WASHINGTON, DC – Fifteen projects aimed at improving and increasing transportation options for low-income commuters and people with disabilities were approved today by the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB). The projects are funded through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The total federal funding for the projects is $4.4 million, with an additional $2.1 million in local match funding bringing the total funding for the projects to $6.5 million.
“These projects will help reduce the gaps in transportation that currently prevent many of our region’s low-income residents, as well as those with disabilities from getting around,” said City of College Park Councilmember Patrick Wojahn, who serves as Interim Chair of the TPB’s Human Service Transportation Coordination Task Force.
A few of the projects approved today include:
- Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Regional Bus Stop Accessibility and Access Improvement Program ($1.2 million): Funding to identify and fix 50 bus stops to make them more accessible to people with disabilities; improvements include accessible sidewalks, curb cuts, bus shelters, and improved lighting.
- Dulles Area Transportation Association Rotating Rideshare Coordinator Project ($227,000): Establishment of a coordinator to serve up to 20 employment sites in the Dulles corridor who will provide assistance to low-income employees in forming or maintaining carpools, and who will meet with employers about the viability of forming vanpools and improving transit use, where appropriate.
- A pilot project in partnership with Capital Bikeshare in Montgomery County, bringing 200 bicycles and 20 stations to the Rockville and Shady Grove areas ($1.9 million). Qualifying low-income users will have fees waived. Capital Bikeshare is currently operating in the District of Columbia and Arlington County.
The projects that the TPB approved for funding are part of the FTA’s Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) and New Freedom programs. The projects must also be approved by the FTA.
This year’s solicitation was the most competitive of the past five years, with funding requests of more than double the amount of federal funds available. The TPB has been the Washington DC-VA-MD Urbanized Area’s designated recipient for these two programs since 2006. Funding recommendations are based on a federally-mandated competitive selection process. Councilmember Wojahn chaired this year’s six-person selection committee.
Since 2007, the TPB has awarded 35 grants totaling approximately $10 million to support a range of projects such as travel training on how to use the bus and rail system, wheelchair-accessible taxis, low-interest car loan programs, reverse commute bus services and door through door transportation services.
To view a complete list and description of projects approved for funding, as well as additional information on these programs, click here.