Feeling the Impact of Federal TOD Grants

Grants aimed at stimulating development and increased density along transit lines are starting to make a difference in cities around the country.

1 minute read

December 26, 2022, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Federal grants targeted to transit-oriented development (TOD) are starting to make their effects felt in cities around the country, writes Jared Brey in Governing. As part of the Federal Transit Administration’s Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development Planning, the federal government has awarded over $100 million since 2015, and the program was increased by 38 percent in 2021’s bipartisan infrastructure bill. 

According to Brey, “Recipients and FTA officials say the grants have helped lay the groundwork for development projects and land use policies that promote mobility and affordability, and have helped cities apply for more competitive awards.” Grants average less than $1 million each, but have the potential to kickstart TOD policies.

The article describes several examples of TOD grants that have helped launch small but transformative projects in car-oriented cities such as Tempe, Arizona, where a grant helped the city create a transportation overlay district to stimulate TOD around the newly opened Tempe Streetcar. “In Pittsburgh, which has one of the earliest and best bus rapid transit systems in the U.S., area public agencies have received three TOD planning grants under the FTA’s pilot program since 2015.”

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