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City gets $10 million grant for transit improvements

The city was just awarded $10 million to improve its public transportation, traffic lights and more.

Check out the press release below:

Thursday, December 15, 2011                                        FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Philadelphia, December 15, 2011 –Mayor Michael A. Nutter, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities Rina Cutler announced that Philadelphia will receive a $10 million TIGER grant. This money will be used for the IMPaCT Philadelphia Project—Improving Mobility for Pedestrians, Cars and Transit. The project's goals are to reduce congestion for transit and cars as well as improve reliability along capacity constrained arterials in Philadelphia's neighborhoods. It will also provide benefits in the form of reduced vehicle emissions and reduced fuel consumption.

"I am excited and thankful that the Secretary LaHood and the Obama Administration have granted Philadelphia $10 million to invest in its neighborhoods," said Mayor Nutter. "The money for these upgrades will improve the commutes for 92,000 drivers, transit riders and pedestrians. Reinvesting in and maintaining our infrastructure is key to improving Philadelphia. The Administration understands that cities and municipalities cannot wait for Congress to get the job done."

Secretary LaHood said, "The overwhelming demand for these grants clearly shows that communities across the country can't afford to wait any longer for Congress to put Americans to work building the transportation projects that are critical to our economic future. That's why we've taken action to get these grants out the door quickly, and that is why we will continue to ask Congress to make the targeted investments we need to create jobs, repair our nation's transportation systems, better serve the traveling public and our nation's businesses, factories and farms, and make sure our economy continues to grow."

IMPaCT Philadelphia is a cooperative effort between the City of Philadelphia Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities, Philadelphia Streets Department, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. Improvements will take place along transit corridors in Northeast Philadelphia and West Philadelphia.

"We have a fabulous team of partners who over the past few years has successfully brought tens of millions of dollars of competitive grant funds to Philadelphia. Today is one more win for Philly."

The project will upgrade nearly 100 existing traffic controllers to solid state controllers and connect them through fiber-optic cable. It will also provide infrastructure for the transit signal prioritization, which will extend the green light when a bus or trolley is detected. Other intersection improvements include ADA ramp upgrades, pedestrian countdown signals and improvements in safety and access for pedestrians and people with disabilities.

TIGER grants are awarded to transportation projects that have a significant national or regional impact.  Projects are chosen for their ability to contribute to the long-term economic competitiveness of the nation, improve the condition of existing transportation facilities and systems, increase energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improve the safety of U.S. transportation facilities and enhance the quality of living and working environments of communities through increased transportation choices and connections.  The Department also gives priority to projects that are expected to create and preserve jobs quickly and stimulate increases in economic activity.  

The continuing demand for TIGER grants highlights the need for further investment in the nation's transportation infrastructure that could be provided by President Obama's American Jobs Act.  The American Jobs Act would provide $50 billion to improve 150,000 miles of road, replace 4,000 miles of track, and restore 150 miles of runways, creating jobs for American workers and building a safer, more efficient transportation network.  It would also provide $10 billion for the creation of a bipartisan National Infrastructure bank.