Today USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff announced the winners of two competitive grant programs totaling $293 million to help communities implement major bus and streetcar improvements.

Cities in New York and Connecticut were the region’s winners, receiving four grants from the “Bus and Bus Livability” program:

  • 34th Street Transitway – NYCDOT will receive $18.4 million for construction of a dedicated Bus Rapid Transit facility and pedestrian plaza along 34th Street — about half of the project’s estimated cost.
  • Transfer Hub Project – Central New York Regional Transportation Authority will receive $8.5 million for construction of a bus transfer hub in downtown Syracuse.
  • Storrs Center Intermodal – Greater Hartford Transit District will receive $4.9 million to build a bus, paratransit, and taxi hub in the Storrs Center, a mixed-use development planned to connect the University of Connecticut and the town of Mansfield.
  • Stamford Urban Transitway – The City of Stamford will receive $16 million for the Urban Transitway (actually a 2.25-mile road with bus and bike lanes) that will connect Stamford’s downtown to its main transit station.

The “Urban Circulator” and “Bus and Bus Livability” programs are a result of the Obama Administration’s Livability Initiative to better coordinate transportation, housing and commercial development. It shows: the list of winners is full of projects that are located in downtowns, or which will reinforce walkable, transit-oriented development.

Like the federal TIGER grants, competition was stiff. Only 6 projects were selected from 65 applications totaling more than $1 billion in requests to the Urban Circulator Grant Program, and only 47 Bus and Bus Livability projects were awarded from 281 applications totaling over $2 billion in funding requests.

Image: Rendering via NYCDOT.