Last Tuesday, under a program called TIGER II (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery), the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $600 million total to 70 “innovative transportation projects.”
This year, the east bay seems to be the winner, being awarded $10.2 million “to help the East Bay Regional Parks District close gaps in its 200-mile system of paved trails.”
Randy Rentschler of the Municipal Transit Commission attributed the win to the project’s unique goal of encouraging more and more people to choose biking and other alternative, environmentally-friendly modes of commute. (source
The East Bay Parks General Manager Pat O’Brien echoed these sentiments, saying, “A safe convenient connection means commuters are much more likely to take public transit, walk or bike as a commute alternative to driving, and that benefits everyone including commuters, transit agencies, and our environment.” (source
This bike path aims to aid over 700,000 east bay residents commuting to work, but will cost a total of $43.3 million. The grant covers 25% and the Parks District is hoping for taxpayers to cover the rest. So commuters might have to wait a while before the full benefits of this project can be achieved.