SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced that 16 organizations around the country will receive a share of $14.7 million in grants to support comprehensive planning projects that improve access to public transit. The funds are made available through FTA’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Planning Pilot Program for communities that are developing new or expanded mass transit systems. A list of selected projects is available online.
“The Obama Administration is proud to partner with forward-leaning communities with plans to develop around transit options that connect hardworking families to jobs, education and opportunity,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
FTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers announced the grants in San Francisco at the 2016 Rail~Volution Conference, a gathering of professionals dedicated to building livable communities with transit. The San Francisco Bay Area is home to one of the grant recipients, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA).
“These grants will help our nation’s growing metropolitan areas plan for development alongside new transit lines that will open doors for residents to access jobs, education, medical care and other vital services,” said FTA Acting Administrator Flowers. “Here in the Bay Area and across the country, communities will use these grants to expand the economic and social impact of new transit services.”
The Santa Clara VTA will receive $1.5 million to identify and plan for multimodal access needs and TOD opportunities for station areas along the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Silicon Valley Phase II project, which is a 6.5-mile heavy rail extension to San Jose and Santa Clara.
In total, FTA’s TOD Pilot Program will provide grants for comprehensive planning work in 16 metropolitan areas around the country, helping communities integrate their land-use and transportation planning efforts as they improve their transit systems.
Among the planning projects selected nationwide:
- The Regional Transportation District and City and County of Denver will receive $1.35 million to help alleviate barriers to TOD in the East Colfax Avenue corridor, the location of a proposed bus rapid transit project. The TOD planning effort includes urban design guidelines for the corridor, an affordable housing strategy, small business retention and development strategy, and a financing plan for implementation of TOD.
- The City of Phoenix will receive $2 million to plan for additional development and improved pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure in the South Central Light Rail Transit Extension corridor while preserving nearby housing affordability and established small businesses.
- The City of Milwaukee will receive $750,000 to conduct comprehensive TOD planning along the proposed King Drive and Walker’s Point extensions of the Milwaukee Streetcar from downtown into surrounding neighborhoods. The city will work with stakeholders along the proposed extensions to evaluate how to use transit-supportive development to revitalize the two corridors and better connect residents to downtown jobs.
FTA’s TOD Pilot Program was established under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and amended by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The program helps localities plan improved access to transit, jobs, education and services, and helps revitalize communities by attracting new business opportunities, jobs, and housing. In addition, the program encourages inclusive communities and seeks planning solutions to reduce residential and commercial displacement that can result from gentrification. It seeks to connect people to opportunities through multimodal access to transit stations and to enhance connectivity of disadvantaged populations to essential services.
To be eligible for the Pilot Program, planning work must be associated with a transit project for which the local community intends to seek funding through FTA’s Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program or that recently received funding through the CIG Program. The CIG Program is FTA’s primary competitive grant program for funding major transit capital investments, including heavy rail, commuter rail, light rail, bus rapid transit and core capacity projects.