Bus

Federal grants make the business case for sustainability

Posted on November 18, 2010 by Frank Di Giacomo, Publisher

The Obama administration, through some federal agencies fairly unknown to public transportation as well as traditional ones, announced a slew of new grants. For those who wondered whether the sustainability initiatives launched last year would make any difference, we are beginning to get encouraging answers.

This past October alone, the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) announced its latest round of Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants. Of the 42 capital construction projects and 33 planning projects announced, most of them will involve sustainability-related aspects. These grants help fund investments and plans in 40 states.

The total funding announced for TIGER infrastructure projects is more than $500 million - and that's just the federal share. Examples include grants to build new streetcar lines in Atlanta and Salt Lake City.

For the planning grants, 14 of the winners received not just TIGER grants but, also, Sustainable Community Challenge Grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This is not just a coincidence. In fact, it is part of the sustainability partnership strategy announced last year. In this round of HUD Challenge grants, DOT and HUD, with assistance from the Environmental Protection Agency and, in many cases even the U.S. Department of Agriculture, jointly evaluated planning grant applications. For example, the planning grant awarded to University City, Mo., a suburb of Saint Louis, would help create better connections to the light rail system as well as energy efficient affordable housing.

In addition to the Challenge grants, HUD also announced about that time an additional $100 million funding for sustainability plans. Of that, $25 million was given to smaller regions and rural areas.

New ammunition

For those who worry that this strategy may not play well in the next Congress, when 70 or more members will be new regardless of who takes over, you now have some new ammunition. Several studies have come out showing that both developers and their potential customers are increasingly demanding walkable transit-accessible neighborhoods. This is because of a variety of factors, including population growth; lower crime rates in inner cities; declining proportion of households with kids; and preferences among both older and younger Americans who want to live in more walkable places with quality restaurants, health care facilities, bars and night clubs, museums, sports stadiums and other cultural institutions — in short, the things cities are likely to offer.

In other words, both businesses and the public get it. We need to make sure that our elected officials do, too, especially the new ones.

 

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

VIA debuts first of 400-plus new CNG buses

The new 40-foot buses, manufactured by Nova Bus, feature a 67-passenger capacity.

Lane Transit District seeks $30M from state for BRT

LTD is hoping to get the money in the form of Oregon Lottery-backed bonds, to use as matching funds for a federal grant it plans to apply for.

REV Group acquires Midwest Automotive Designs

The acquisition enhances REV’s product offerings in the commercial segment of its bus division, by adding multiple products for the luxury limousine, charter and tour bus markets.

NJ Transit awards MCI 2nd year of 6-year Commuter Coach contract

The company’s three-decade relationship with NJ TRANSIT continued in November 2015 with the company winning a competitive procurement to manufacture and deliver up to 1,222 commuter coaches.

ARBOC releases Ford Spirit of Independence model

The vehicle features a 96-inch width and a flat floor design that allows stress-free maneuverability for up to fifteen ambulatory and five wheelchair passengers, according to the company.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close