Three Texas transit agencies have been awarded grants totaling almost $2 million in a pilot program for planning transit oriented development (TOD) around rail stations.
CapMetro in Austin, Trinity Metro in Fort Worth and Dallas Area Rapid Transit were named by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) as recipients of grants. The FY21 project funding "supports local planning and strategies to increase transit access and encourage ridership through mixed-use and mixed-income development near public transportation projects", according to an FTA news release.
The FTA said “comprehensive planning funded through the program must examine ways to improve economic development and ridership, 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.” The grants were awarded to twenty projects around the country, ten of them are rail specific.
The North Central Texas Council of Governments in conjunction with Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) will receive an $800,000 grant for TOD planning at nine DART Silver Line regional rail stations that will connect major centers on the East-West route between DFW International Airport and Plano.
Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (CapMetro) receives $750,000 for TOD planning at eight proposed stations along the 6.5-mile Orange Line South light rail corridor in Austin.
Trinity Metro in Fort Worth is the recipient of $405,000 for TOD planning around five stations on the TEXRail line, including identifying development opportunities in Fort Worth.
“Equitable transit-oriented development helps those at the local level respond to climate change and affordable housing challenges, particularly in underserved communities,” FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez said. “I hope that communities will join with FTA to accelerate transit-oriented development by addressing zoning and planning changes that will increase mixed income and affordable housing around transit hubs and stations.”
The TOD Pilot Program was created under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) authorization and amended by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the last transportation authorization law before the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.