The federal Department of Transportation has issued its latest round of its Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants for cities and states around the country. The grant program was created in 2009 through President Obamaâ€™s economic stimulus package and has since provided $3.5 billion to 270 projects. While the DOT has not officially announced the recipients of these new grants, which total $600 million, multiple politicians have been touting the money heading to their districts. Here are some of the projects we know about so far.
Michigan‘s first bus rapid transit line launches this week, whisking passengers from downtown Grand Rapids through the city’s â€œMedical Mileâ€ and south suburbsâ€”a 9.6-mile journey that used to take 45 minutes will now be only a 27-minute commute, reported mlive.com.
For many, architecture isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when consideringÂ Nashvilleâ€”it’s called the Music City for a reason. But there is more to Nashville than country songs, barbecueÂ ribs, and the eponymous show on ABC. In recent years, the city of 600,000 has become a regional leader in smart urban design and distinctive architecture. New riverfront parks are transforming Nashville’s connection to the Cumberland River, bikeshare docks have appeared around downtown, bus rapid transit is in the works, and the city’s tallest tower is set to rise. And that’s just the start of it. Take a look at the city’s dramatic transformation and a peek at where it’s headed.
During the discussion that followed the announcement of 2013â€™s Burnham Prize winners, much was made of the difference between â€œgold-standardâ€ bus rapid transit and watered-down â€œexpress busâ€ service. The key difference is that the real thing not only runs more smoothly, but that it feels like a special experience.
So it was for the honorees of the prize ceremony, which this year included three winners, three honorable mentions, and three citations. Their prompt, â€œNext Stop,â€ asked them to design stations for Chicago’s burgeoning network of bus rapid transit systems.
The Rockefeller Foundation has announced that four cities will receive a combined $1.2 million in grants to foster research, communications, and community outreach efforts in an endeavor to educate local stakeholders about the advantages of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems. The Foundationâ€™s solution to â€œTransform Citiesâ€ and promote fiscal growth and quality of life proposes better mass transit investments. Boston, Chicago, Nashville, and Pittsburgh will participate in the project.
Above:Â Before & After: Ashland Avenue at Polk. (Courtesy Chicago Transit Authority)
Chicago officials released details Friday about a much-anticipated project to roll out bus rapid transit along Ashland Avenue, a major arterial street that runs north-south a bit more than a mile and half west of downtown. Previous plans from the city included a route on Western Avenue as well, but a statement from the Chicago Transit Authority and the Chicago Department of Transportation revealed only plans for Ashland.
It might bode well for the burgeoning BRT movement in Chicago, then, that the Chicago Architecture Foundation and Chicago Architectural Club have launched a bus rapid transit station design competition. Dubbed â€œNEXT STOP,â€ the station design contest will be the subject of the 2013 Burnham Prize Competition.
Submit designs for three stations (downtown, near State and Madison; Bucktown-Logan Square at Western Avenue Blue Line â€˜Lâ€™ Stop; Pilsen near 18thÂ and Ashland) by noon May 13.