T4America Blog

News, press releases and other updates

Green Light for Climate Action: Unveiling the impact of the GHG Emissions Measure rule

The United States Capitol Building.

By mandating emissions tracking and target setting, the GHG Emissions Measure addresses an urgent need for climate action. And while this popular rule is an important first step, its success hinges on immediate and effective action at the state and local levels, which would signify a shift towards a cleaner, and greener, transportation landscape. On […]

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Avoiding Derailment: The Freights First Act in Perspective

Amtrak’s eastbound Texas Eagle train departs Dallas.

There is no denying that there are persistent issues that impact reliable freight service and the efficient delivery of goods nationwide. Yet, despite the discussion of the myriad service issues that affect the supply chain, Amtrak and passenger rail have not been identified as a cause of disruption, and have, in fact, been conspicuously absent […]

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Now Hiring — Policy Associate

Transportation for America—a program of Smart Growth America—is seeking a skilled and motivated individual with knowledge and interest in transportation policy with a focus on how it impacts equitable access to jobs and opportunity. This position reports to the Policy Director of T4America.

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Transportation for America Applauds Long-awaited USDOT GHG Rule

press release

The GHG emissions measure will require U.S. states and territories to measure and report transportation-related emissions on federal roadways. WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 27) — Last Wednesday (11/22), the Biden Administration released the U.S. Department of Transportation’s greenhouse gas (GHG) rule. The rule requires all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto […]

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Transit’s physical cliff: Climate change

A passenger train crosses a bridge near coastal California cliffs

California and New York State Legislatures voted to save transit from the fiscal cliff in 2023. While a win for transit can be a win for the climate, changing conditions across the country demonstrate the need for transit to find ways to be both fiscally and physically resilient.

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Catching the e-bike wave

A man with dark hair and sunglasses rides a Capitol Bikeshare bicycle down a painted bike lane near a treelined sidewalk.

Electric bikes have enormous potential to deliver affordable, clean, healthy and space-efficient transportation to the masses, but the feds and too many other leaders are passing up this opportunity in favor of electrifying the status quo.

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Don’t curb your e-thusiasm: Charging and the curb

An electric scooter charges at the curb in front of a warmly lit storefront at night

Electric vehicle charging at the curb presents unique challenges to meet equity, accessibility, and eligibility for federal programs.

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Road feels unsafe? DOT says prove it!

An adult and small child cross the street at night without a crosswalk while cars approach

In the United States, where and how traffic deaths occur are painfully predictable. But even with historically high levels of funding available, traffic engineering standards and federal policy combine to create a safety catch-22, ensuring that a transportation agency walking the walk on traffic safety is the exception, not the rule.

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Charging up EVs: Bridging the apartment gap

A woman leans against her EV while it charges outside of an apartment building

With the electric vehicle transition, access to transportation options like transit, walking and biking needs to come first. But—for smart growth and equity—equitable access to charging for apartment dwelling car-owners is an essential part of the picture.

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Final grant clears the way to restore Gulf Coast passenger rail service

Last week’s announcement of a $178 million federal grant to make track and infrastructure improvements along the Gulf Coast rail corridor represents the last major funding hurdle to restoring passenger rail service from New Orleans to Mobile, AL.

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Inverting the IIJA’s double standard

Aerial image of a complicated highway interchange in Phoenix Arizona.

The IIJA and IRA are hailed as landmark pieces of climate legislation. Unfortunately, by prioritizing the status quo of flexibility and formula status for highway projects, the IIJA is set to see the gains of any individual emissions-reducing projects go up in smoke. When the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) was passed two years […]

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Why NEVI needs an upgrade

The $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program is an important investment in the build-out of the nation’s EV charging infrastructure, but decision makers are moving forward with the same old approach. The program’s strict one-mile rule and a preference for gas stations and truck stops are a missed opportunity for investments that should […]

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Leave the gas station behind: How charger-oriented development can lead to a greener future

Two men stand, chatting, beside a car while it's getting plugged in to charge.

Charging an EV is fundamentally different from fueling a gas-powered car. It’s time to co-locate charging infrastructure with existing communities in an approach we call charger-oriented development.

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Join us for Smart Growth Social!

25 Sep 2023 | Posted by | 0 Comments |
A group of people in business professional attire gathers in a room talking and smiling over drinks

The Coalition for Smarter Growth’s Smart Growth Social is coming up on October 24, 2023! This year, we’re partnering with CSG to bring you a night of networking, community, and celebration of smart growth.

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Beyond the pump: Evaluating fresh approaches to transportation funding

An empty gas station with rows of abandoned power blue pumps glowing with neon lights in the middle of the night

Current state gasoline taxes aren’t enough to cover our transportation funding needs. Evaluating alternatives needs to involve taking five key principles into account. Read our policy evaluation framework, created by T4A Policy Associate Stephen Coleman Kenny with support from T4A Policy Director Benito Perez, NRDC Senior Transportation Advocate Zak Accuardi, and T4A Policy Intern Julia Camacho.

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Share the spark with EV carshares

A black SUV is plugged into a charger at a numbered parking spot inside a parking garage.

Electric vehicle (EV) carshare is an effective strategy in speeding the transition to zero emissions transportation, providing more affordable transportation options and syncing up with other smart growth solutions. This strategy is worthy of public investment.

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We can advance EVs and smart growth at the same time

A black EV charges on the side of a tree-lined street. In the background, a construction crew in orange vests mingles on a wide sidewalk with bike parking.

Many climate advocates and pro-climate decision-makers are focused on electrification as the primary, or even only, emissions reduction solution in the transportation sector. As smart growth advocates, we know that electrification is essential but insufficient to achieve our greenhouse gas reduction goals. How do we push transportation electrification forward in a way that supports essential smart growth goals?

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Amtrak’s path to world-class service

7 Sep 2023 | Posted by | 0 Comments | ,
People in business and casual attire gather on a platform to board an AVE train in Madrid.

US passenger rail was the envy of the world at the turn of the 20th century. As global temperatures rise, and with the growing need to enhance intercity mobility options to get to economic and civic opportunities, it’s high time to look to and emulate our international peers in developing passenger rail: iterate, innovate, and don’t fall for the immediacy trap.

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AVs aren’t solving our transportation problems. They’re automating them.

23 Aug 2023 | Posted by | 0 Comments | ,
A car rests just before a crosswalk on a wide roadway

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) have been dangled as a transportation “silver bullet” for decades. Now, they’re finally operating as robo-taxis in San Francisco. However, the Bay Area’s experience with these vehicles so far shows that it’s our reliance on cars—not who’s behind the wheel—that’s our most pressing problem.

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How does U.S. transit support compare to our peers?

Two passengers board a night bus in Brooklyn, NY

Our Transit Report Card analyzes how states compare on transit access and support. To understand how our figures match up in the context of other countries, we took a look at one of our peers: Australia.

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