More great news! Just last week, Capital Metro was awarded $2 million in federal grant funds so that we could purchase some new buses. This afternoon, a group of local partners, which includes Capital Metro, was one of only 45 grantees across the country selected to receive $3.7 million in federal funds to develop new regional planning tools. The award was announced today at City Hall. In addition to Congressman Lloyd Doggett, the event was attended by HUD’s regional administrator C. Donald Babers.
Under the US Housing and Urban Development Department’s new Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program, the Central Texas region will receive funds to build economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation.
More specifically, the funds will be used to
- Develop new tools/models (as in computer/software models) to measure the impact of (seemingly) local decisions on regional sustainability.
- Conduct demonstration projects, such as site-specific plans, market studies or code enhancements, to support the development of the regional activity centers proposed in the CAMPO 2035 Plan.
- Conduct studies to identify ways to close gaps in existing local plans in order to achieve region-wide sustainability outcomes.
Capital Metro is a member of the consortium that applied for the grant. The consortium includes the Capital Area Council of Governments; CAMPO; the Cities of Austin, Round Rock, and San Marcos; UT; ACC; Texas State University; IBM and other partners.
Lucy Galbraith, Capital Metro’s transit oriented developmentmanager, was instrumental in coordinating efforts to submit this application. (Look for a blog post next week from Lucy about the project’s benefits for TOD.)
In the end, our region will have the information we need to make the right investments necessary to create the region we want.
Here’s to another great step forward in regional collaboration!