This month on Building Better Communities with Transit we are joined by Sean Northup, Deputy Director of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization. Sean chats about the Indianapolis Red Line, the first of three BRT routes that will crisscross the region. Those lines and other transit improvements are being funded in part by local, dedicated funding which was won after a long and arduous process, as Sean explains.
Since Transportation for America launched their Stuck in the Station resource, local leaders, journalists, editorial boards, and members of Congress have been loudly critical of USDOT’s failure to fund and advance transit projects. Here’s some of the most recent updates.
This month on Building Better Communities with Transit we’re joined by Bill Sirois, Senior Manager, Transit Oriented Communities with RTD in Denver. Bill chats about the success of the transit agency’s TOD program, the project to rehabilitate the historic Union Station (and the area surrounding it), and what comes next when the current period of transit expansion comes to a close.
Of the $2.3 billion that Congress has given USDOT for transit capital investments since Trump took office, USDOT has distributed a meager 20 percent to transit projects waiting for funding. These avoidable delays are costing local communities money and putting jobs at risk.
Last March, Congress provided the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) with about $1.4 billion to help build and expand transit systems across the country. 142 days later and counting, FTA has obligated almost none of these funds to new transit projects. Our resource—Stuck in the Station—will continue tracking exactly how long FTA has been declining to do their job, how much money has been committed, and which communities are paying a hefty price in avoidable delays.
This month on Building Better Communities with Transit we’re joined by the Executive Director of the KC Streetcar Authority, Tom Gerend. In 2016, Kansas City, MO opened the first streetcar the city has seen in almost 60 years and transformed the city’s downtown. Former skeptics of the line are now some of the KC Streetcar’s biggest proponents as businesses have boomed and more people are moving to—and spending in—the center city. The 2.2 mile KC Streetcar, akin to a downtown circulator, is “a demonstration of the possible.”
On May 1, residents in Nashville will be voting on a $5.2 billion proposal to dramatically improve and expand the city’s transit system with improved frequency on existing lines, new BRT routes, and a new light rail system. Our upcoming conference, Intersections: Creating Culturally Complete Streets, is happening right in the midst of this once-in-a-generation conversation.
As expected, President Trump used his first State of the Union Address Tuesday night as an opportunity to discuss infrastructure. The speech was light on specifics, though the Washington Post and other outlets continue to report that the White House is preparing a full plan to be released in a few weeks.
Late last night, the House of Representative’s Ways and Means Committee released their proposal for a federal surface transportation bill. The bill would eliminate dedicated funding for public transit and jeopardize these funds for years to come.
Removing the guarantee on funding would mean that transit would have to compete each year for general fund revenues. As Congress looks for ways to slash federal funding, this change puts transit funding in danger of deep cuts in coming years.
Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have supported dedicated transit funding as a way to relieve congestion and help workers reach jobs quickly, efficiently and affordably. As the American economy slowly recovers, demand for transit has been rising across the country – and now is not the time to jeopardize federal support for these programs.
Contacting your members of Congress is simple and only takes a few minutes. Help defend dedicated funding for transit: Click here to send a letter to your Representative.
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced a new grant opportunity for rural communities across the country. The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program is a great opportunity for rural communities to leverage federal funds for local transportation projects. To help communities apply to these very competitive grants, the American Public Transportation Association, the National Association of Development Organizations, the National League of Cities, PolicyLink, Reconnecting America, Rural Assembly, Smart Growth America, and Transportation for America have joined together to encourage rural communities to submit superior applications for this funding.
If you plan to apply for this year’s round of TIGER grants or wish to learn more about the program and the application process, join us for a webinar on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at 2:00 PM EDT. The webinar will build on the overview provided by our first webinar in this series, which took place earlier in August, by exploring in-depth the various aspects of the TIGER application process.