U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz has teamed up with two of his colleagues to help cities, such as Honolulu, spur development around public transit stations, particularly those associated with rail.

In a joint press release, Schatz and U.S. Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) announced legislation that would make available money for loans and lines of credits that could be used on transit-oriented development projects.

Funds would come through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program.

Senator Brian Schatz photographed during interview. 26 feb 2015. photograph Cory Lum/CIvil Beat

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz is a sponsor on legislation that could help encourage development around Honolulu’s future rail line.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Transit-oriented development, or TOD, is a buzz phrase commonly associated with Honolulu’s $6 billion rail project. The idea behind TOD is to redevelop communities around transit stations to make them more pedestrian friendly. It can also be used as an economic driver to encourages redevelopment.

“This bill would provide another tool for cities to facilitate smart, long-term planning and investment in neighborhoods near public transit, giving working families more convenient transportation options,” Schatz said in a statement.

“By making projects financially feasible in neighborhoods around transit, we can build safer communities, improve our infrastructure, and create jobs while preserving water and undeveloped land.”

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