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President Obama, DOT Secretary Foxx Announce $600 Million for Sixth Round of TIGER Funding

ST. PAUL – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will join President Barack Obama today to announce that $600 million will be made available to fund transportation projects across the country under a sixth round of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s highly successful Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) competitive grant program. The announcement will be made at the Union Depot in St. Paul, which received $35 million in the first round of TIGER to renovate the facility and restore tracks.  Combined with roughly $480 million in federal funding for the Central Corridor light rail transit line, St. Paul’s Union Depot is proof of the impact that transportation investment can make, leading to job creation, downtown revitalization and economic growth.

In San Antonio, transit to remember

I was in San Antonio, Texas, yesterday, with Mayor Julian Castro, and while I was there I learned that one of the Alamo City's taglines is "Something to Remember." After reviewing the city's cutting edge public transit facilities, I can see several reasons why.

From the Primo Bus Rapid Transit service to the Westside Multimodal Transit Center and the planned streetcar lines, the region's VIA Metropolitan Transit truly offers something to remember.

Photo montage of Primo bus service

Sugar House Streetcar keeps Salt Lake City moving forward

For the first time in half a century, streetcars have returned to Salt Lake City’s historic Sugar House neighborhood.

Even before the new S-Line began operating last week, the project had already done wonders for the city’s bottom line—jump-starting roughly $400 million in economic development that’s completed or underway, including hundreds of new apartments. That’s what transit-oriented development is all about: bringing access to housing, transit, and jobs together in a way that makes sense for how families, young professionals, seniors, and others want to live today.

Poster from Utah Transit featuring S-line streetcar

Oklahoma City transformation continues with help from TIGER

Oklahoma City is enjoying a renaissance that began when our residents chose to invest in the quality of life of our community. Over the past two decades, the people of Oklahoma City have voted to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in cultural amenities, schools and infrastructure designed to revitalize our community and make it a destination of choice for young, creative professionals and the jobs they attract.

These highly educated, highly mobile young people value communities with rich cultural, sports and entertainment offerings , a walkable urban environment, and access to public transportation.

In regard to Oklahoma City’s vision for public transportation, the $13.6 million TIGER grant from the Department of Transportation is a game changer. It’s an opportunity to accelerate our efforts to develop a  comprehensive regional transit system that meets the expectations of our residents and the needs of a 21st Century City.

Artist's rendering of the proposed Santa Fe Depot redesign in Oklahoma City

We began this process in 2005 with the creation of a Fixed Guideways Study, which laid out a blueprint for a 21st Century transit system that includes buses, bus rapid transit and rail-based transit. In 2009, the residents passed a penny sales tax with an expectation that, among other projects, we would build a streetcar system.

TIGER award to Port of Duluth will keep the cargo flowing

Each day at the Maritime Administration we work tirelessly to achieve our mission to foster, promote, and develop the merchant maritime industry of the United States.  Ensuring that our maritime industry continues to thrive is an economic and national security imperative.

So, when the Duluth Seaway Port Authority was selected last week to receive a grant from DOT’s 2013 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grant program, I jumped at the chance to visit the Port of Duluth-Superior and make the $10 million grant announcement.

Photo of Chip Jaenichen Making TIGER announcement at Port Duluth

DOT's TIGER Strengthening American Freight Rail

Thanks to DOT’s TIGER program, last week was a great one for American rail.  Of the $474 million in funding awarded to 52 projects in 37 states, $146 million of it – or about 30 percent of all funding – went to 17 rail projects in 16 states, extending the program’s four-year reach to 48 states and $808 million in project funding.

Supporting President Obama’s call to “Fix-it First,” I had the pleasure of announcing two of these grant awards in person, and to see firsthand the commitment of state, city, and community leaders to do what it takes to enhance the safety, efficiency and reliability of their freight rail systems. 

Photo of FRA Administrator Szabo with Vermont Governor Shumlin
FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo with Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin; photo courtesy Vermont Digger, John Herrick

Music City gets a TIGER traffic signal upgrade

In Davidson Country, Tennessee, some of the traffic signals were installed when the Sony Walkman was still cutting-edge technology.  Today, they don't even make parts for those signals anymore.

That's one reason why the Department of Transportation selected the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority's traffic signal replacement project as one of this year’s TIGER recipients.

This project will modernize signal technology along two vital bus lines to maximize the number of buses that can travel their routes, getting more service out of the same roads. It's a change that benefits drivers, pedestrians, and transit riders.

Photo of Administrator Rogoff touring the AMP BRT in Nashville

On the TIGER trail in Virginia and Arkansas

Last week Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Greg Nadeau and I had the opportunity to see how transportation projects funded through DOT's TIGER program are improving the quality of life in Virginia and Arkansas.

The TIGER transformations are something worth seeing. Which is why I travelled to Richmond to announce a TIGER grant that will rehabilitate the Lexington Delta Frame Bridges along I-64 in Rockbridge County.

Photot of truck traffic on I-64

I-64 is an economic fulcrum in the Old Dominion. It serves commuters, tourists, Virginia’s economy, and the nation--in part by providing vital access for freight heading to and from the Hampton Roads ports.

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