Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx made a major announcement in Indianapolis Thursday (April 23rd) that will impact not only Indy, but six other major cities in improving transit and transportation services while developing their surrounding communities. Secretary Foxx announced the creation of LadderSTEP, a program that will help build and restore connections, develop workforce capacity, and catalyze neighborhood revitalization. LadderSTEP is part of the Department of Transportation’s Ladders of Opportunity Initiative and this pilot is being launched in Indianapolis, along with Atlanta, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Charlotte, Phoenix and Richmond. In each of those cities, LadderSTEP will provide technical assistance and work to attract public and private resources to game-changing community transportation projects. By bringing together mayors, other local officials, non-profit organizations, private investors, the Department of Transportation will demonstrate that its Ladders Of Opportunity goals are well within reach of communities across America.
Secretary Foxx joined Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and local officials in front of where Indy is building a new Transit Hub where the city’s major bus routes will intersect. In remarks and later in an interview with AM1310 The Light’s Afternoons with Amos program, Secretary Foxx, the former Mayor of Charlotte who was named Secretary of Transportation by President Barack Obama in 2013, explained why he chose to make the announcement in Indianapolis, and why LadderSTEP is a major initiative to help improve the quality of life and employment and transportation options for the middle class and lower middle class. Hear Secretary Foxx’s Remarks on LadderSTEP and his Afternoons with Amos Interview Here. Read More About LadderSTEP Seven Pilot Cities and Projects Below. Audio Runs 11 Minutes ©2015 WTLC/Radio One Starts After Brief Video Ad. [theplatform account=”BCY3OC” media=”mFGJWMRNGoLk” player=”xFJXq1diB1tB”] In each of the seven pilot cities, the Department of Transportation (DOT) will be working with the local communities and partners on LadderSTEP on specific transit projects. In INDIANAPOLIS, the city’s planning to construct a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route to connect the Downtown employment hub to population centers to the north and south of the city. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will work with the city as it pursues the Small Starts funding to catalyze construction of this transit corridor. In ATLANTA, they’re looking to stimulate transit-oriented development in the Vine City neighborhood, which has two MARTA stations located near possible future expansion of the Atlanta BeltLine bike-ped trail and the city’s streetcar. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) are providing enhanced technical assistance to the city to improve road and sidewalk infrastructure to boost safety and increase access to transit. In BALTIMORE, LadderSTEP will focus on the area near the West Baltimore MARC Station, where existing transportation access provides a good starting point for neighborhood revitalization. DOT will work with the city to reconnect West Baltimore to downtown, a connection severed decades ago by a highway that was never completed. In BATON ROUGE, they’re currently planning a Nicholson Street Corridor streetcar line. FTA will help the city navigate the planning and environmental analysis to select the best alignment for the line. FHWA will train city engineers in Complete Streets standards to complement the corridor. In CHARLOTTE, DOT will maintain its support for phase two of the city’s Gold Line Streetcar, which will run through the West Trade Area and reconnect this community to the city’s thriving Uptown. DOT will also work with HUD and the Charlotte Housing Authority to ensure that housing decisions and transportation decisions are made in concert with each other. In PHOENIX, the target area is South Phoenix, an area that’s a diverse transit-dependent community. As an older part of the Phoenix, it has existing infrastructure needs. DOT will help the city implement a 2014 TIGER grant to plan for the future construction of light rail in the South Central Corridor —a high local priority— as well as street and bus stop improvements. In RICHMOND, the Greater Richmond Transit Company is building the city’s first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line, a 7.6-mile corridor between the city and Henrico County. The Broad Street BRT line will provide frequent, reliable and fast service —and access to 77,000 area employment opportunities— for transit-dependent residents in Richmond’s Greater Fulton community. These are DOT’s seven LadderSTEP pilot cities. And in each of these communities, the Federal epartment of Transportation will work tirelessly to build Ladders Of Opportunity that area residents need and that all Americans deserve.