The United States Department of Transportation announced the distribution of almost a billion dollars in public-transit funding on Monday.
Several projects in Texas were included in the allocations.
"Out of the approximate $10 million received by Texas from the FTA Bus Livability competition, the Houston - Galveston region received approximately $7 million," noted Transportation consultant Barry Goodman.
The City of Galveston’s Seawall Boulevard Transit Pedestrian Access and Beautification Plan will receive a $2 million grant. The City of Galveston will use funds to address improvements associated with instituting two new bus routes along Seawall Boulevard, Galveston’s seven-mile beachfront corridor, for the first time. Improvements include enhanced pedestrian access, sidewalks, ADA-compliant wheelchair ramps, bicycle racks, bus shelters, solar lighting, bus stop signage, landscaping, visitor stations (with visitor information, bus stop, public restroom, benches), tables, shade structures, pedestrian way-finding, historic/nature interpretive signage.
"Galveston’s Seawall is undergoing a historic transformation," said Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski. "The voters in May approved a dedicated fund for enhancements, Private investment like Landry’s Pleasure Pier will change the look of our Seawall and Federal dollars like the DOT allocation will make traveling the Seawall a real experience. The $2 million DOT grant combined with a recent H-GAC $1.95 million of Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant money will match the Frito Lay contribution to literally place over five million dollars worth of improvements on our Seawall. Galvestonians wanted things to change after Ike, and things are clearly changing for the better."
The Woodlands Transit Terminal project was designated for a $1,840,791 grant. The Brazos Transit District will use the funds to expand park-and-ride facilities, having a nexus to public transportation bus service, with improved walkways, lighting, landscaping, and signage.
“We are pleased to see funding for the intermodal transit project and parking facility to be located in the heart of The Woodlands Town Center,” said Don Norrell, president/general manager of The Woodlands Township. “This master-planned community takes prides in functional transportation initiatives designed within the standards of the community.”
The Woodlands Township is essentially the “downtown” area of The Woodlands on about 1,000 acres of land with over eight million square feet of shopping, dining, hospitality and entertainment.
“Today, millions of people visits occur in The Woodlands each year,” Norrell said. "Including nearly a daytime working population of 50,000 working in The Woodlands. The Woodlands continues to be a growth area for new businesses, residents and visitors. Transportation is key in getting around in this high density area.”
In Austin, the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority‘s Austin Bike & Rides for Livable Communities--Last Mile Solution project was awarded $554,473. Capital Metro will install MetroBike facilities first at Kramer Station, then at six more major transit facilities, all of which connect to Metrobus service. The project is an outgrowth of the Last Mile Program and is intended to address the need for secure bike places where cyclists can leave a bike on the trip-end where it is needed.
The Texas Department of Transportation will receive a $2,101,800 grant for the Conroe Complete Street and Transit Access to Support Multi-Modal Options project. Funds will be used for transit infrastructure, including sidewalks, ADA ramps, benches, and bike racks having a nexus to public transportation bus service, as well was covered bus shelters, and bus route signage.
VIA Metropolitan Transit in the Rio Grande Valley has been identified for a $3 million grant for VIA Primo: Bus Rapid Transit - Leon Valley Extension project. VIA will use funds for 60-foot compressed natural gas public transportation buses, upgraded stops with amenities, and signal controller and intersection upgrades.