Baton Rouge — FTA Go-Ahead
After five months of study, the Federal Transit Administration has given the Baton Rouge streetcar project clearance to proceed, The Advocate reported. The FTA issued a findng of no significant environmental impact, a green light for further planning at Louisiana's state capital city. The three-mile, $170 million project now will advance to the design phase with federal funds expected to cover $67.5 million of the price tag. The deadline to file a federal funding application is Sept. 2.
The proposed $170 million streetcar would link downtown Baton Rouge and LSU. The ruling after only five months of review is unusual as such reviews often take a year or more.
The project team hopes to receive about $67.5 million in federal funding for the project. Construction could take two years followed by a testing period. The target for beginning of service is mid 2021.
Baton Rouge is seen as having an advantage in getting federal money for the line as officials with the FTA see it as a “showcase project” that could be a template for similar projects in other mid-sized cities.