Fast Start for Malloy on Transit, Smart Growth

A grant program to help municipalities plan around transit will include towns on the Hartford-New Britain Busway. Pictured is an early concept for transit-oriented development on Ann Street in Hartford near Union Station, where the busway will stop.

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.”

Graphic: From Station Area Planning Project, via Capitol Region Council of Governments.

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