Congress hears testimony on why TIFIA is so important, and how it can be improved

On Wednesday, July 12, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a full committee hearing entitled, “The Use of TIFIA and Innovative Financing in Improving Infrastructure to Enhance Safety, Mobility, and Economic Opportunity.”

The hearing focused on the nation’s enormous need for infrastructure investment, and how Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans can help meet it. Joining the hearing to testify were Anne Mayer, Executive Director of the Riverside County Transportation Commission in Riverside, CA; Jennifer Aument, Group General Manager of Transurban North America in Tysons, VA; and Christopher Coes, Vice President for Real Estate Policy and External Affairs at Smart Growth America.

“Communities, developers and transit agencies understand the enormous economic and fiscal benefits of walkable development,” Coes testified, “but they face many barriers to creating this development, including financing the upfront cost of public infrastructure, particularly near transit stations.”

“From a developer’s perspective, TIFIA financing—because of its flexible repayment terms—is a critical tool to facilitate private investment,” he continued. “TIFIA can help
communities harness the economic potential near transit stations while creating inclusive and safe neighborhoods.”

Despite the program’s success, however, Coes explained that there are several ways it could be improved.

“To fully take advantage of this opportunity it is crucial that the TIFIA program recognizes and accommodates the unique needs of TOD and local projects by providing clarity and certainty with the respect to the above-mentioned topics.

“This Congress and this Administration has made infrastructure and rebuilding our American neighborhoods are major priority. Smart Growth America’s real estate coalition, LOCUS, represent billions of dollars in real estate assets that stand willing and ready to invest in America’s crumbling local infrastructure while creating economically vibrant and social inclusive communities near transit and passenger rail stations. We hope to serve as a resource to he Committee and the Administration to ensure TIFIA achieves this shared goal.” Read the full testimony ››

Learn more about TIFIA and other federal financing programs

Want to know more about TIFIA loans and other federal opportunities for financing walkable development near transit? Join us on Thursday, July 20 for “A crash course in federal TOD financing programs”, a free webinar that will provide an overview of programs available through USDOT, HUD, and EPA to help municipalities and transit agency staff create more development near transit stations.

Get the guide

Next week’s webinar will provide an overview of material that is covered in more depth in the 2017 edition of the LOCUS Federal Financing Toolkit. The full toolkit is available to LOCUS members. If you are interested in getting a copy, contact the LOCUS team.

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