Friday, July 19, 2024
TOD News Briefs

The Week in TOD News November 4-10, 2023

Mixed-use plans for Metropark Station (left); Feds award $10B for NEC improvements (top-right); California leads the nation in climate-friendly transport investments (middle-right); Shared micromobility makes great gains but faces financial & affordability challenges (bottom-right)

Article of the Week

Courtesy of the State of New Jersey

WOODBRIDGE—New Mixed-Use Project Proposed for Metropark in Woodbridge
Tony Gallato, TAPinto, November 7 2023
Developers have submitted a new proposal for two multifamily buildings to be constructed near the Metropark Station. The first six-story structure will comprise 235 housing units with 20 percent reserved as affordable housing as well as ground floor retail space and 435 parking spaces. Plans for the second building call for a seven-story medical office building, with ground floor retail and 192 parking spaces. The project will also include bus stop improvements and construction of a pedestrian bridge.


NJ TOD News

Courtesy of Amtrak

Amtrak Awarded Federal Funds for 12 Projects of National Significance Totaling Nearly $10B Across America’s Busiest Rail Corridor
Press Release, Amtrak, November 6 2023
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has awarded a $10 billion grant to Amtrak and its partners to modernize the Northeast Corridor (NEC). NJ TRANSIT will receive funds to update Newark Penn Station ($59.2 million) and to advance the Delco Lead project ($180.9 million). The funding award includes $3.79 billion in support for the Hudson Tunnel Project. In all, 25 projects will receive funding designed to improve service for the 800,000 daily riders on the NEC.

Courtesy of North American Properties

SAYREVILLE—NJDEP Highlights $2.5 Billion Raritan Bay Redevelopment in Cleanup Program Relaunch
Susan Loyer, My Central Jersey, November 1 2023
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) announced the relaunch of its nationally recognized Brownfield Development Area (BDA) Program at the site of Riverton, a $2.5 billion, 418-acre brownfield redevelopment in Sayreville. After 15 years, and more than $120 million in remediation, pre-construction work at the site is nearly complete. Plans call for a spring 2024 start of construction of a mixed-use development that will comprise 2,000 housing units (including 300 affordable units), 1.3 million sq. ft. of retail space, and 2 million sq. ft. of office and commercial space.

Transit and Equity News

Courtesy of the California Transit Association

CALIFORNIA—California Ranks First in Climate-Friendly Transportation Investments
Guillermo Molero, Bloomberg, November 8 2023
The California Department of Transportation received the highest score among state agencies for its efforts to improve climate and equity outcomes in transportation. According to a recent report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, California actively redirects more than 10 cents out of every federal highway dollar to fund public transit, bicycle, and pedestrian infrastructure projects. Generally, states along the west coast and in northeast ranked most progressive in using transportation investments to improve equity and climate outcomes.

Courtesy of the Colorado Energy Office/RMI

COLORADO—How Is Colorado Doing on Cutting Carbon Emissions? Not Great, State Analysis Says.
Michael Booth, Colorado Sun, November 8 2023
Colorado will fall short of its 2030 carbon reduction goals by nearly 12 million tons a year, according to a recent analysis by the Rocky Mountain Institute. To address the shortfall, state officials currently seek comments on a new set of policy recommendations to reach its reduction targets and inform its revised Greenhouse Gas Reduction Road Map; the previous Road Map saw a 95-percent adoption of its recommendations. The new proposal looks to build affordable housing and mixed-use development more densely to reduce driving distances and improve transit access, expand a zero-fare public transit program, and build the Front Range Rail passenger train system.

Courtesy of New Liberty Square

FLORIDA—How Is Colorado Doing on Cutting Carbon Emissions? Not Great, State Analysis Says.
Michael Booth, Colorado Sun, November 8 2023
Colorado will fall short of its 2030 carbon reduction goals by nearly 12 million tons a year, according to a recent analysis by the Rocky Mountain Institute. To address the shortfall, state officials currently seek comments on a new set of policy recommendations to reach its reduction targets and inform its revised Greenhouse Gas Reduction Road Map; the previous Road Map saw a 95-percent adoption of its recommendations. The new proposal looks to build affordable housing and mixed-use development more densely to reduce driving distances and improve transit access, expand a zero-fare public transit program, and build the Front Range Rail passenger train system.


Regional and National TOD News

Courtesy of Perkins Eastman

NORTH CAROLINA—Construction Full Steam Ahead on $200M Raleigh Union Station Project
Ruksana Hussain, Construction Equipment Guide, November 9 2023
Work continues to transform an old warehouse into the Raleigh Union Station (RUS Bus), a multimodal transportation hub and mixed-use development. The joint development, led by GoTriangle working with Hoffman & Associates and Perkins Eastman, will feature a 370,000 sq. ft. tower with 400 apartments (at least 10 percent offered as affordable units) and 425 parking spaces. The initiative, funded by a $20 million federal BUILD grant, as well as agency, local, and state funds, will open mid-2025.

2018 Land Use Inventory | Courtesy of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning

Office Space Conversions Could Help Transit Agencies Regain Riders and Surmount Their Impending Fiscal Cliff
Lindiwe Rennert and Yonah Freemark, Urban Institute, November 6 2023
Rennert and Freemark, researchers with the Urban Institute, have studied how land use changes, particularly allowing the conversion of unused office to other uses, could help address the low ridership and financial instability transit agencies have experience since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. They examined cities such as Chicago and compared stations in areas with low and high levels of land-use diversity. Locations with more diverse land uses have regained ridership better than those dominated by office space, which is less than half occupied in major U.S. cities. If stations in Chicago could recover the same levels of ridership as those situated in high land use diversity locations, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) could gain almost $5 million per year in revenues.

Courtesy of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)

Shared Micromobility Ridership Continues to Surge with 130 Million Trips on Bike Share and E-Scooters in 2022, Yet the Industry Faces New Challenges with Financial Viability and Affordability
Press Release, NACTO, November 2 2023
In 2022, shared bike and e-scooters in the U.S. saw 113 million trips, a marked decline from a high of 136 million rides in 2019. A new National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) report highlights a growing trend of shared micromobility usage for errands, work, and school commutes, but also notes increased costs for users. NACTO recommends the use of long-term contracts between municipalities and private companies, investments in protected bike lanes, and affordable memberships to support equitable growth of this mode.


International TOD News

Courtesy of Sydney Metro

AUSTRALIA—Western Sydney Airport Line, Australia
Railway Technology, November 9 2023
When completed in 2026, a $11 billion ($7.42 billion), 23km (14.3-mile) Western Sydney International Airport rail line will extend the Sydney Metro system, add six new stations, and connect residential areas to major employment areas. The line is projected to carry up to 7,740 passengers per hour in each direction and eliminate 110,000 vehicles from the roads. In addition to two stations serving the airport site, Orchard Hills Station will serve a future mixed-use urban village and Luddenham Station will provide access to areas slated for education, innovation, and commercial uses.

Place de la Comédie à Montpellier, Hérault, Languedoc en Occitanie, France. FredP | Adobe Stock

FRANCE—New Free Bus Service to Roll Out in Montpellier
Jenny Eagle, France Today, November 4 2023
Montpellier will invest €255 million ($271 million) in the BusTram project, a free public transportation system that will offer five lines and serve 10 suburbs and 110,000 residents. Aligned with the Mobility 2025 strategy, the project aims to provide service every 10 minutes in the city center and every 15 minutes in the suburbs with service to 105 stations and 5 car parks. The plan will also allocate more public space for use by pedestrians and cyclists, and plant 1,300 trees.

Courtesy of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company Limited

JAMAICA—Robinson Says Gov’t Should Consider Investing in Light Rail Service to Ease Corporate Area Traffic Woes
The Jamacia Observer, October 29 2023
Parliament Member Julian Robinson proposed that the Jamaican government invest in Light Rail Transit (LRT) to address traffic congestion in the Kingston Metropolitan Region. He cited that it currently takes over an hour to travel from one section of his constituency, a trip that should take 10 minutes. Disinvestment in the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), the state-run bus company, has resulted in operations at 40 percent of system capacity.