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Question. I've been wondering this for a while, and you gville folks are the only ones I've seen talking about Tiger Grants. Were there other transportation grants from the stimulus besides the $1.5 billion discretionary that are also called "TIGER" grants?

I ask because signage for the new transit maintenance and headquarters here in Greensboro, which is now under construction, cites TIGER as a funding source.

It makes me wonder whether this $1.5 billion in discretionary grants is all there or whether some has already been distributed.

Thanks.

Edited by beyonce245

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Question. I've been wondering this for a while, and you gville folks are the only ones I've seen talking about Tiger Grants. Were there other transportation grants from the stimulus besides the $1.5 billion discretionary that are also called "TIGER" grants?

I ask because signage for the new transit maintenance and headquarters here in Greensboro, which is now under construction, cites TIGER as a funding source.

It makes me wonder whether this $1.5 billion in discretionary grants is all there or whether some has already been distributed.

Thanks.

Nice looking building you guys got going up there. :good: I like it. None of the TIGER grant money has been approved/distributed yet. The areas that will receive TIGER grant money will be announced in January or February 2010 and must be spent by 2012. You can read more about TIGER grants here: http://www.dot.gov/recovery/ost/ That transit building going up in Greensboro is being funded by the ARRA only. Most if not all of the ARRA signs have the TIGER logo on there for some reason or another: http://swidinst.org/wp-content/uploads/200..._TIGER_sign.jpg

Speaking of transit buildings, officials with the South Carolina Department of Transportation's (SCDOT) Mass Transit Division have approved $2.5 million in federal stimulus funds for construction of the new Clemson Area Transit (CAT) headquarters/hub on West Lane in the City of Clemson: http://www.upstatetoday.com/news/2009/oct/...ward-new-trans/ :)

Edited by citylife

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That transit building going up in Greensboro is being funded by the ARRA only. Most if not all of the ARRA signs have the TIGER logo on there for some reason or another: http://swidinst.org/wp-content/uploads/200..._TIGER_sign.jpg

Thanks for the clarification. I've been searching the DOT website forever trying to figure this out. I suppose DOT is just trying to get more mileage out of their fancy new logo. Thanks for the compliments on the building, although I had absolutely nothing to do with its design. I have, however, been waiting on this project for a while now. The current maintenance facility in Greensboro is at max fleet capacity and it's been hampering expansion of routes and services.

Good luck on Greenville's Tiger grant, although I know Gov. Perdue up here will be giving you guys a run for your money! ;)

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Have you seen Greenlink's new Transit Master Plan fact sheet? Here's a link to their Master Plan page. Here's a link to sign up for updates. According to the Greenville News, they're going to be asking the community to tell them what kind of services we'd like to have. The fact sheet says the study's going to cost about $275,000, and Clemson, Furman, Greenville Tech, and even Bob Jones are all putting resources into it.

I want Greenville to do something better than what everyone else is doing. Right now our bus system is pitiful. Let's not just catch up - let's do something better.

I can't find out much else online. Has anyone heard where this is headed?

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Until there is sufficient political support for transit, it's not going to be much more than a skeletal system. Greenville (or any city for that matter) must have dedicated transit funding in order to make anything of significance happen as it relates to transit (ie: a tax). When I worked in Greenville, I learned that the old GTA was the most efficient system in the state in terms of the funding they received versus the amount of service provided. My guess is that even though the personnel have changed, the general office operations have not. The express bus route, the partnerships with area colleges, the TIGER grant, and the master plan are all fantastic steps in the right direction, and hopefully it will ultimately lead to the political support needed to get that dedicated funding source.

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A couple of photos. Looks like there is still some detail to do (addition of map in blank space....basic landscaping...etc). Overall I like them. I would have rather seen a slightly more clean design, but the detail level is excellent......solar power, the Greenlink website, the fact that the colors are the green and purple in keeping with the city signing / wayfinder system. Overall, these should be an excellent addition to the city. :thumbsup::thumbsup:

IMG_5397.jpg

IMG_5398.jpg

In my second photo that I took almost a year ago. See the big white end of the shelter? That area is covered in clear acrylic that is removable.....to put either a large scale map of the transit system, or advertising behind. To date, no shelter has the map....just small 8 x 11 pieces of paper taped to the acrylic. It's a shame we have these nice shelters and no map to even understand where the transit system runs. Who dropped the ball on this? When will maps be added to these shelters? This has really been bugging me because it is the type of detail the city usually jumps on immediately.

Edited by gsupstate

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In my second photo that I took almost a year ago. See the big white end of the shelter? That area is covered in clear acrylic that is removable.....to put either a large scale map of the transit system, or advertising behind. To date, no shelter has the map....just small 8 x 11 pieces of paper taped to the acrylic. It's a shame we have these nice shelters and no map to even understand where the transit system runs. Who dropped the ball on this? When will maps be added to these shelters? This has really been bugging me because it is the type of detail the city usually jumps on immediately.

That does seem odd... It's really intimidating, too, to hop on a transit system for the first time without knowing where you're going... Come on, Greenlink, you can do better!

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Nice article in today's Greenville News about the Greenville area's BRT system. It is exciting to read about the 10-year plan for this. It would involve cooperation between Greenville and Pickens Counties, and could potentially include a 1/2 cent sales tax.

Read the comments if you want a good laugh (if you are able to laugh at the idiocy of them!).

http://www.greenvilleonline.com/article/20100529/BUSINESS/305290019/Taxpayers-may-be-asked-to-fund-Upstate-rapid-transit-system

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Read the comments if you want a good laugh (if you are able to laugh at the idiocy of them!).

http://www.greenvilleonline.com/article/20100529/BUSINESS/305290019/Taxpayers-may-be-asked-to-fund-Upstate-rapid-transit-system

It's hard reading some of these comments. They have no foresight into how public transit could help the area. it seems to be the same people who complain about money being spent on the swamp-rabbit trail, or incentives to lure Southwest (which are not now needed) or Proterra. They just don't get what a difference all these make to the quality of life in the area. What worries me is that the 1/2 cent sales tax (which is a small price to fund a public transit system) would have to be approved by a referendum. Unfortunately I think the vocal minority will be more enthused to stop this than the silent majority.

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Read this week where NC is going to add a midday train to the current Charlotte/Raleigh route. I believe SC, NC, and GA should push and fund additiional rail service between Atlanta and Charlotte. Wouldn't it be great to jump on a train and see a Brave's game. (not at 4:00 AM though) I would love to be able to leave downtown Spartanburg and ride a train to attend a Clemson football game. I realize that NC has more money than SC, but it seems they put a priority on transportation. (and education)

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^^That would be nice, wouldn't it?

There's a small article in the Greenville News today about a possible 1/2 cent sales tax increase for transportation. Half of the money would go directly toward Greenlink's expansion and improvement plans, while the other half would be available for bike lanes, trails, and sidewalk improvements... It could be on the ballot in 2012, I believe the article said.

A look at the improvements being proposed by the study:

Brown has presented a plan to city and county leaders in the past week that would reduce fixed routes in the near term from 11 to nine while increasing frequency and adding an on-call service, an extended downtown trolley, circulation routes in areas such as CU-ICAR, an express service and a rapid bus line along Laurens Road.
Edited by GvilleSC

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It's hard reading some of these comments. They have no foresight into how public transit could help the area. it seems to be the same people who complain about money being spent on the swamp-rabbit trail, or incentives to lure Southwest (which are not now needed) or Proterra. They just don't get what a difference all these make to the quality of life in the area. What worries me is that the 1/2 cent sales tax (which is a small price to fund a public transit system) would have to be approved by a referendum. Unfortunately I think the vocal minority will be more enthused to stop this than the silent majority.

Given how politically conservative the Upstate is, anything that involves a new tax will have problems getting approved. Leaders need to think outside the box for getting funds for any transit improvemnets and should look at other mid-sized cities with more extensive mass transit systems than Greenville has and see how those cities fund their systems. Re-allocating existing sales tax revenues, getting matching funds from federal and state governments, getting public/private partnerships and allocating funds from general funds are things that leaders should consider first, rather than a new tax.

(I was vocal on this board in opposing incentives for Southwest, as the free market can provide cost-effective air service without government intervening to distort the market by helping some companies at the expense of others. I'm even more vocal in my support of mass transit, which will not be provided by the free market except in rare circumstances.)

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Today's article said that a half cent sales tax increase would generate 35 million dollars yearly for the system, which was five times more than the next best alternative.

Additionally, the article said that a URS (?) poll taken of 444 county voters showed 63% support for the tax increase. Which, may not be a good indicator given the size of the county, BUT they also were upbeat about having until 2012 to sell the idea to the public.

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To that end, York County passed a 1¢ tax to pay for road improvements. Rock Hill isn't large enough to warrant a transit system... but at anyrate, people will vote for better roads, and tying complete streets and transit into that would make the tax palatable to more people. Richland County is currently weighing that option, and I think Charleston County has already passed something similar. I recognize that those places are relatively liberal when compared to Greenville, but it doesn't make it impossible.

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To that end, York County passed a 1¢ tax to pay for road improvements. Rock Hill isn't large enough to warrant a transit system... but at anyrate, people will vote for better roads, and tying complete streets and transit into that would make the tax palatable to more people. Richland County is currently weighing that option, and I think Charleston County has already passed something similar. I recognize that those places are relatively liberal when compared to Greenville, but it doesn't make it impossible.

I agree. For some reason, conservatives who oppose mass transit, often on the grounds of favoring "the free market" and its outcomes, seem to have no problem with throwing money at roads.

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Today's article said that a half cent sales tax increase would generate 35 million dollars yearly for the system, which was five times more than the next best alternative.

Additionally, the article said that a URS (?) poll taken of 444 county voters showed 63% support for the tax increase. Which, may not be a good indicator given the size of the county, BUT they also were upbeat about having until 2012 to sell the idea to the public.

I've stated this many times before in this forum and will say it again....unless Greenlink wises up and starts running routes that the middle class will want to use (to the airport, Simpsonville park & ride, to Greenridge, etc, etc), this tax increase has no hope of passing. The middle class is tired of financing the "welfare state" and most of Greenlinks current routes follow a welfare state mentality.

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How can they add routes without more funding?

I didn't say "add" routes. I said start running routes that serve the general, middle class, public. They can easily realign routes and resources. The transit system must start operating like a business.....spend money where you can make money.

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Increases in mass transit service also need to paired with better zoning and land use planning. Mass transit does not work well with low-density sprawl at both an origin and a destination of a trip, which is what most of Greenville is; it works well with a dense urban area (or other concentrated area with a large number of jobs) as an origin or a destination of lots of trips.

If Greenville would changs its zoning to shift office and retail into just a few concentrated, walkable areas in the county, so that large numbers of people would be heading to or leaving from a few areas where they could walk to or from a bus, mass transit would be most effective. Perhaps require all office buildings over 100,000 sf to be either downtown or in the Haywood or Woodruff Road corridors, and within 1/5 mile of an existing or proposed transit line?

But, say, for a typical commute from a Woodruff Road office park to a house in Mauldin, there isn't enough population density and walkability on either end of the trip to have mass transit be a viable choice.

Edited by mallguy

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I didn't say "add" routes. I said start running routes that serve the general, middle class, public. They can easily realign routes and resources. The transit system must start operating like a business.....spend money where you can make money.

It makes money where it goes NOW. Aligning new routes would risk that. The middle class isn't going to start riding just because it is there. The Wade Hampton route serves entirely middle class areas.

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Increases in mass transit service also need to paired with better zoning and land use planning. Mass transit does not work well with low-density sprawl at both an origin and a destination of a trip, which is what most of Greenville is; it works well with a dense urban area (or other concentrated area with a large number of jobs) as an origin or a destination of lots of trips.

If Greenville would changs its zoning to shift office and retail into just a few concentrated, walkable areas in the county, so that large numbers of people would be heading to or leaving from a few areas where they could walk to or from a bus, mass transit would be most effective. Perhaps require all office buildings over 100,000 sf to be either downtown or in the Haywood or Woodruff Road corridors, and within 1/5 mile of an existing or proposed transit line?

But, say, for a typical commute from a Woodruff Road office park to a house in Mauldin, there isn't enough population density and walkability on either end of the trip to have mass transit be a viable choice.

I agree with this, but why can't a well-designed mass transit system encourage more dense developments (rather than existing in response to dense developments)? Look at the Metro in Washington, DC. It originated because DC proper was already dense enough to support it, but if you look at some of the suburban stations the area around those has changed dramatically solely because of the nearby Metro station. Since Greenville doesn't have loads of dense, urban areas, the transit system needs to be used to encourage such development. This obviously can't occur with traditional buses, but having a BRT system (which essentially looks like a train) with stations (not just bus stops) and efficient transportation to other nodes (e.g., downtown, GSP International, CU-ICAR, Uptown, convention center) would do just that.

The people behind the BRT need to emphasize these things to the public. As gsupstate said in his post, the current perception (which is accurate) is that public transit in Greenville exists to serve the poor. And people are tired of throwing money at services that benefit very few people and show little financial profitability. If the average person can see how a mass transit system benefits a larger number of residents - and maybe even themselves - then we will have support for such a system. But it has to be an aggressive plan (much more aggressive than I saw outlined in the recent article).

I think it will be a mistake if they try to sell people on using mass transit to commute to work on a daily basis. Some people might do this, but most are used to their cars and need their cars. Traffic is not nearly bad enough in the Upstate, and gas prices are not high enough, to cause people to look for alternatives. But I can definitely see people using BRT to get to and from downtown for events, to and from the airport, to retail centers, etc. Sell that, rather than trying to convince John, a 45 year-old man who lives in Greer and works in Taylors, that he should take a bus to work every day.

Edited by Greenville

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