Communities looking to make it easier to walk, bike, take transit and share rides are encouraged to apply to the Metro Regional Travel Options grants program. A total of $2.1 million in federal transportation funding is available to government agencies and non-profit organizations across the Portland metropolitan region. Metro will fund projects that improve air quality, improve health, and reduce drive-alone trips and auto traffic.
Funded activities may include:
- Training or hiring staff or volunteers to promote travel options to residents and/or commuters.
- Supporting end-of-trip facilities for bicycling, walking or running to work.
- Conducting neighborhood events that allow people to walk and bike on traffic-free streets.
- Using personalized marketing to motivate people to use travel options more frequently.
- Using signage and typically, an accompanying map, to help residents find amenities such as trails, shops and downtown centers.
- Creating tools to help residents plan and make trips using travel options.
New to this year’s grant opportunities are smaller awards for light infrastructure, such as bike parking; on-road directional and use markings, such as sharrows; and planning grants for local jurisdictions to kickstart implementation of their Transportation Systems Plan’s travel option policy.
Previous projects funded by these grants include: TriMet’s Open Trip Planner, the Bike Commute Challenge and Wilsonville Sunday Streets. The grants also support projects such as the installation of bike shelters in Forest Grove, downtown Tigard walking maps and way-finding system, and Verde’s community engagement to improve transportation choices in the Cully Park neighborhood.
Grant applications are due to Metro by December 19, 2014. Grant awards will be announced in March, 2015, with projects starting in July 2015.
Metro encourages community based organizations throughout the region to apply to this grant opportunity. Those interested in applying to the grant can learn more at an informational meeting on Friday, Sept. 12.
In addition, Metro staff are available to discuss project ideas individually with potential applicants. Email Regional Travel Options at [email protected] to receive updates on this grant opportunity, or call 503-757-1757.