Atlanta Streetcar Wins Big On Second TIGER Round

Rejected entirely last February for federal funding, planners made two important changes: Scaled down the project considerably, and scaled-up the city's contribution - which says little as their prior contribution had been zero!
October 24, 2010, 1pm PDT | Irvin Dawid
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With construction now set to begin in 2012, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was delighted last week to hear from DOT Secretary Ray LaHood that his city had won a $48 million TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) II grant - having lost out entirely in the first round last February.

Initially, "the city had sought almost $300 million for a Peachtree streetcar that would run from downtown to Midtown. But under that proposal, the city put up no matching funds, which some say hurt Atlanta's chances.

The project will cost about $72 million, with $10 million coming from the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District and about $15.6 million from the city as part of the local match for capital costs, Reed's office said.

The city also will provide up to $1 million annually in hotel/motel and car rental taxes for operations and maintenance."

From DOT Press Release: "An example of projects funded is $47.6 million to the City of Atlanta to construct a new streetcar line connecting many of the most important downtown residential, cultural, educational and historic centers, demonstrating the Department's commitment to improving quality of life in major metropolitan areas. "

From theTransportPolitic: TIGER II Grants Emphasize Limited Investments in Small and Mid-Size Communities: "After focusing on streetcar grants for big cities earlier in the year, the Department of Transportation takes a step back, providing funds for a number of smaller communities. Three big exceptions: Atlanta, Orlando, and Salt Lake City."

Thanks to Streetsblog San Francisco

Full Story:
Published on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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