Workshop for RTO grant applications

Metro regional government has released a call for proposals for the 2015-2017 Regional Travel Options (RTO) Grants, and $2.1 million is available to government agencies, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations.

“Travel Options” projects are those that help improve the transportation system through education and encouragement of travel choices to and from work or school, such as carpooling, riding transit, walking, and bicycling. These programs help the region in numerous ways by both improving mobility and reducing pollution from car trips.

Grant proposals due December 19, 2014

Safe Routes to School projects are a great fit for this grant opportunity. The National Partnership encourages partners who are interested in applying for RTO funds for a Safe Routes to School project, to attend a Safe Routes to School-focused workshop on 10/29. We are here to help support your efforts in the Metro region to create a balanced, comprehensive multimodal transportation system for students and school-based staff by providing feedback on your application, or through a formal partnership as a sub-applicant.

Please bring your ideas, questions, and thoughts about scope and target population; we will provide a robust workshop to help you fill in the blanks about the RTO grants and how a Safe Routes to School project will work in your School District or town.

When: Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 1:30-3:30 in Portland.

RSVP to Kari Schlosshauer by Monday 10/27 for location details and information.

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Read more about how Safe Routes to School projects are a great fit for this grant opportunity. Visit Metro’s RTO grant page for more information and to download the application.

Metro Regional Travel Options (RTO) Grant Funding, $2.1M Available

Oregon Metro’s Regional Travel Options (RTO) grant cycle is now open with $2.1 million available for projects carried out within the Metro boundary — the tri-county region surrounding Portland including Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties.

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“Travel Options” projects are those that help improve the transportation system through education and encouragement of travel choices to and from work or school, such as carpooling, riding transit, walking, and bicycling. These programs help the region in numerous ways by both improving mobility and reducing pollution from car trips.

Safe Routes to School projects are a great fit for this grant opportunity, and you are welcome and strongly encouraged to apply! The four key categories for measuring RTO outcomes are Environment, Equity, Health, and Economy — and Safe Routes to School programs fit right in.

  • Environment: Safe Routes to School programs help the environment by reducing pollutants and consumption of energy and non-renewable resources through educating students on how to safely walk and bike to school, giving them the maps and other tools to do so, and providing support and encouragement for more children to walk to and from school together.
    • School drop-offs contribute as much as 25% of morning traffic.
    • In many cases, the drop-off trip is less than three miles — and the parent returns home after drop-off.
    • Some schools have seen a 50% reduction in parent car drop-off rates following the introduction of Safe Routes to School programs.
  • Equity: Safe Routes to School is all about creating opportunities for greater accessibility of travel options for our children to get to and from school and in their communities.
    • Many schools have high rates of kids coming from low-income households. Safe Routes to School projects benefit ALL students living within 1-2 miles of a school equally, benefiting underserved individuals and communities equitably and helping reduce household transportation costs.
  • Health: Safe Routes to School programs promote health benefits for our kids by creating and encouraging opportunities for use of healthier travel options.
    • The US Department of Health recommends people get at least 2.5 hours of physical activity per week.
    • For many kids in Oregon, a walk to or from school may be their only opportunity to get physical activity during the entire school day.
  • Economy: Safe Routes to School programs are a tried, tested, and cost-effective way to promote low-cost travel options for our youth to get to and from school. Kids who get physical activity in the morning are better primed to learn and there may be a reduced absenteeism benefit. Safe Routes to School programs also benefit the community at large by providing safe, healthy ways for people of all ages to get around in our neighborhoods.

Read on to find out who’s eligible to apply, how much is available for a project, when you need to apply, and how to get more information and help.

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