Nineteen projects—12 rail-related—will share $13.1 million in Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grants through the Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Planning.
The Pilot Program for TOD Planning “helps communities plan for opportunities created by new transit stations, such as affordable housing; economic development; and better connections to schools, hospitals, stores and restaurants,” FTA reported on Nov. 17.
“As required by statute, any comprehensive or site-specific planning funded through the pilot program must examine ways to improve economic development and ridership potential, foster multimodal connectivity and accessibility, improve transit access for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, engage the private sector, identify infrastructure needs, and enable mixed-use development near transit stations,” according to FTA.
The FY 2022 program, announced in May, 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 reported.
Following are the rail-related project awards:
- City of Phoenix, Ariz., will receive $1 million to plan for TOD along the South Central Extension/Downtown Hub light rail line, which is expected to open in 2024. The funding will support affordable housing, increase pedestrian and bicycle access to transit hubs, facilitate mixed-use development, and assess opportunities for investment in the local economy, according to FTA.
- Los Angeles County (Calif.) Metropolitan Transportation Authority will receive $1 million to plan for TOD along the proposed West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor, a 14.8-mile light rail line that will connect several cities and communities.
- Los Angeles County (Calif.) Metropolitan Transportation Authority will receive $960,000 for a study of the Union Station/Civic Center Transit District that FTA said “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.”
- North County Transit District (Calif.) will receive $240,000 to plan for TOD at the Escondido Transit Center, which serves five modes of transport, including the 22-mile SPRINTER hybrid commuter rail system. “As the agency works to expand the SPRINTER with more service and capacity-enhancing double track, the plan will evaluate how to expand the transit center’s potential for mixed-use development, including zoning changes, operational and infrastructure needs, and potential relocation of operations,” FTA reported. “The project would provide affordable housing, strengthen the economy, create jobs, increase ridership and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
- Caltrain (Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, Calif.) will receive $650,000 to plan for TOD at its 20-acre 4th and King rail yard. The agency will include public engagement and neighborhood planning, and assess how to create more housing, bicycle and pedestrian access, and better connectivity, according to FTA.
- Miami-Dade (Fla.) Department of Transportation and Public Works will receive $840,000 to develop a TOD master plan for the Northeast Corridor of the Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit (SMART) Program, a five-station rapid transit corridor planned in Miami-Dade County. “The agency will partner with property owners to encourage TOD along the corridor to enhance mobility, improve connectivity and accessibility, provide bicycle and pedestrian access to stations, increase mixed-use development, and identify opportunities for public-private partnerships,” FTA said.
- Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority will receive $576,000 to plan for TOD along the Red Line, the busiest line in MBTA’s system that runs from the Alewife station in the north to the Ashmont and Braintree stations in the south. Investing in TOD “will enhance the local economy, increase neighborhood connectivity and create mixed-use spaces,” according to FTA.
- Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration will receive $1,497,094 to plan for TOD along the Purple Line light rail line in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. The planned TOD “will create mixed-use development, preserve existing retail, support affordable housing, and invest in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure,” according to FTA.
- New Jersey Transit will receive $592,000 to plan for TOD along the proposed nine-mile Northern Branch light rail extension in Bergen and Hudson counties in northern New Jersey. FTA said TOD will “support public and private partnerships, enhance multimodal transit access, encourage economic development, and preserve affordable housing.”
- TriMet (Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon) will receive $315,000 to plan TOD at two park-and-ride locations to address new development opportunities and capacity increases on TriMet’s Blue Line MAX light rail line. The plan, FTA said, will address housing needs, economic development, transit accessibility, and pedestrian and bike infrastructure.
- Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority will receive $300,000 to undertake a TOD planning analysis of Route 11 and 13 trolley services in the Darby and Yeadon boroughs in Delaware County. The TOD plan will support trolley revitalization, analyze how best to develop the area, support pedestrian and bicycle access, and plan for ways to address flooding and electrical infrastructure issues, according to FTA.
- Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Tex.) will receive $900,000 to plan for TOD along the proposed Orange and Blue light rail lines and the proposed regional rail Green Line. “The plan would set the stage for the agency to transition to a new headquarters and repurpose its current headquarters into a TOD site,” reported FTA, which noted that the plan would also “enhance economic and community development by creating mixed-use development, increasing affordable housing, supporting bicycle and pedestrian access, and bringing essential services to the area.”
“FTA’s Pilot Program for TOD Planning helps communities examine ways to improve economic development and multimodal connectivity,” FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez said. “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.”
For a complete project list, visit the FTA website.