El Paso, TX — Funding Clears Hurdle
The $97 million in Texas state funding for El Paso's heritage streetcar line has cleared another governmental formality, winning approval from the Metropolitan Planning Organization which serves as a clearinghouse for state and federal funding, KVIA television reports. The city plans to restore six mothballed PCCs purchased secondhand by El Paso City Line from San Diego in 1949.
The rebound of downtown El Paso could soon include the return of these streetcars. District 8 City Rep. Cortney Niland, is a big supporter:
"We were able to qualify for $97 million worth of funding that we can use for this fixed-route corridor and we can see upwards, we're hoping, of a billion dollars of new development," Niland said.
Some have questioned the cost of the project and whether the funds could be diverted to other uses, such as highway construction or other transit priorities.
"What I was elected to do is handle my city issues. This funding was available, we went after it, we got it and now we're gonna be able to use these monies to help grow our local tax base, and that's good leadership," Niland said.