Public Invited to Comment on New and Small Starts Transit Projects

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The Federal Transit Administration is looking for cities to comment on the proposed changes to the “New Starts and Small Starts” transit project criteria for federal funding.  In the beginning of the year, Transportation Secretary LaHood announced that DOT intended to expand the definition of “cost effectiveness” used evaluate federal support for local public transportation initiatives and support transit oriented development.

This comment period asks stakeholders for suggestions on the inclusion of factors such as environmental benefits and economic development impact when it determines the effectiveness of a project and whether to recommend federal funding.   In past years, the Department depended on reduced travel time as the major factor in determining a project’s cost effectiveness.  This proposed shift in federal transit policy would be another step in the administration’s effort to promote livable communities and support comprehensive planning that includes transportation, economic development and environmental goals.

Comments are due to DOT by August 2, 2010 and all cities considering a request or federal aid now or in the future are encourage to review the proposed rules and provide feedback to the Department on how these proposed changes would impact their community and their proposed transit projects.    DOT will be holding outreach on these proposed changes in the following cities on the dates below.  Webinars for commenting will also be conducting.

Additional information can be found here:

Chicago, IL Tuesday, June 29
9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Courtyard Marriott Magnificent Mile
Ontario Ballroom
165 East Ontario Street
Chicago, Illinois 60611
San Francisco, CA Wednesday, June 30
9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Courtyard Marriott San Francisco Downtown
Rincon Hill Ballroom
299 Second Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Dallas, TX Monday, July 12
9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Hyatt Regency Dallas
Reunion Ballroom F
300 Reunion Blvd
Dallas, TX 75207
Washington, D.C. Thursday, July 15
9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Washington Court Hotel
Atrium Ballroom
525 New Jersey Ave
NW Washington, DC 20001