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Implement physical transit-access improvements
Physical transit-access improvements can make transit facilities more accessible to low-income families and others. People will be more willing to take advantage of transit if physical improvements help its perception as a safe, approachable, attractive transportation option. While many low-income individuals already rely on transit, many more could benefit from transit by giving up a relatively expensive motor vehicle. In addition, physical improvements around stations improve community livability overall and can be a component of neighborhood rejuvination.
The San Francisco Bay Area's Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) funds a high-demand program called Transportation for Livable Communities (TLC) that is geared specifically toward enhancing pedestrian, transit, and bicycle facilities by strengthening the links between these facilities and major activity nodes. Through the support of streetscape improvements and well-designed, high-density mixed-use development, MTC seeks to improve the range of transportation choices for residents in the Bay Area. Between 1998 and 2005/2006, TLC provided over $2.5 million in planning grants and nearly $84 million in capital grants.
The access improvements implemented at Concord's Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station represent one example of a successful TLC project. With a $5,000 planning grant and a $500,000 capital grant from MTC, the City of Concord, BART and John F. Kennedy University teamed up to design and implement major streetscape improvements in the station area; these included widening the sidewalks leading to the BART station, creating a canopy of street trees, adding pedestrian-scaled streetlights, and redesigning the plaza in front of the BART station. These enhancements link directly with streetscape improvements in downtown Concord, delineating a clear pedestrian path from the BART station to the commercial core.