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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Peachtree Streetcar misses out on federal funding

click to enlarge No streetcar for you!
  • No streetcar for you!

While other cities across the country are prepping ribbon-cutting ceremonies to celebrate federal funding grants that will build transit lines, Atlanta's got the blues.

The city's $298 million bid for the proposed Peachtree Streetcar was not among the more than 50 TIGER grant recipients announced today by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The cash, part of President Barack Obama's $787 billion stimulus program, will fund a variety of transportation projects across the country.

There were high hopes that federal officials would award funding to the shovel-ready project, which envisions a streetcar line running along Peachtree from Five Points to Midtown and an east-west line connecting Centennial Olympic Park and the King Center.

Downtown and Midtown business boosters were on board and key to getting the project past the brainstorming stages. Mayor Kasim Reed recently told Maria Saporta the city's application even received a nod of approval from Federal Transit Administration Region IV Director Yvette Taylor.

But just like previous federal funding rounds for high-speed rail and other transit projects, Georgia and Atlanta received nothing.

City officials, however, tell CL that all no hope is not lost for the project. A second round of TIGER funding, though much less than what was made available today, is expected. We're scheduled to speak with officials about what other options Atlanta might have to get the project off the ground. We'll update after that discussion.

DOT received more than 4,000 applications from all 50 states, territories and the District of Columbia requesting 40 times more funds than were available. The federal agency receieved ore than 30 applications from Georgia requesting a total of nearly $1.7 billion. The Peach State was one of 13 states and territories not to receive any funding.

To view a complete list of the awarded grants, download this PDF. You can read Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's remarks here.

(Courtesy Georgia Transit Connector)

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