A new bill introduced today in the Senate would help local communities better capitalize on development opportunities near public transportation by providing financing support in the form of loans or loan guarantees under the highly successful the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program.
Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced the Transit Oriented Development Infrastructure Financing Act, a bill which would add a new provision to TIFIA to include financing for transit-oriented development projects. In response, Christopher Coes, Director of LOCUS, released the following statement:
We applaud Senators Schatz, Markey, and Merkley for their leadership in introducing this bill.
The land surrounding transit stations presents communities with a unique opportunity for growth. Transit oriented development can become the focal point for great, walkable, and economically vibrant neighborhoods. And building development around existing transportation infrastructure ensures the accessibility of residential, commercial, and employment centers to a broader population.
TIFIA financing has already helped many communities invest in their transportation infrastructure. These investments can spur private investment and local economic revitalization, and by expanding TIFIA to include transit oriented development, the federal government will give communities an important new tool to achieve these goals.
LOCUS has been a strong advocate for improving federal programs to meet market demand for walkable places served by transit. Including transit-oriented development in TIFIA will encourage private developers to meet this demand and to ensure that Americans have the option to live in great, walkable neighborhoods with great transportation access.
We look forward to working with members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee as this bill makes its way through the Senate.