The federal government recently said it will distribute $125 million nationwide for transit projects that could include streetcars — an announcement that Charlotte officials said could help the city's planned center city streetcar line.
Under the Bush administration, streetcars struggled to receive federal money. The Federal Transit Administration earlier this decade valued most of all how much time a transit project would save commuters, which made it difficult for slower-moving streetcars to receive federal dollars.
But on Dec. 1, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the FTA would pay for transit projects that improve a city's “livability.”
Some of the criteria include economic development and improvement to the quality of living in the area where the project is built.
The Charlotte Area Transit System believes the planned 10-mile streetcar line would meet those requirements.
The FTA said it would spend $125 million on transit projects such as streetcars and bus rapid transit projects, as well as $150 million for bus projects. The most any one project could receive is $25 million.
The federal government said it will award the grants in early 2010.
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