Big grant for D.C. area buses
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a big round of federal grants for transportation projects that includes $58.8 million to establish a priority bus network in the D.C. area.
The federal program, known as the TIGER grants (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery), will pay more than half the cost of a local project to provide more efficient bus service along 13 transit corridors in Maryland, Virginia and the District "by investing in a bus transitway, bus-only lanes, transit signal priority, traffic signal management, real-time arrival technology and other enhancements," according to the announcement from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The money also will be used to build a long-awaited transit center at University Boulevard and New Hampshire Avenue on the border of Montgomery and Prince George's counties in the Langley Crossroads area. This is one of the most intensely used bus corridors in the Washington region.
Other improvements include bus bays and real-time bus information supporting a bus priority system on the I-95/395 corridor, according to the announcement.
While the funding will provide a big boost to the D.C. region's transit goals, it's a fraction of the $280 million the region had sought for a variety of transit and bike projects when the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments submitted its application in September.
The U.S. Department of Transportation said it received more than 1,400 applications from across the nation seeking a total of almost $60 billion for projects. That was 40 times the amount available through the TIGER program.
See an interesting review of the grant application results by David Alpert at Greater Greater Washington.
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