CT Governor Dan Malloy went to bat for transportation during his administration’s first Bond Commission meeting on Friday, releasing over $250 million for transportation-related projects, with approximately $203 million of that going to transit and transit-oriented development initiatives.
The Commission released $5 million of the $10 million available for transit-oriented development pilot grants that have been sitting on its agenda for almost three years. It also agreed to bond $82 million for the remaining M-8 rail cars and about $60 million for station and parking upgrades at rail stations throughout the state.
The grants will be targeted to station area development in Windsor and Meriden on the New Haven-Springfield rail line; on the New Haven rail line from West Haven to Stratford; and in New London on the Shore Line East rail line. The grants will also be targeted to municipalities along the Hartford-New Britain Busway corridor, which the Hartford Courant suggests is a sign that Governor Malloy intends to ultimately support the project. A final decision on the project, which received support from labor, environmental, business, planning and transportation groups at a press conference last week, is anticipated by the end of March.
Transit, housing, planning and environmental advocates applauded Malloy’s moves in a Connecticut Fund for the Environment press release. Calling transit-oriented development “more than just about transportation,” CFE program director Curt Johnson said, “we thank Governor Malloy and the Bond Commission for approving TOD funds today — this is a step in the right direction to lead us towards a more economically sound and sustainable future.”