New York — After a competitive application process, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and TransitCenter announced that Denver, Indianapolis, and Oakland, Calif., have been selected as the first three focus cities for the Transit Program Accelerator, a new initiative to implement the concepts of the NACTO Transit Street Design Guide.

Beginning in spring 2016, NACTO will bring together the city transportation departments and transit agencies in these three cities as partners as they prepare to transform existing corridors into great transit streets.  Each pair of agencies has demonstrated emerging leadership and a commitment to designing streets for transit.

NACTO will work with each city at both an executive and staff level, conducting multi-agency visioning discussions with local leadership and peer city practitioners, to identify strengths, key areas for collaboration, and opportunities for strong transit street design projects. These meetings will be supported by peer learning sessions focused on program and project management and design topics related to city streets.

Each participating city will host an expanded NACTO Roadshow, in which experienced peer city representatives and NACTO staff will deliver hands-on trainings on the Transit Street Design Guide, sharing practical knowledge and building local capacity. These trainings will include site visits with staff and leadership, internal visioning sessions, technical sessions, and management-related sessions, and will be capped with a charrette session supporting the development of a key project.

Throughout the next year, NACTO staff and peer city practitioners will work closely with the Transit Accelerator cities to build a vision, share best practices, develop strategies, and draw a path to implementation. The charrette sites and strategies identified during the Roadshow will become the centerpiece of follow-up planning, including peer design review by NACTO cities and staff. The goal of this process will be to generate a transit street design project, shepherding it through the conceptual design phase, with a project implementation strategy.

About the Transit Program Accelerator cities:

Denver — In 2015, the City & County of Denver worked intensively with community members as part of Denver Moves to develop a new multi-modal vision for the Broadway/Lincoln corridor. While the city is currently working on improvements to bicycling and placemaking along the corridor, transportation officials are simultaneously initiating a new Transit Master Plan to identify Denver’s mobility needs to accommodate a rapidly growing population. Working alongside the transit agency, Regional Transportation District (RTD), Denver is committed to developing and implementing innovative strategies to transforming the Broadway/Lincoln corridor into a welcoming, vibrant, and efficient multi-modal spine through the city.

Indianapolis — Indianapolis continues to make bold strides towards a greater transit future. Since 2014, the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (IndyGo) has been developing the Marion County Transit Plan, a comprehensive rethinking of transit’s function and capabilities to enhance city streets. Alongside the City of Indianapolis’ Department of Public Works, IndyGo’s transit expansion is focused on providing frequent, reliable, and legible transit service. As part of ongoing efforts, the City and IndyGo are currently completing work on the region’s first bus rapid transit route, the Red Line. These partners plan to leverage the Transit Program Accelerator to develop new knowledge on one-way to two-way street conversions and best practices to balance rapid transit service with high-quality bicycle infrastructure.

Oakland, Calif. — Oakland’s Transit Program Accelerator track will focus on the MacArthur–Grand Corridor, a combined transit-bike spine that connects Oakland’s many diverse communities and already serves significant existing transit ridership. The City of Oakland is meeting a number of unique and exciting challenges, including the creation of a new city Department of Transportation and its forthcoming first bus rapid transit route on International Boulevard. The city and AC Transit are committed to designing and making important investments in transit, backed by new local funding. Both the City of Oakland and AC Transit, the East Bay’s surface transit operator, are proven partners that are enthusiastic about applying Transit Street Design Guide principles to innovative projects.