May 27, 2022

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New members of the New Orleans RTA Board of Commissioners are sworn-in

On May 24th, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) announced the swearing in of its two newest members of its Board of Commissioners, Timothy P. Coulon and Joseph J. Ewell, Jr. Judge Kern Reese of the Orleans Civil District Court administered the oath during the RTA’s May 24, 2022, board meeting. Commissioner Coulon will serve as a member of both the Finance and Operations and Administration Committees. Commissioner Ewell will serve on the Finance Committee. Both Commissioners, Timothy P. Coulon and Joseph J. Ewell, Jr., will represent the residents of Jefferson Parish. Learn more here. 

Topeka Metro's Kids Ride FREE! celebrates 10 years

For the past ten years, Topeka Metro has provided Topeka area youth 18 and under free transportation within the city limits. The Kids Ride FREE! promotion has been very successful in getting kids around town for summer activities. Youth may be taking the bus to get to summer school, the library, pools, kid-friendly businesses or visiting friends or family. Keri Renner, Topeka Metro director of marketing and communications said, "We know the promotion is popular when we start receiving phone calls and emails in the spring asking if we're still doing Kids Ride FREE! for the summer. Riding the bus at no-cost can help grandparents or a babysitter with an outing, youth who want to meet up at their favorite place to eat, the movies or mall, or even a teen who needs to get to work," Renner said. Read more here.

Valley Metro Launches Tempe Streetcar Service

Passenger service on Valley Metro Streetcar began in Tempe, Ariz., after a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring local leaders and elected officials. The three-mile streetcar route will take riders to major employment centers, entertainment and event destinations, and historic neighborhoods, as well as connect to the regional transit network.

“We are so pleased to help support the Tempe Streetcar, which will provide a fast, convenient, car-free option connecting downtown Tempe and Arizona State University,” said FTA Regional Administrator Ray Tellis, whose agency provided $75 million to support the project in addition to $17 million in federal funding under the American Rescue Plan. Read More


Officials Unveil Design of Oklahoma City's First BRT Vehicle

Officials with EMBARK and Oklahoma City unveiled the design of RAPID's bus rapid transit vehicle on May 26th. The first RAPID line is planned to have 32 stops and stretch 9.5 miles each way and will integrate with the larger EMBARK transit network. Read more here.

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Federal News, Legislation & Policy Updates

Building on the string of funding opportunities we shared from FTA and U.S. DOT in our last edition is another grant program to highlight: on May 26th, FTA announced its FY 2022 Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) projects. Proposals are due by July 25, 2022. 

Also note that the Biden Administration's new housing supply plan directs the DOT to more closely consider how transportation investments impact land use and housing density. Read more here.

Additionally, on May 14, U.S. DOT issued a temporary waiver of Buy America requirements for construction materials, effective until November 20, 2022. The full, written waiver is available here.


And while not directly related to federal policy or legislation, take a look at this piece in Streetsblog on the dichotomy between "choice" and "captive" riders.

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