Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Funding Update and Webinars

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has really taken the theme of user friendliness to heart with information sources and webinars about its funding programs.

Changes to the New Starts/Small Starts Federal Transit Administration (FTA) program are coming soon. In anticipation, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is hosting listening sessions around the country, which are continuing until July 15. For more information, the Annual Report on the program is a good read.

Coordinated Grants

DOT and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a joint TIGER II and Community Challenge Grant to award up to $75 million in funding, including:

$35 million in TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) II Planning Grants and $40 million in Sustainable Community Challenge Grants for localized planning activities that ultimately lead to projects that integrate transportation, housing and economic development.

The two federal departments are looking to fund planning activities that envision mixed uses of housing, retail and commercial entities near transit. Explicitly mentioned as an a fund-able activity is:

Developing expanded public transportation options, including accessible public transportation and para-transit services for individuals with disabilities, to allow individuals to live in diverse, high opportunity communities and to commute to areas with employment and educational opportunities.

Pre-applications are due July 26. Full applications are due on August 23. More information is available at

FTA is holding ARRA webinars to educate old and new grantees. In fact, the FTA's ARRA homepage has so much information that I could take the whole day to go through all of it. I read through everything that I recommend, but this is the exception. There is too much other work to be done.

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