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Congressional Bill to Expedite Transit Oriented Development

Cory Booker has introduced a railroad bill that will, among other things, expand financing for transit-oriented projects near train stations. The new law would also make it easier for TOD developers to apply for federal loans.
March 30, 2015, 8am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Jess Kraft

According to this piece from Smart Growth America, "A new bill in Congress would help make it easier to finance TOD projects. On Thursday, Senator Cory Booker (NJ) introduced the Railroad Infrastructure Financing Improvement Act (RIFIA). This legislation would expand the scope of the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing program, which currently provides financing for railroad infrastructure development, to include TOD projects near passenger rail stations."

Many leaders in Washington, D.C. now look favorably on rail-based urbanism, once the cornerstone of American economic growth. From the article: "'The areas around our country’s passenger rail stations are often economic sleeping giants,' said John Robert Smith, co-chair of Transportation for America. 'Finding ways to finance and catalyze smart development in and around them is a proven strategy to boost local economies.'"

RIFIA provides for reinvestment for loan payments back into development around rail lines. "In addition to providing financing for TOD, the new program would invest loan repayments back into rail infrastructure to help fund capital and operations expenses. This presents a unique opportunity for private-public partnerships between real estate developers and passenger rail agencies."

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Published on Monday, March 23, 2015 in Smart Growth America
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