|Contact: Robin Budish, Director, Transit Choices
Tel: (410) 340-4878
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 8, 2017|
Transit Choices Wins $9,000 APTA Grant to Raise Awareness of Federal Transportation Grant Program
BALTIMORE, MD – Today, Transit Choices announced the receipt of a $9,000 Local Coalition Grant from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) for their proposed Saving Baltimore’s TIGERs grassroots campaign. APTA’s Local Coalition Grants support local transportation coalitions that develop impactful grassroots advocacy efforts that focus on supporting specific state and local public transportation goals or promote the importance of federal transportation spending in an uncertain budgetary environment. Transit Choices also received a Local Coalition Grant in 2016.
The Local Coalition Grant will fund Transit Choice’s Saving Baltimore’s TIGERs digital campaign. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program has awarded over $5 billion to surface transportation infrastructure projects in all 50 states since its inception. However, this successful transportation funding program was zeroed-out in recently passed Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 spending package by the U.S. House of Representatives. Without this federal funding mechanism, proposed Baltimore-area projects like the Port Covington light rail extension or the Potomac and Baltimore tunnel rehabilitation may not come to fruition.
Transit Choices digital campaign will educate area residents on the program, its current status in Congress, and provide a call to action for residents to contact House Appropriation Committee Members Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD-1) and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD-2) and Senate Appropriation Committee Member Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).
“We are extremely grateful to APTA for this opportunity and the support we received from our local partners,” said Jimmy Rouse, Co-Founder, Transit Choices. “Without the TIGER program, our region and state will lose a critical federal program utilized in creating transformative regional transportation projects that enhance mobility, increase access to employment centers, and encourage job creators, like Amazon, to move to our city.”
“APTA is pleased to support Transit Choices in extending their advocacy outreach efforts that call attention to the importance of this transportation program to Marylanders,” said APTA Acting President and CEO Richard A. White.
Transit Choice’s application was supported by a diverse group of local transportation stakeholders and local officials.
“We are incredibly proud of and completely supportive of Transit Choices’ grassroots organizing work,” said Baltimore City Councilman Zeke Cohen, 1st District. “The TIGER federal grant program is critical to improving Baltimore transit infrastructure and moving our city forward.”
“TIGER is highly competitive and highly effective because it forces applicants to define what benefits that their proposed transportation projects will produce,” said Brian O’Malley, President & CEO, Central Maryland Transportation Alliance. “It ensures more bang for every taxpayer dollar that goes into it. The federal government should continue it and state and local governments in Maryland should develop a pipeline of competitive projects and apply every year.”
“NDC wholeheartedly supports the TIGER program’s ability to fund and deliver community drive transportation projects, such as North Avenue Rising,” said Jennifer Goold, Executive Director, Neighborhood Design Center.
“Transit Choices and the TIGER program share the same mission: promoting transformative multi-modal transportation projects that enhance access and spur job growth,” said Mark Edelson, Board Member, Baltimore Transit Campaign. “This is an exciting grant for our organization and we look forward to educating the Baltimore public on the importance of the TIGER program.”
“The TIGER program has done a wonderful job of challenging our industry to develop more innovative, meaningful, and impactful transportation investments,” said Samuel Minnitte, Transportation & Infrastructure Area Manager, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff. “Simultaneously, the program helps to close the funding gap on some of our unmet project needs.”
In Maryland, TIGER funds were awarded to the North Avenue Rising project in Baltimore and the recently opened Takoma-Langley Crossroads Transit Center in Prince Georges County.
To learn more about Transit Choices campaign, please visit: http://transitchoices.org/saving-baltimores-tigers/.
Transit Choices is a coalition of business organizations, universities, cultural institutions, developers, environmental groups, community groups, transportation planners, young entrepreneurs, and concerned individuals joined together by the vision of creating a real mass transit system in Baltimore. Our goal is to transform Baltimore into a more livable, walkable 21st century City.