TARC Awarded $2.5 Million Grant for ‘Riverport Circulator Project’
June 13, 2017
Transportation as a barrier to job opportunities has been a challenge not only for job seekers but also employers located in Jefferson Riverport International, one of the region’s largest employment centers, home to 120 companies, 6500 employees and 10,000 jobs in Southwest Louisville.
"Riverport has struggled to find enough workers to fulfill positions over the years. The biggest struggle has been transportation to Riverport for these potential employees," stated Jenny Fox, Riverport Business Association president.
In years past, Riverport businesses have been challenged with filling positions especially during peak seasons while TARC has worked closely to provide transit service in coordination with travel patterns and shift times based on the available resources.
“Increased service to and from Riverport is something TARC and all our partners have pursued for years. We are all delighted to enable people to access jobs more thoroughly and completely than any time in the past,” says TARC Executive Director Barry Barker.
During a press conference today at Radial, Inc., Mayor Greg Fisher, TARC Executive Director Barry Barker and other stakeholders announced TARC as the recipient of a $2.5 million Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) non-infrastructure match grant administered by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
The CMAQ grant will aid in the implementation of a new circulator route anticipated to begin in Fall 2017 during peak employment season. Current number of trips to Riverport will also increase from three (3) morning and four (4) evening weekday trips on Route #19 to approximately six (6) morning and seven (7) evening weekday trips on the circulator.
The new Riverport Circulator route will also connect Riverport to other main, express and high frequency TARC routes (i.e. Route #18-Dixie-Preston Highway), improving access to this vital employment center and the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service on Dixie Highway to be implemented in late 2019.
“The combination of the upcoming Dixie Bus Rapid Transit system along with this increased access provided by the Riverport Circulator will be key in connecting the workforce to the jobs available at our Riverport businesses,” stated District 12 Councilman Rick Blackwell.
The CMAQ grant in addition to TARC’s match of 20% will cover the $3,180,000 in operating costs to provide the service for 3 consecutive years.
Final service plans will be developed at the time grant funding is awarded.
Construction activities along this corridor will be minor and may involve bus stops, access and shelter improvements, fully within existing rights-of-way.
Following the implementation of the Riverport Circulator Project, TARC will continue to work with Metro Public Works, State Highway Departments, and Metro Council Districts to initiate pedestrian improvements and traffic lights evaluation to ensure safer road crossings in the Riverport area.
"This project removes the obstacle of transportation faced by many citizens who may be seeking a job, and it boosts businesses that need workers,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Our goal here is for a project that lifts up these businesses with good employees, and opens doors for citizens to reach their full human potential”.