New Haven — City Rejects Streetcar Grant
Rail Transit Online, November 2011
The Board of Aldermen has voted 16-6 to reject a federal grant of $760,000 for an Alternatives Analysis of a downtown streetcar system. The majority apparently felt that spending money on rail transit, including the required $200,000 local match for the study, was an idea New Haven could not afford, especially in a poor economy.
"A lot of aldermen didn't see (the project) affecting their area," Alderman Darnell Goldson told the Yale Daily News. "It would mainly be in the downtown area — it would not affect them in a positive way."
The FTA had announced the grant only a few days before the lawmakers acted and 13 months after the proposal was
unveiled by consultant URS Corp. at a public meeting. The three-mile (4.8 km), $30-million line would have linked downtown with Union Station, Science Hill and the medical district.
City Director of Transportation, Traffic and Parking Jim Travers believes a streetcar would have helped New Haven's growth and re-development. "Streetcars have proven benefits to the economic system by laying down a fixed line of transport," Travers told the Yale Daily News. "As a developer, you are able to promote your company to a larger group of people if your property that you're developing on has a fixed transit system."