Transportation for America (TFA), the Smart Growth America project known for the research and resources it provides free of charge to interested communities, now has produced a comprehensive guide to securing funding for big transit projects in difficult fiscal times. Thinking Outside the Farebox: Creative Approaches to Funding Transit Projects accepts the fact that federal government gridlock, gas tax revenue drying up, and other trends mean that securing necessary funding for great transportation projects “requires more sophistication in the art of project finance than has been needed in the past,” and guides the reader through some sophisticated methods. The guide is not a dry list of options, but includes plenty of real world examples and relevant images.
TFA is firm in the belief that rising transit ridership and demographic trends such as urbanization and a lesser desire among the young for personal car ownership make this the time that communities must make bold steps toward transportation projects that will transform their cities. Baltimore is already doing this with the Red Line, now in the Preliminary Engineering stage, and this guide might be of particular interest to advocates for and fans of the BeltLine as that project moves forward.