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The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will provide technical assistance to seven cities for planned transit projects as part of a new pilot program announced yesterday.Known as "LadderSTEP," the program aims to provide technical help on streetcar projects in Atlanta and Baton Rouge, La., as well as such projects as the Maryland Area Regional Commuter Station in Baltimore and a light-rail line in south Phoenix."Transportation plays a critical role in connecting Americans and communities to economic opportunity," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a press release. "This pilot program is not only about helping seven cities achieve their visions for projects, but also about demonstrating that transportation infrastructure is about the people that use it, and not just the equipment needed to build it."To carry out the program, the USDOT is partnering with several national organizations, including The Urban Land Institute, Smart Growth America's LOCUS program and Enterprise Community Partners.