Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Sustainable Transportation Information
Last updated: July 14, 2016
The Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program, administered by the Strategic Growth Council (SGC), awards funding for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by supporting more compact, infill development patterns, encouraging active transportation and transit use, and protecting agricultural land from sprawl development.
Metro is participating in the AHSC program because Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure (STI) is a key component of program and is an eligibility requirement for two of the three application project types. SGC’s AHSC overview materials and the application scoring rubric clearly incentivize the inclusion of meaningful STIs or related amenities in all AHSC applications. Across LA County, affordable housing projects seeking AHSC funds will be eligible and/or more competitive with partners like Metro, municipal transit operators, and local City departments of Public Works, Transportation, or Street Services who can implement STI and Transportation Related Amenities (TRA) projects. An additional and important eligible use of AHSC funds is transportation improvements and programs that increase ridership. For more detailed information on these requirements, please refer to the AHSC 2015-2016 Program Guidelines .
The following information is intended as a resource from Metro to support AHSC applicants in incorporating qualifying transportation improvements into their projects.
Metro is providing this information as part of a strategy to further our objectives regarding AHSC funding. Our objectives are:
- Assure competitiveness of applications from Los Angeles County and increase the county’s share of funding awards;
- Promote high quality projects that invest in Metro’s priorities including first/last mile connectivity, active transportation, affordable housing near stations, and urban greening;
- Improve the overall capacity within the County to plan, seek funding, and deliver projects; and
- Reinforce the State’s program goals calling for meaningful collaboration across housing and transportation sectors.
- The full Metro Ad Hoc Sustainability Committee Board Report from the January 20, 2016 meeting establishing Metro’s AHCS Program Strategy/Policy Framework can be viewed online here
- Metro’s First/Last Mile Strategic Plan and Planning Guidelines are available online here: http://media.metro.net/docs/First_Last_Mile_Strategic_Plan.pdf
Additionally, Metro will be offering training for local agency staff during 2016. Dates, times, and locations will be posted on the Metro Sustainability website, located here: https://www.metro.net/projects/countywide-planning/
- Materials for the current Metro Wayfinding Signage Grant program are available online here: https://www.metro.net/projects/call_projects/wayfinding-signage-grant/
- Active Transportation Plan (coming soon)—project website with working documents and data: https://www.metro.net/projects/active-transportation/strategic-plan/
- Metro’s Urban Greening Toolkit website: https://www.metro.net/interactives/greenplaces/
The first step in selecting transportation improvements to incorporate into an AHSC application is identifying which entity can deliver those improvements. Metro can coordinate with housing developers and other applicants to deliver STI or TRA projects only if they are:
- Located on Metro-owned property (such as a rail station) and
- Delivered in partnership with a local jurisdiction (such as for bike share stations).
All other TRI and STI improvements that are not on Metro property must be conducted by the local jurisdiction (e.g. Department of Transportation, Department of Public Works, etc.). Examples of STI and TRA projects that will need to be executed by local entities include bus stop amenities; roadway, bike path, and sidewalk improvements; and signal adjustments. In all cases, developer applicants should discuss potential locally delivered TRI and TSI with the local jurisdiction, typically prior to coordinating with Metro
Applicants can only apply for AHSC funding under the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Project Area designation if their affordable housing development is within ½ mile of a “High Quality Transit” station or stop. Based on the definition of High Quality Transit in the AHSC 2015-2016 Program Guidelines ,Metro considers this type of transit to include
- Metro Rail (all lines/stations)
- Orange and Silver Bus Rapid Transit Lines (all station/stops)
- Metro Rapid lines:
- 720: operates on Wilshire Blvd. part-time bus lane; 3-18 min headways during peak hours
- 728: operates on SB Spring St. part-time bus lane and NB Hill St. bus priority arterial; 11-15 min headways during peak hours
- 733: operates on SB Spring St. and NB Main St. part-time bus lanes; 10-20 min headways during peak hours
- 745: operates on SB Spring St. part-time bus lane; 6-14 min headways during peak hours
- 760: operates on NB Figueroa St. and SB Spring St. part-time bus lanes; 12-15 min headways during peak hours
- 770: operates on SB Spring St. part-time bus lane; 13-16 min headways during peak hours
All Metro Rapid (700 lines) have limited stop service and ITS (signal priority and vehicle location systems).
However, please note that Metro provides this information based on our interpretation and understanding of the SGC program guidelines combined with current information on Metro transit service. This information is subject to change. Current route/schedule/stop information is available at https://www.metro.net/riding/maps/ . Metro does not guarantee the accuracy of this information for purposes of defining a project area for AHSC.
Within AHSC teams, cities can participate as co-applicants or participating entities. Metro supports cities’ involvement in AHSC teams and application preparation and is open to collaborating with City staff and affordable housing developers whenever feasible. City-led efforts that Metro is especially supportive of include:
- Transportation infrastructure improvements in the public right-of-way that only local jurisdictions can deliver. Examples include: first/last mile infrastructure for bicycles and pedestrians, bus stop and station amenities.
- Coordination with Metro staff on longer range (2-4 year) station area and corridor plans to ensure that, when ready, they align with AHSC program goals. Cities can also work with Metro to plan projects that can seek funding in future years.
To ensure AHSC goals and Metro’s objectives are met, Metro needs assurance that the City staff can devote the necessary time for project planning and implementation. As such, all cities hoping to partner with Metro on AHSC are required to adopt a local resolution outlining how they will help implement transportation improvements and commit to general coordination activities with key AHSC partners.
Resources—a sample local resolution template is available to view here
Affordable housing developers are strongly encouraged to work with local jurisdiction in which their project is located to identify impactful and eligible transportation infrastructure and amenities for an application. Metro can assist in coordinating activities with a city and in some cases can prompt the consideration of specific transportation investments in a given area.
The following section provides a list of active transportation and transit improvements projects that developers may be able to incorporate to meet the AHSC transportation requirements. When deciding whether to include these improvements in an ASHC application, teams must consider:
- Existing accommodations for the project. Improvements can only be incorporated in an application if there are pre-existing suitable plans and a budget, especially for large-scale improvements (e.g., providing bus operating facilities at rail stations).
- Consistency with local DOT, DPW, BSS or other responsible agency requirements
- Readiness and status of required environmental clearances
- GHG reduction potential of proposed project
- Capital project category (STI or TRA)
- Other AHSC loan and budget amounts (to ensure maximum of $20M is not exceeded)
- How project will benefit residents and enhance connectivity
The following list of potential STI and TRAs is only meant to provide general guidance on types of improvements that can be led by Metro and funded with AHSC grants.
1. Metro Bike Hub
Capital project type: Transportation Related Amenity (TRA)
A Metro Bike Hub is a high-capacity bicycle parking facility that provides secure bike parking in an enclosed room, such as a storefront space, building, or gated structure. Each facility utilizes controlled access, and CCTV provides security coverage; ample bike racks are available and arranged in an efficient manner. Operating models include attended services where staff perform registration support and assistance, provide retail sales for bike parts and repair services, and conduct other program activities such as bike education and outreach. Hubs can also operate as unattended, self-serve facilities. Users can gain access to different hub locations through a single registration. Hubs are recommended for transit stations with frequent service and where the need for first-last-mile transit access has been identified.
Approximate budget range:
- Unattended, self-serve hub: $1,500 to $5,000 per space
- Attended, full-service hub: $4,000 to $10,000 per space
Annual Operating Costs:
- Unattended, self-serve hub: $10,000 to $50,000 per location
- Attended, full-service hub: $60,000 to $200,000 per location
Resources - additional information on implementation details is available online here
2. Metro Bike Share Station (City of Los Angeles only)
Capital project type: Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure (STI)
The Metro Board has approved a bike share pilot in Downtown Los Angeles including up to 80 stations and 1,000 bicycles. Expansion and implementation of future phases is dependent on Metro Board approval and available funding. Metro is seeking partners who wish to provide or enhance quality transportation for their employees, students, clients, tenants, or visitors. An AHSC award of $160,000 would fund approvals, shipping, operations and maintenance (O&M), startup costs, and installation for one station. Stations are best suited for areas in the vicinity of existing or planned bike share stations.
Approximate budget range: $160,000 per bike share station
- Additional information on implementation details is available online here
- Regional Bike Share Implementation Plan available to view here
3. Station and Stop Improvement/Amenities
Capital project type: varies, refer to AHSC guidelines Appendix B
For select AHSC projects identified on an individual basis, Metro can lead improvements to rail stations and bus stops (shelters, seating, information kiosks, etc.). Metro strongly advises that requests to include station/stop improvements in any application be coordinated with the local jurisdiction because they are often the land-owning entity, particularly for bus stops. Also note that intensive projects such as a rail station reconfiguration are only feasible where there is a pre-existing plan, conceptual design, and budget.
Resources - additional information on station and stop improvements and amenities is available online here .
4. General Tools and Guidance for Transportation Infrastructure, Transportation Amenities, and Urban Greening
AHSC applicants are encouraged to consider how their proposed STIs and TRAs align with, or can be informed by, Metro’s existing plans and tools. AHSC capital projects that complement objectives defined in these plans can be supported by Metro staff via consultations, letters of support, and other efforts as appropriate.
Resources - additional information on Metro’s existing plans and tools is available online here .
Release of 2015-2016 AHSC Notice of Funding Availability
January 29, 2016
Release of 2015-2016 AHSC Concept Proposal Application
February 1, 2016
Release of 2015-2016 AHSC Full Application
Concept Proposals Due
March 16, 2016
Notification of Invite to Submit Full Application
Week of April 25, 2016
Full Applications Due
June 20, 2016
- Link to 2015-2016 Notice of Funding Availability (as of January 29, 2016): http://www.hcd.ca.gov/financial-assistance/affordable-housing-and-sustainable-communities/docs/FY1516AHSC_NOFA_final.pdf
- Link to AHSC Program NOFA Workshops Notice: https://www.sgc.ca.gov/docs/AHSC_Technical_Assistance_Workshop_Notice_2015-16.pdf
The Metro staff is committed to supporting AHSC applications where a local agency has adopted a resolution consistent with Metro’s AHSC policy framework. Developer applicants should first discuss their project application with the relevant local agency staff. When ready to advance onto the next phase of AHSC project planning, please send one email to all the below listed contacts.
Sustainability Policy Manager
All emails should have AHSC in the subject line and include the following information:
- Name of main AHSC capital project (housing or transportation)
- Lead applicant/developer name and contact information
- Project location (full address)
- Summary of coordination conducted with local city staff to date
- If applicable: ideas or questions about specific STIs or TRAs for your project area that Metro should investigate
We appreciate interest in collaborating and will respond to messages as soon as we are able.