The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced that 16 organizations around the country will receive a share of $14.7 million in grants to support comprehensive planning projects that improve access to public transit. The funds are made available through FTA’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Planning Pilot Program for communities that are developing new or expanded mass transit systems. A list of selected projects is available here.

In total, FTA’s TOD Pilot Program will provide grants for comprehensive planning work in 16 metropolitan areas around the country, helping communities integrate their land use and transportation planning efforts as they improve their transit systems.

Among the planning projects selected nationwide:

  • The Santa Clara VTA will receive $1.5 million to identify and plan for multimodal access needs and TOD opportunities for station areas along the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Silicon Valley Phase II project. The project is a 6.5-mile heavy rail extension that connects BART to San Jose and Santa Clara.
  • The Regional Transportation District and City and County of Denver will receive $1.35 million to help alleviate barriers to TOD in the East Colfax Avenue corridor, the location of a proposed bus rapid transit project. The TOD planning effort includes urban design guidelines for the corridor, an affordable housing strategy, small business retention and development strategy, and a financing plan for implementation of TOD.
  • The City of Phoenix will receive $2 million to plan for additional development and improved pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure in the South Central Light Rail Transit Extension corridor, while also preserving nearby housing affordability and established small businesses. 
  • The City of Milwaukee will receive $750,000 to conduct comprehensive TOD planning along the proposed King Drive and Walker’s Point extensions of the Milwaukee Streetcar from downtown into surrounding neighborhoods. The city will work with stakeholders along the proposed extensions to evaluate how to use transit-supportive development, to revitalize the two corridors, and to better connect residents to downtown jobs.

FTA’s TOD Pilot Program was established under MAP-21 and amended by the FAST Act. The program helps localities plan improved access to transit, jobs, education and services, and helps revitalize communities by attracting new business opportunities, jobs, and housing. In addition, the program encourages inclusive communities and seeks planning solutions to reduce residential and commercial displacement that can result from gentrification. It seeks to connect people to opportunities through multimodal access to transit stations and to enhance connectivity of disadvantaged populations to essential services.

To be eligible for the Pilot Program, planning work must be associated with a transit project for which the local community intends to seek funding through FTA’s Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program or that recently received funding through the CIG Program. The CIG Program is FTA’s primary competitive grant program for funding major transit capital investments, including heavy rail, commuter rail, light rail, bus rapid transit and core capacity projects.

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