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Tucson - May 2010

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Tucson ― Streetcar Cost Rises

Rail Transit Online, May 2010

The Tucson downtown streetcar project will cost $25.5 million more than its most recent locally-generated budget figure, according to an estimate from the Federal Transit Administration, and the agency wants the city to indentify sources for the additional money.

Local officials and the Regional Transportation Authority believe they can get the line built for $157 million as planned, including more than $60 million in federal stimulus funds awarded in February, but to be on the safe side Tucson is seeking an extra $19 million from Washington in the next round of streetcar grants. The final $6.5 million must still be found along with operating funds.

The $182,5-million figure was generated by FTA oversight consultant Jacobs Engineering in August 2009 and the city signed off on the document even though it disagreed with several assumptions, including the need for eight streetcars — only seven were slated to be purchased — and a large contingency fund.

Tucson Transportation Director Jim Glock said he hopes the FTA's new consultant. PBS&J, will agree that the eighth car and a portion of the contingency can be eliminated and construction costs can be held down because the recession has forced the industry to be more competitive.
"The cost estimate is a moving target right now, and we expect it to be going down," Glock told the Arizona Daily Star. "We believe we're going to have a considerably lower cost estimate."


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