Priority Development Areas | Plans + Projects | Our Work

Priority Development Areas

Rail Corridor Transit-Oriented Development area in San Mateo
Housing at the Bay Meadows development, a PDA site in San Mateo.

Priority Development Areas, commonly known as PDAs, leverage existing infrastructure to minimize development impacts on communities. A local city council or county board of supervisors nominates a PDA, which is then adopted by the ABAG Executive Board.

PDAs must be:

  • Within an existing community
  • Within a half-mile of frequent transit
  • In an area planned for future housing and job growth

Local jurisdictions have defined more than 200 PDAs since 2008. These existing neighborhoods are served by public transit and have been identified as appropriate for additional, compact development.

Plan Bay Area 2050: Exploring Challenging Questions
PDAs are an important part of Plan Bay Area 2050, which will provide a roadmap for accommodating growth in our region over the next three decades.

Visit the Plan Bay Area website for more details on PDAs, Horizon, and what’s in store for Plan Bay Area 2050.

MTC's PDA Planning Program provides grants to cities and counties to help them develop local land-use plans and policies for areas surrounding future rail stations and ferry terminals.

Established in 2005, the program originally was known as the Station Area Planning Grant Program following the Commission's adoption of a Regional Transit Expansion Policy as part of the Regional Transit Expansion Program (Resolution 3434).

Plans must address the following elements:

  • Station Area Profile
  • Community Engagement
  • Land-use planning within a half-mile radius of the station
  • Market demand analysis
  • Affordable housing strategy
  • Multi-modal connectivity including pedestrian-friendly design standards
  • Strategies to ensure accessibility for people with disabilities
  • Parking demand analysis
  • Infrastructure development
  • Implementation plan and financing strategies

For a more complete description, review this summary of PDA planning elements.

To review completed PDA or Station Area plans, search the Digital Library for Completed PDA Plans.

MTC's PDA Technical Assistance Program helps city and county governments advance transit-oriented developments in Priority Development Areas.

The program provides customized in-kind technical assistance to help local governments meet specific policy or planning challenges in these areas.

Cities and counties must compete to qualify for the PDA Technical Assistance Program.

To review earlier Technical Assistance Program commitments, search the Digital Library for Completed PDA Technical Assistance projects.