This June, the City of Greenville, Greenlink and Greenville County will apply for more than $12 million in TIGER Discretionary Grant funding from the United States Department of Transportation, bringing together more than 40 regional partners including municipalities, private corporations, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions and others to address public transportation needs in the region. If received, this US DOT discretionary grant will transform the current Greenlink transit system into a regional transportation network designed to reach the farthest points of the county with express bus routes served by zero-emission, electric buses. The transformed system will feature commuter express lines from Travelers Rest to Fountain Inn, and from Greer to SC TAC, with reduced headways and expanded hours of service to better accommodate flexible work schedules and manufacturing shift changes.
Procurement of 10 zero-emission, electric buses and two EV charging stations will create the core of an innovative transportation network that not only makes jobs, health care and education more accessible to all Greenville County residents, but also addresses road congestion, air quality and oil dependency issues. Along two corridor express routes –the Gold Line and the Blue Line - will be 24 multimodal transit stations equipped with electronic pay and bike-share equipment to create an integrated multimodal system.
Building upon the TIGER II grant received by the City of Greenville in 2010 and the subsequent West Greenville Comprehensive Plan, this TIGER VII grant proposal also calls for the creation of circulator routes to connect West Greenville and other underserved neighborhoods within the City of Greenville, as well as the municipalities of Travelers Rest, Greer, Mauldin, Simpsonville and Fountain Inn to the greater Greenlink system’s express and fixed routes.
Additionally, this grant requests funding for activation of Greenville County’s railroad corridor to extend the Swamp Rabbit Trail from E. Washington Street to CU-ICAR. This greenway activation complements a regional transit system by providing a multimodal, ‘last-mile’ connection to jobs and educational opportunities along a major county thoroughfare. Activation of this corridor includes a connection to the community of Arcadia Hills, a redeveloped neighborhood in a distressed area of the county made possible by two federal HOPE VI grants, as well as Verdae, a master-planned, mixed-use neighborhood. The connection to Arcadia Hills will serve as a pilot safety program and working model for future community connections to the transportation corridor.