the Master Plan to include the ORBT service area and reflect current best practices for transit-oriented development.
  2. Develop and propose Transit Oriented Development (TOD) regulations for the Zoning Ordinance
    Through public engagement and technical analysis, we will collectively determine components of our built environment that need to be preserved along with opportunities for enhancement. While examples of TOD zoning vary across the country, typical characteristics include increased residential and employment density, potential regulation for automobile-oriented uses, urban design to support walkability, and alternatives for minimum parking requirements. We will also promote and preserve historic structures and neighborhoods.  Out of respect for the character of our residential neighborhoods and to concentrate development that will have the greatest positive impact, the most intense development will be recommended for the areas closest to the stations with building height and massing tapering off as growth moves outward.

What is being done by Metro?
The Planning Department, on behalf of the City of Omaha, and Metro are coordinating efforts, but to ensure the most accurate and timely information visit: http://www.rideorbt.com/

How can I participate?

View the First Public Meeting Presentation, answer questions, and complete the TOD Visual Preference Survey!


The first public meeting was held November 13, 2018, 6-8 PM at the First Christian Church, 6630 Dodge Street.

Click HERE to view the presentation.

The TOD Visual Preference Survey and online method to answer the public meeting questions is now closed.  Check back to see the results!

Come to a meeting 

The second round of public meetings will occur by ORBT station location, as shown on the map below.

PublicMeeting2Graphic

More public meetings to come… check again soon to see an updated schedule.

Contact the Project Manager

If you have any additional questions or comments, contact Kellie Johnston Dorsey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 402-444-5150 x 2008.