December 9, 2022
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The Federal Transit Administration recently awarded $13.1 million split between 19 projects through its Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development or TOD planning to help boost local economies, fight climate change, and provide more transportation options through development near new or expanded transit project corridors.

[Above photo by MBTA]

Those grants support local strategies to increase transit access and encourage ridership through mixed-use and mixed-income development near public transportation projects, FTA said.

That includes efforts such as building new transit stations, constructing more affordable housing, and improving transit connections to schools, hospitals, stores, and restaurants.

Nuria Fernandez at far left with USDOT Sec. Pete Buttigieg at right. Photo by FTA.

“The pilot program for TOD Planning helps communities examine ways to improve economic development and multimodal connectivity,” noted FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez in a statement.

“When communities build new housing, retail, offices, and other construction near transit, they advance environmental justice and promote equity, particularly to underserved communities, by increasing access to opportunity and enabling and encouraging the creation and preservation of affordable housing,” she added.

FTA said it selected projects for TOD planning grants based on criteria described in its recent notice of funding opportunity, which also marked the first time it asked applicants to prioritize TOD in areas with high incidence rates of homelessness. Nearly 89 percent of the applicants selected for an award addressed homelessness within their planning proposals, the agency added.

The transit divisions of two state departments of transportation received TOD planning grants as part of the FTA’s fiscal year 2022 award cycle. Those are:

  • The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority – a division of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation – will receive $576,000 for TOD planning along the Red Line subway, which runs from the Alewife station in the north to the Ashmont and Braintree stations in the south. Improvements to this busiest subway line in MBTA’s system includes increased service, and investing in TOD will enhance the local economy, increase neighborhood connectivity and create mixed-use spaces.
  • Maryland Transit Administration – part of the Maryland Department of Transportation – will receive nearly $1.5 million for TOD planning efforts along the Purple Line light rail project in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, enacted in November 2021, provides a total of $68.9 million in funding for the FTA’s TOD planning pilot program through 2026, a 38 percent increase over the prior five years of funding.

editor@aashto.org

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