Posts tagged as "livability"
SURTC has published a report highlighting the changes affecting public transportation in North Dakota's oil producing region. Population growth in western North Dakota from those seeking employment in the oil industry has led to substantial increases in personal income and transit ridership. Local survey findings noted that population growth has impacted the quality of life by increasing pressure on infrastructure and increasing feelings of insecurity that stem from demographic shifts and not knowing who is living in local communities. The housing market has also struggled to keep pace.
Transit livability index measures showed an increase in recent years. The combinations of increased ridership and household income have been the two main catalysts for this change. More workers utilizing transit has also led to fewer workers commuting alone to work. However, an increasing mobility needs index and a lack of transit vehicles to meet demand are becoming evident as many of the transit livability indexes are showing smaller increases during the past one to three years compared to earlier gains.
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SURTC has published a new report that attempts to empirically measure livability. The study, conducted by David Ripplinger, Elvis Ndembe, and Jill Hough, assembled information that provides a more complete picture of transit and livability in the United States. Transit livability statistics were calculated to provide an improved understanding of the availability, accessibility, desirability, and use of public transportation in the United States. A Community Livability Index was developed to serve as a measure of the relative level of livability across regions, community types, and time. This information is intended to assist policy makers and researchers better understand and evaluate the high-level impacts of federal livability policies. The report can be viewed and downloaded at the following link: 2011 Transit and Community Livability Report.
David Ripplinger, associate research fellow at the Small Urban and Rural Center, presented population projections and discussed their impacts on transit in the Dakota's as part of the Dakota Transit Association's 2nd Annual Transportation Coordination Summit. The presentation, Changing Demographics: Implications for Transit, also discussed the relationship between transit, livability, and demographics as motivated by data from the American Housing Survey.
The FTA is now seeking applications for the livability projects previously reported. The December 8 Federal Register has the details. Both urban and rural projects are eligible for the $150 million available from the Livability Bus Program. The application deadline is February 8, 2010.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced on Tuesday the availability of $280 million for transit projects as part of the Obama Administration's Livability Initiative, a joint venture of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to the FTA press release, $130 million will be available for streetcars and other urban circulator systems, while the remainder will be made available to both urban and rural communities:
A second pot of money totaling $150 million in unallocated discretionary Bus and Bus Facility funds will be available for projects that will foster the preservation and enhancement of urban and rural communities by providing new mobility options which provide access to jobs, healthcare, and education, and/or contribute to the redevelopment of neighborhoods into pedestrian-friendly vibrant environments.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) plans to announce grants early in 2010.