As if I didn't have enough backlogged yet urgent topics, the US Dept of Transportation's "TIGER" discretionary grant program, part of the 2009 economic stimulus legislation, announced its winners today. The very readable document is here. Good article here. The top five:
- Moynihan Station, New York City. The reinvention of dreary Penn Station as a great civic place. $83m.
- Tucson Modern Streetcar, Arizona. $63m.
- Priority Bus in the National Capital Region. DC, Maryland, and Virginia. $59m.
- Fitchburg Commuter Rail Station and Wachusett station, Massachusetts. $55m
- Kansas City Transit Corridors and Green Impact Zone project. $50m
The top five are all transit projects in a broad sense. There are some road projects on down the list, but there's a clear preference for transit over road projects throughout.
Scanning the list quickly, I'm impressed by how practical most of the decisions are. The list is full of nonsexy but very useful projects. There's also a clear attention to making different networks work together, as expressed in extensive funding for transit transfer facilities (interchanges). There's also a good balance between bus and rail.
On the bus side, I'm impressed that the focus is not so much on formally-defined "Bus Rapid Transit" corridors, but more on diffuse but effective spot improvements to increase the attractiveness of large numbers of bus services. This is clearly the case with the Washington DC and Kansas City projects, for example, and with many others further down the list.