You will remember that back in January, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the changes to the guidelines that govern federal investments in transit. While not as comprehensive as the anticipated changes to the 2005 SAFETEA-LU Bill, the new rules were a welcomed and long overdue change to transit funding rules.
“Our new policy for selecting major transit projects will work to promote livability rather than hinder it,” said Secretary LaHood. “We want to base our decisions on how much transit helps the environment, how much it improves development opportunities and how it makes our communities better places to live.”
The change will apply to how the Federal Transit Administration evaluates major transit projects going forward. In making funding decisions, the FTA will now evaluate the environmental, community and economic development benefits provided by transit projects, as well as the congestion relief benefits from such projects. (FTA)
Locally we hoped for the best, but on Monday the President released his list of projects that are moving forward with federal funding. While other cities are big winners, our own beleaguered Orange Line Phase 2 remains a weak funding candidate. The projects are all rated based on a variety of criteria, and for a project to receive funding it needs to be at least Medium rated. Previously, the rating was based on cost effectiveness, but the new rules give other criteria greater weight. You can read the report here (look for information on Miami on page 14).
For us the changes would be great news, if not for the continued lack of political will to provide permanent sources of operation and maintenance funding. The overall project is rated Medium-low in the Preliminary Engineering phase. We score medium-high and medium on the majority of categories, except for our Local Financing Commitment for Operations and Maintenance. In other words, the feds know we can build the system (partially using our PTP dollars) but we still do not have a permanent way of paying for the O & M that will result from the construction of the line.
Until the County Commission steps up and identifies how they intend to fund the future operations of Orange Line , we will not receive FTA New Starts funding.
Unfortunately, this is not a problem that is specific to the Orange Line or with the cost heavy rail technology. The cost of O & M is going to be a problem for whatever technology is used to expand the transit system, whether it be BRT, LRT or Metrorail. Running mass transit is expensive. Our current ‘go it alone’ attitude in pursuing BRT lite is only going to cost us more in the long term without actually increasing ridership.
Subscribe via Email
Find us on Facebook
- Dan on Miami at Manhattan Prices
- Marta Viciedo on Making Miami’s Mean Streets Safer
- Rudy on Imagining Townhouses in Little Havana
- Mr. E. on Lackluster Mayoral Candidates Promise More of the Same on Transportation
- hello miami on How Miami Greets Its Visitors (and Locals)
- Mike Moskos on How Miami Greets Its Visitors (and Locals)
CategoriesAccident Architecture bicycles bike lanes Bike Miami Days biking Biscayne Boulevard Brickell bus Climate Change Coconut Grove complete streets Downtown Miami FDOT High Speed Rail Metrorail Miami Miami-Dade County Miami-Dade Transit Miami 21 Miami Beach Museum Park News Parking Parks Pedestrian Pedestrians Pic o' the Day Planning Real Estate Development Rickenbacker Causeway Sprawl Streetcar Traffic Transit Transitography Transit Oriented Development Transportation Tri-Rail Uncategorized Urban Design Urban Development Boundary Urban Growth Urban Planning Walkability
- Only Federal Funding Will Deliver Sydney's Second Airport December 11, 2013New South Wales' new planning minister has called on Australia's federal government to decide and fund much needed infrastructure.
- See, You Really Can Build Urban Housing Without Parking December 11, 2013New apartment developments are popping up in cities like Boston, Seattle, and Miami without one key feature: on-site parking. These projects prove that providing parking isn't necessary to lure residents, even in cities not named New York.
- PBS Explores Charging-by-the-Mile December 11, 2013The auto fleet is becoming greener - not just with hybrids and electric vehicles, but all new vehicles are required to be more fuel efficient. While that is good for the environment, declining gas tax revenues threaten the nation's infrastructure.
- What to Expect from the New "Most Powerful Man in Housing" December 11, 2013After a protracted fight, the Senate has finally confirmed Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. What direction will he steer the United States' housing finance system?
- MTA Offers Excuse Notes for Delayed Riders December 10, 2013Since it became available online three years ago, 250,000 riders have taken advantage of a New York MTA program that offers vouchers to substantiate tardiness caused by unexpected subway delays.
- Undoing the Spatial Legacy of Apartheid December 10, 2013In manicured neighborhoods for white residents and their "shriveled twins" for black residents, South Africa's nearly 50 years of Apartheid was imprinted on the nation's built landscape. To what extent was Nelson Mandela able to right these wrongs?
- How a 350-Year-Old Garden Influenced New York's 9/11 Memorial December 10, 2013This year marks the 400th anniversary of the birth of gardener Andre Le Notre. Eleanor Beardsley traces the legacy of the designer of the gardens at Versailles, whose visionary work influenced many, including landscape architect Peter Walker.
- Rising Rents Burden Record Number of Americans December 10, 2013Rising rents, stagnant incomes and the effects of the recession have pushed a record number of Americans to take on hazardous housing cost burdens, says a new report. Low-income renters are especially vulnerable.
- Israelis and Palestinians Find Common Ground on Water December 10, 2013An historic agreement between Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians aims to slow the disappearance of the Dead Sea and stabilize the supply of drinking water for all three groups.
- AAA Wants to Boost Your Gas Taxes? December 10, 2013Yes - the nonprofit organization representing 53 million motorists in the U.S. and Canada sees value in raising the gas tax to improve the nation's roads, bridges and transit systems. UPS, a major road user, agrees. But there are many detractors.
- Only Federal Funding Will Deliver Sydney's Second Airport December 11, 2013