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FTA

Reconnecting America Releases Analysis Of Obama Budget Proposal

"A bold statement about the importance of investing in transportation infrastructure, reducing inefficiencies, and incentivizing innovation"

Analysis of the President's FY 2012 Budget
The Administration's FY2012 budget request to Congress focuses on advancing economic growth and job creation through investments in education and job-training; incentivizing innovation and investment in research and development; rebuilding crumbling infrastructure; and reducing America's fiscal deficits through bipartisan cooperation. The budget request totals $3.73 trillion with significant funding for transportation-related investments, and budget cuts and reductions to programs in several depart­ments.

Reconnecting America Applauds Obama Rail, Infrastructure Goals

With the main focus on creating jobs, investing in infrastructure and building communities with transportation options will be key

Reconnecting America applauds President Obama’s remarks last night in the State of the Union with regard to his support for high-speed rail, improved infrastructure, and, in particular, development around rail stations.

Transit-oriented development, or TOD, is what we do.  We specialize in building on-the-ground partnerships and convening the players necessary for responsible, equitable development near transit centers.  Therefore, we were elated to hear the President recognize that “Jobs…didn’t just come from laying down track…. They came from businesses that opened near a town’s new train station….” Modernizing our infrastructure means providing better transportation choices for people of all walks of life.  Everybody wants to live in a community where they have easy access to jobs, quality housing, shopping, schools, healthcare and recreational opportunities.

Realizing The Potential for Sustainable, Equitable TOD

Reconnecting America White Paper makes recommendations to federal partnership on sustainable communities

In June 2009, the Obama Administration announced a new interagency partnership on sustainable communities between the Department of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency. An early action by the Partnership was to announce a set of Livability Principles to guide future federal investments, policy development, and programs. These include:

  • Provide more transportation choices. Develop safe, reliable, and economical transportation choices to decrease household transportation costs, reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote public health.
  • Promote equitable, affordable housing. Expand location- and energy-efficient housing choices for people of all ages, incomes, races, and ethnicities to increase mobility and lower the combined cost of housing and transportation.
  • Enhance economic competitiveness. Improve economic competitiveness through reliable and timely access to employment centers, educational opportunities, services and other basic needs by workers, as well as expanded business access to markets.
  • Support existing communities. Target federal funding toward existing communities—through strategies like transit-oriented, mixed-use development, and land recycling—to increase community revitalization and the efficiency of public works investments and safeguard rural landscapes.
  • Coordinate and leverage federal policies and investment. Align federal policies and funding to remove barriers to collaboration, leverage funding, and increase the accountability and effectiveness of all levels of government to plan for future growth, including making smart energy choices such as locally generated renewable energy.
  • Value communities and neighborhoods. Enhance the unique characteristics of all communities by investing in healthy, safe, and walkable neighborhoods—rural, urban, or suburban.

Connecting Destinations Is Key To Transit Success

CTOD paper analyzes performance of 19 transit lines to understand factors contributing to ridership

The effectiveness of transit is typically measured by ridership – ridership projections, for example, often determine whether a project will win federal funding. But the complex movements of people within a region make accurate predictions difficult. Indeed, three of the most successful lines that have opened since 2003 (Minneapolis, Denver’s Southeast line, and Los Angeles Orange BRT line) received only a medium-low rating from the Federal Transit Administration, and under current rules would not have been funded.

The Center for Transit Oriented Development has just released a paper, "Destinations Matter: Building Transit Success," that analyzes the performance of 19 transit lines to better understand the factors contributing to high ridership. Of the 19 lines examined, seven exceeded projections, eight are on track to beat projections, and two did not meet projections, while data for three was unavailable. The conclusion: that connecting destinations is key, and that the funding decision-making process needs to take into consideration a fuller range of factors that enhance ridership.

Jumpstarting The Transit Space Race

Reconnecting America releases new report on federal transit funding

The demand for transit in the U.S. has never been greater, with ridership at its highest levels in 50 years and almost 400 new rail, streetcar and bus rapid transit projects proposed in large and small regions from Massachusetts to Hawaii, according to a new report by Reconnecting America. Americans took 10.1 billion trips on transit in 2007, saving 1.4 billions of gallons of gasoline -- the equivalent of a supertanker leaving the Middle East every 11 days.

Realizing The Potential: One Year Later

How has the market downturn played out along five transit corridors in five very different markets?

The Center for Transit-Oriented Development has updated its “Realizing the Potential” study for the FTA and HUD, which assessed strategies to promote mixed-income housing along five transit corridors in Boston, Charlotte, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Denver and Portland. The new study finds the downturn in the housing market is playing out very differently in the five regions, but that property along transit corridors in Charlotte, Portland and Minneapolis appears to be holding its value better than in the regions at large. The housing market has not been as active along corridors in Denver or Boston, in contrast, because they traverse lower-income neighborhoods and because the many transit corridors in each region spread the TOD opportunity out.

Realizing The Potential: Expanding Housing Opportunities Near Transit

Study shows location matters when it comes to reducing household costs; examines five case studies

This new national study funded by the Federal Transit Administration and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shows that location matters a great deal when it comes to reducing household costs. While families who live in auto-dependent neighborhoods spend an average of 25 percent of their household budget on transportation, families who live in transit-rich neighborhoods spend just 9 percent, the study says. The report examines five case study regions – Boston, Charlotte, Denver, Minneapolis, and Portland -- to better understand the proactive strategies being undertaken to create and preserve affordable housing near transit.

Realizing The Potential: Expanding Housing Opportunities Near Transit

Realizing the Postential: One Year Later

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