Fresno Awarded $2.4 Million to Improve Downtown Connectivity

FRESNO: Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, and Congressman Jim Costa today announced that the Federal Transit Administration has selected Fresno to receive a $2.45 million Bus Livability Grant aimed at improving the connection between downtown Fresno and the City’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.

The grant will fund the design and construction of a prominent, attractive, and accessible downtown stop at the center of the 13.8-mile BRT system that extends outward along the Ventura/Kings Canyon and Blackstone corridors. The grant will also fund the creation of a signalized intersection at Van Ness Avenue and Mariposa at the street level, and improvements to pedestrian lighting and the rebuilding of a bathroom in the tunnel and underground parking garage directly below.

These improvements will ease movement in the busy downtown center between Courthouse Park and Fulton Mall. On an average day at the location, 2,000 riders board the bus lines that will become the BRT routes, 4,800 pedestrians walk to and along Fulton, 567 cars park in the underground garage, and 876 cars drive up and down Van Ness during the evening rush hour alone.

“This grant is great news for downtown Fresno,” Mayor Swearengin said. “We’ve spent the last few years planning the infrastructure needed for downtown revitalization and the BRT system that will bring people there. Today’s award shows that when we put the right plans in place, the federal government, just like the private sector, is compelled to invest in our downtown and our community.”

“This grant will greatly improve pedestrian safety and enhance Fresno’s transit system, an important step in revitalizing the downtown area. I am always pleased to support federal projects in California that create jobs and make critical improvements to local infrastructure,” Sen. Feinstein said.

"I am delighted that these funds will help accelerate the revitalization of downtown Fresno by improving transportation and pedestrian access for local residents,” Sen. Boxer said.

“This grant will put our people back to work building a safer, more vibrant downtown that will attract businesses and visitors to our community,” Congressman Costa said. “This is a big win for downtown Fresno.”

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