There have been a couple noteworthy changes in mass transit policy made by the Obama Administration.
First, in grading out light rail proposals, economic development and land use have now been put on par with cost-effectiveness. The last criteria was the top criteria alone for the Bush Administration.
An official of Virginia's Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) speculated that the effect of the change will be that it will now be easier to meet the Federal standard for funds, but that more localities will now probably seek to apply.
Second, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is now partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on transit system development. The former is obviously in it for the positive environmental impacts, while HUD seeks to construct affordable housing near mass transit transfer centers.