With a $40 billion voter-approved transit investment being deployed over the next 20 years, the Los Angeles County transit system expansion will add 102 miles of rail transit and almost 100 new stations, while creating 400,000 new jobs. While the City of Los Angeles is ground zero for much of this change - at the core of the transit network and with 113 current and planned stations - 63 other jurisdictions across the County will also enjoy frequent transit, making the scale of change as record-breaking as the pace of change.
Chairman Denham, Ranking Member Brown, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. I am John Robert Smith, Co-Chair of Transportation for America, the country’s broadest and most diverse transportation coalition. Our members hail from the fields of transportation, housing, environment, public health, real estate, safety, and social equity, representing more than 500 different organizations. I am also the President and CEO of Reconnecting America, a national nonprofit that integrates transportation and community development. Reconnecting America is the managing partner of the Center for Transit-Oriented Development, which conducts research and promotes best practices in development along transit lines.
I would like to thank the Subcommittee for holding this hearing on the role of innovative finance in intercity passenger rail. Functional, safe, and efficient transportation systems are one of the cornerstones upon which this…
Reconnecting America was honored to learn that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized the Bay Area Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Fund (TOAH) as an honorable mention recipient of the 2012 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement in the category of Programs and Policies for TOAH’s work to provide financing for affordable housing development and community services throughout the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.
With this bill Congress had the opportunity to establish a transportation program that would support communities' efforts to become more sustainable and economically resilient. Unfortunately, the conference report missed this opportunity and is in many ways a retreat from these goals. While I am pleased to see that funding for public transit was preserved at current levels, rather than being cut by 30% as was proposed last year, and that some transit-oriented development (TOD) language was included, the bill could have done so much more to provide transportation choices for people in rural, suburban, and urban areas to connect them with jobs, education, healthcare, and opportunity.
The Center for Transit-Oriented Development's webinar schedule has been updated, moving this month's webinar into next year and shifting everything else. Webinars with an * are sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration.
Reconnecting America today released four training modules created for and funded by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) that illustrate various principles of creating and maintaining sustainable communities. The modules created by Reconnecting America’s LINK (Leadership¸ Innovation, Networks, Knowledge) Team were presented at three APTA conferences with the goal of educating practitioners, public transit agencies, elected officials and other decision-makers.
Today (March 23) the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) – the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for the San Francisco Bay Area – officially committed $10 million to the Bay Area Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Fund (TOAH Fund). MTC's critical commitment to play the top-loss role in the fund has been instrumental in raising the additional capital. The fund will launch at the end of March with MTC’s $10 million matched by $40 million in foundation and private funding.