On November 17, 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced 19 awards totaling approximately $13.1 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help revitalize local economies, fight climate change, and provide more transportation options through redevelopment projects near new or expanded transit corridors.
These grants, funded by FTA’s Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Planning, support local strategies to increase transit access and encourage ridership through mixed-use and mixed-income development near public transportation projects.
The program helps communities plan for opportunities created by new transit stations, such as affordable housing, economic revitalization, and better connections to schools, hospitals, stores, and restaurants.
It’s a wise program, since affordable housing is usually truly affordable only when it has good public transit serve, as documented in the 2020 book, RECONOMICS: The Path To Resilient Prosperity.
“Transit stations represent access to jobs, schools, affordable housing, and so much more,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
“With this funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, more communities will be able to develop the areas around their transit stations, which will mean stronger local economies, cleaner air, and better access to the essential services families rely on,” he added.
Planning projects were selected for funding based on criteria described in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, which also marked the first time that applicants were asked to prioritize TOD in areas with high incidence rates of homelessness.
Nearly 89% of the applicants selected for an award addressed homelessness within their planning proposals.
“FTA’s Pilot Program for TOD Planning helps communities examine ways to improve economic development and multimodal connectivity,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez.
“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 explained.
Some of the selected fiscal year 2022 projects include:
- The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority will receive $960,000 for a study of the Union Station/Civic Center Transit District that focuses on supporting equity, sustainability, and connectivity to jobs around LA’s regional transit hub and historic downtown. The project will explore ways to expand housing and affordable housing opportunities as the city continues to invest in transit infrastructure, consider new commercial development opportunities, and respond to a housing and homelessness crisis.
- The Maryland Department of Transportation’s Maryland Transit Administration will receive nearly $1.5 million to plan for TOD along the Purple Line light rail project in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.
- The City of Homestead, Florida, will receive $533,000 to plan for TOD around three new bus rapid transit stations, which are part of the new South Dade TransitWay Corridor, currently under construction.
President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides a total of $68.9 million in funding for the TOD Planning Program through 2026, a 38% increase over the prior five years of funding.
Image of downtown Homestead, Florida courtesy of City of Homestead.