Charlotte, NC — Streetcar Grant Announced
Rail Transit Online – July 2010
Charlotte is one of five cities that received part of $105 million allocated for streetcar projects by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Urban Circulator Grant Program, which is designed to help cities better co-ordinate transportation, housing and commercial development.
The competitive grants were announced by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff at a July 8 news conference in Washington. The Charlotte project supported is:
- Charlotte Streetcar Starter Project: $25 million for a 1.5-mi. route with six stops and three replica heritage streetcars that will be part of a future 10-mi. alignment. Some of the track is already in place and the cars were purchased in 2004; they ran on a portion of the Lynx Blue Line during weekends and special events until June 30 when their budget was eliminated.
This was the second round of streetcar grants from the federal government, the first having been made last February under the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program. Those recipients included Tucson, New Orleans, Portland and Dallas.
"Streetcars are making a comeback because cities across America are recognizing that they can restore economic development downtown — giving citizens the choice to move between home, shopping and entertainment withoutever looking for a parking space," said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff.
Several high-profile projects were unsuccessful in both funding competitions including those in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Sacramento.