Lancaster — Federal Funding Denied
Rail Transit Online, September 2008
The Federal Transit Administration has reject a request for a $14.2-million grant to
help finance a 2.6-mi. (4.2 km) downtown heritage streetcar loop under the Small Starts
program. This was the second time the FTA refused funding and continues the agency's apparent policy of turning down all streetcar projects under Small Starts.
The scheme, which would link the Amtrak station with the Southern Market Center near the County Convention Center, is being promoted by the non-profit Lancaster Streetcar Co. (LSC). "We're continuing to
seek funds in the 2010 (federal) budget," Tim Peters, chairman of the streetcar board, told the Lancaster New Era. "But to be honest, I don't know where we go from here."
Meanwhile, it has been revealed that the three former SEPTA PCCs obtained from the Baltimore Streetcar Museum were purchased by three LSC board members using their own money. Should the downtown project be
successful, LSC will purchase the cars from their owners. If it fails, the board members are free to dispose of the PCCs and recoup their investment.
Plans to display one of the cars, now undergoing cosmetic restoration, have been postponed indefinitely. The vehicle was to have been used to generate interest in the project and help raise private-sector funding.