Fort Worth — Streetcar Grant May Be Rejected
Rail Transit Online, August 2010
After working hard to win a $25-million federal streetcar grant, Fort Worth city council members are now unsure whether to accept the money because the local match may not be available.
The city was one of four to receive awards under the government's Urban Circulator Grant Program last month. The plan is to build a 2.5-mi. (4 km) one-way downtown streetcar loop connecting the Intermodal Transportation Center with the central business district.
Some council members, looking at the $80-million to $130-million total cost of the line, suggested the city decline the grant because it can't afford to pay its share. 'We're talking about a multi-, multi-million-dollar system, and yet we have not really done our due diligence," Councilman Carter Burdette told the Star-Telegram. Other members feared that accepting the grant would jeopardize future requests for federal funding of commuter rail
and other transportation projects.
Michael Morris, transportation director of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, suggested the council step back and take a few months to determine a new strategy. Morris, who is respected for his deep knowledge of transportation policy, said the city should accept the $25 million and wait until consultants recommend a final route for the streetcar this fall.