Recommendations for the Federal Transit Administration's Capital Investment Grant Program

The Capital Investment Grants program should focus on improving service on heavily-used lines, expanding access to jobs and amenities, and increasing multimodal accessibility.

Read Time: 1 minute

October 21, 2021, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Chicago Street

Jeff Summers / Flickr

In response to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA)'s request for feedback on its Capital Investment Grant (CIG) criteria, TransitCenter outlines its recommendations. These include:

  • "Improve speed, reliability, accessibility, frequency, and/or span for heavily-used transit corridors."
  • "Significantly expand" access to jobs and other important destinations, particularly for underserved communities.
  • Make upgrades that help connect travelers, creating "network effects."
  • Improve accessibility for pedestrians, cyclists, and wheelchair users.

Pointing to the mixed record of transit investment in the United States, TransitCenter states "[r]eviewing recent patterns of capital investment, there are too few transit projects that meet a significant demand for travel, expand access, yield network benefits, or serve walkable areas." Too many recent projects, the statement says, "do not generate the broad economic benefits or travel time savings that accrue when capital projects are grounded in the fundamental objective of improving travel by transit for large numbers of people."

However, many projects, such as the expansion of light rail in the Seattle region, Chicago's Red and Purple Line modernization, and Richmond's Pulse BRT (Bus Rapid Transit), would, if built, advance equity and help reduce carbon emissions. "In general, FTA should adjust the CIG criteria to funnel more resources to projects like these upgrades, and less to projects like mixed-traffic streetcars or suburban rail expansions."

You can read TransitCenter's full response to the FTA here.

Thursday, October 14, 2021 in TransitCenter

Chicago Commute

The Right to Mobility

As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.

January 26, 2023 - Angie Schmitt

Green bike lane with flexible delineators and textures paint in Hoboken, New Jersey

America’s Best New Bike Lanes

PeopleForBikes highlights some of the most exciting new bike infrastructure projects completed in 2022.

January 31, 2023 - PeopleforBikes

Sharrow bike markings on black asphalt two-lane road with snowy trees

Early Sharrow Booster: ‘I Was Wrong’

The lane marking was meant to raise awareness and instill shared respect among drivers and cyclists. But their inefficiency has led supporters to denounce sharrows, pushing instead for more robust bike infrastructure that truly protects riders.

January 26, 2023 - Streetsblog USA

A tent covered in blue and black tarps sits on a downtown Los Angeles sidewalk with the white ziggurat-topped L.A. City Hall looming in the background

L.A. County Towns Clash Over Homelessness Policies

Local governments often come to different conclusions about how to address homelessness within their respective borders, but varying approaches only exacerbate the problem.

February 3 - Shelterforce Magazine

Rendering of mixed-use development with parks and stormwater retention on former Houston landfill site

A Mixed-Use Vision for Houston Landfill Site

A local nonprofit is urging the city to consider adding mixed-use development to the site, which city officials plan to turn into a stormwater detention facility.

February 3 - Urban Edge

Aerial view of downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin at sunset

Milwaukee County Makes Substantial Progress on Homelessness

In 2022, the county’s point-in-time count of unhoused people reflected just 18 individuals, the lowest in the country.

February 3 - Urban Milwaukee