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New TIGER Grants Help Build Neighborhoods Throughout U.S.

Each of the 72 transportation projects that received federal funds in the most recent round of TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grants will have an immediate impact on the neighborhood and the city where it is located. Here are a few examples.

Boston’s Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) received a $20 million TIGER grant to modernize the Ruggles Station. Improvements will include a new third high-level platform that will increase the number of trains that can serve the station. This, in turn, will improve access to education and jobs in the Longwood Medical Area and surrounding neighborhoods.

“Ruggles Station’s capacity is so squeezed—and so few trains can enter—that some commuters have to overshoot the station and double back to find a train that gets them home or to work or to school, and TIGER is going to fix that problem,” Foxx said at ceremonies in Boston announcing the grant. The multimodal station is served by 14 MBTA bus routes, seven private bus shuttles, and Orange Line and commuter rail trains.

RTC, Reno, NV
In Reno, NV, a $16 million TIGER grant to the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC) will support transportation and public transit enhancements for the 4th Street/Prater Way RAPID Transit Project in Reno and Sparks. This new service is expected to improve connections between the two downtowns and revitalize the corridor between the RTC 4th Street Station and RTC Centennial Plaza public transit terminals. The grant also will cover the cost of four new all-electric buses that will operate on the route.

“This funding is critical in moving this project forward,” said RTC Executive Director Lee Gibson. “When it begins, the new transit service will link people to nearly 39,000 employment opportunities in the area already served by RTC RAPID transit and improve mobility access in the corridor for everyone.”

RTD, Denver
A BRT and managed lane project between Denver and Boulder, CO, received the first successful TIGER TIFIA Challenge Grant, for $10 million. The project will add one managed lane in each direction along the first 10 miles of a highway heading northwest from ­Denver, as well as “Flatiron Flyer” regional BRT operated by the Regional Transportation District that will use the managed lanes. The grant allows Colorado to work with DOT to complete an investment grade traffic and revenue study and to pay the costs of a $54 million TIFIA loan that anchors other elements of a $307 million financing package.

St. Louis Metro
St. Louis Metro received a $10.3 million TIGER grant to support construction of a new light rail station in midtown, filling a 1.6-mile gap between stations, and creation of a bike trail connecting the new station with a regional greenway.

DOT Undersecretary for Policy Peter Rogoff, who attended the announcement in St. Louis, said: “These TIGER funds will go a long way to help St. Louis achieve its goal of developing a job-creating technology hub that is fully accessible by public transportation.”

Los Angeles Metro
Los Angeles Metro received two TIGER grants totaling $22 million: $10.25 million to support modernization of the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks light rail station on the Metro Blue Line and $11.8 million toward the $17 million Eastside Access Improvement project to aid ­bicycle and pedestrian access in the Little Tokyo neighborhood.

The Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station is the fourth busiest in the city, serving more than 22,000 passengers each day. The overhaul, estimated at $53 million, will include relocating the bus terminal to be closer to the Blue Line, extending the station platform, constructing new pedestrian pathways, and building a new community plaza. The Eastside Access project will bring new crosswalks, bicycle lanes, and streetscaping to improve access to Union Station and existing Metro bus and rail connections while making the area safer for walking and biking.

FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan said, “These projects will support LA’s ongoing efforts to improve access to efficient, reliable public transportation throughout the region and ensure that hard-working families can reach jobs, school, health care, and take advantage of all the region has to offer.”

M-1 Rail, Detroit
The M-1 Rail modern streetcar project in Detroit, which recently began construction, received a $12.2 million TIGER grant. M-1 Rail is a nonprofit organization partnering with private businesses, philanthropic organizations, and local, state, and federal governments to create the new line.

“We are on time, on target, and on board to get this done in 2016,” said Roger Penske, M-1 Rail board chairman and project donor. “We are going to have a Super Bowl every day when the streetcar runs between New Center and downtown.”

M-1 Rail President and Chief Executive Officer Matthew P. Cullen added: “It’s unprecedented that the private and philanthropic leadership of a community commit more than $100 million to design, build, and operate a public streetcar line and, through its TIGER grant, USDOT has reaffirmed its commitment to Detroit and M-1 Rail." He added: "The M-1 donors have expressed unyielding support since the beginning. Their significant contributions of time, talent, and resources have helped to keep this vision on track and for that we are forever grateful.”

The announcement of the TIGER grant occurred at an event when project representatives and government officials autographed two five-foot pieces of steel streetcar track that will be installed in the Penske Corporation Tech Center, to be located near the northern end of the line.

Atlanta Streetcar
The Atlanta Streetcar project—a joint project of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), the city, and its business community—received a $47.6 million TIGER grant to construct a new east-west streetcar line.

The 2.7-mile line with 12 stations will link to the existing MARTA system at Peachtree Center.

Two TIGER grants will benefit projects through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, comprising DOT, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency. DOT and HUD will jointly fund a redevelopment of a former industrial site in Jersey City, NJ, for transit-oriented development, providing $1.9 million of the $2.8 million total cost.

In Oakland, CA, DOT will invest $2 million for a massive redevelopment of 1,800 acres at the former Oakland Army Base, including TOD around the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District’s busiest station, West Oakland.

DOT received 797 eligible applications from 49 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia, an increase from the 585 applications it received in 2013, and overall applicants requested 15 times the $600 million available for the program.

More information on all TIGER grant recipients is available here.


From left, DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx announces a $20 million TIGER grant for MBTA in Boston, joined by MBTA Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Beverly Scott, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, and Richard Davey, Massachusetts secretary of transportation and chief executive officer of Massachusetts DOT.

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