Feds award assistance for transit oriented developments

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the cities of Birmingham, Charlotte, Albuquerque, Omaha and Tacoma will receive support in planning development near transit systems as part of its Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Technical Assistance Initiative. The initiative supports efforts to create mixed-use, walkable communities near transit with a focus on economically disadvantaged populations.

“The Department of Transportation places a high priority on investing in transportation projects that improve the prosperity of low- and moderate-income communities and stimulate economic development in areas that need it,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We are pleased to provide this technical assistance to help local leaders create practical, equitable, community-sensitive development plans.”

The five communities will receive in-depth, long-term technical assistance as they plan TOD strategies. FTA will work with the nonprofit Smart Growth America to provide a variety of planning and analysis tools tailored to the needs of each community.

Alabama’s Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority will receive technical assistance to support an area plan around a new bus rapid transit (BRT) station. The project will develop a plan to maximize TOD potential around the transit center and created a set of tools that can be replicated around other BRT stations.

The City of Omaha will get help maximizing the development potential of the Dodge Street BRT corridor, including helping draft TOD policy language that includes affordable housing and minimizing displacement of small businesses.

The City of Albuquerque will identify financial strategies and ridership tools with assistance to guide future development surrounding the San Mateo Station of the Central Avenue BRT project. The technical assistance will focus on how to finance infrastructure and real estate improvements to bring higher density, as well as how to incentivize ridership.

In Charlotte, the city and Charlotte Area Transit System will receive help developing strategies to preserve established neighborhoods and incentivize appropriate TOD along the western end of the Gold Line streetcar corridor, known as the Historic West End.

The City of Tacoma will receive technical assistance to identify economic development and housing opportunities along the Hilltop segment of the Tacoma Link light rail expansion. The technical assistance will result in an economic and housing market study that projects employment, housing, and property trends in addition to TOD opportunity sites.

Click here for TOD resources.

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S.C. P3 builds tech college

South Carolina’s Oconee Alliance announced the construction of the Oconee campus of the Tri-County Technical College will begin in April. The alliance is a public-private partnership (P3-PPP) for economic development. An additional project, a career development center that will be built adjacent to the campus, will begin in 2018. Officials estimate the cost of the campus to be $5 million.

TIGER grants provide $500 million for transportation

Transportation projects across the country were funded last week with nearly $500 million in federal grants. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the winners of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program at the White House.

TIGER grants are highly competitive and support projects that are typically more difficult to fund through traditional federal programs, such as multi-modal or multi-jurisdictional projects. This year’s grants focused on projects that generate economic development as well as improve safety.

“For the eighth year running, TIGER will inject critical infrastructure dollars into communities across the country,” said Secretary Foxx. “This unique program rewards innovative thinking and collaborative solutions to difficult and sometimes dangerous transportation problems. A great TIGER program doesn’t just improve transportation; it expands economic opportunity and transforms a community.”

Among the awarded projects, the I-579 Cap Urban Connector Project in Pennsylvania received $19 million in TIGER funds to help construct a $32 million cap connector structure over crosstown highway in downtown Pittsburgh. The project is meant to promote pedestrian safety in a high crash rate area and will include a new bus stop, bike sharing station, pedestrian signals, improved crosswalks and sidewalks.
The city of Natchez, Miss. was another TIGER grant recipient for its bridge rehabilitation project. A grant of $10 million was awarded to upgrade five structurally deficient railroad truss bridges. The total cost of the project is more than $14 million and it will include replacing a failing culvert and installing safety improvements at about 20 public crossings. The current rail line doesn’t support rail cars loaded at the industry standard weight and restricts speed to 10 miles per hour on the bridges and culvert.

New passenger rail service was funded in San Bernardino, Calif., with a TIGER grant of more than $8 million. The Redlands Passenger Rail Project will utilize a total of more than $262 million to build passenger rail connecting cities in San Bernardino County to the San Bernardino Transit Center. In addition to passenger service, the rail corridor enhancements will allow for significantly increased speeds for freight trains using the line.

See the full list of 2016 TIGER awards below or visit www.transportation.gov/tiger-2016-project-fact-sheets for more information.

  • City of Mobile, Ala., $14,465,044
  • Little Rock Port Authority $6,185,400
  • City of Live Oak, Calif., $10,000,000
  • County of San Bernardino, Calif., DBA San Bernardino Associated Government $8,678,312
  • Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority $15,000,000
  • San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District $6,321,688
  • Colorado Department of Transportation $15,000,000
  • City of New Haven, Conn., $20,000,000
  • Delaware Transit Corporation $10,000,000
  • Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization $11,443,371
  • City of Atlanta $10,000,000
  • Port Authority of Guam $10,000,000
  • City of Des Moines $8,000,000
  • Chicago Transit Authority $25,000,000
  • City of Springfield, Ill., $14,000,000
  • Madison County, Ind., $13,500,000
  • Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government $14,095,887
  • Maryland Department of Transportation $10,000,000
  • Montgomery County, Md., $10,000,000
  • Maine Department of Transportation $10,525,000
  • City of Flint, Mich., $20,000,000
  • Scott County, Minn., $17,700,000
  • City of Natchez, Miss., $10,000,000
  • City of Goldsboro, N.C., $5,000,000
  • City of Camden, N.J., $16,200,000
  • Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada $13,324,000
  • Albany Port District Commission $17,629,800
  • City of Akron, Ohio, $5,000,000
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Park District $7,950,000
  • Port of Portland, Ore., $7,329,000
  • Borough of Carlisle, Pa., $5,000,000
  • Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County $19,000,000
  • Rhode Island Department of Transportation $13,100,000
  • Horry County Government, S.C., $9,765,620
  • Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota $14,620,000
  • Tennessee Department of Transportation $10,000,000
  • City of Brownsville, Texas, $10,000,000
  • Utah Transit Authority $20,000,000
  • Virgin Islands Port Authority $10,666,878
  • Port of Everett, Wash., $10,000,000