Tucson ― Feds OK Streetcar Purchase
Rail Transit Online, October 2009
The Federal Transit Administration has given the city of Tucson final approval to buy seven modern streetcars for its planned 3.6-mi. (5.8 km) line connecting the University Medical Center. the University of Arizona campus, downtown and the Rio Nuevo cultural center. The $2.3-million cars will be supplied by United Streetcar and will contain at least 70 percent U.S.-made components.
In a letter to Tucson Transportation Director Jim Glock, FTA regional Administrator Leslie Rogers said the city can also "incur costs" for rail, ties and other specialized equipment. However, Rogers' letter stressed there is still no guarantee of federal funding and the city assumes the financial risk of any purchases.
The city is hoping for a $75-million grant from Washington to match a like amount
approved by local voters in 2006. "I'm cautiously optimistic that we're going to fare well," Glock told KOLD-TV News. "It's been a long road getting here to date and you never know. But at the end of the day, we'll get those federal funds." Final design is already underway and construction approval could come early in 2010.