Vol. 8 No. 39
Copyright © 2007
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elected and appointed officials at all levels of government.
In this edition...
Regional Forum On Infrastructure
Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Tim Murray To Chair
Regional Leadership Forum on Transportation, Infrastructure
October 11, 2007 - Boston, Massachusetts
A fee of $95 for government and non-profit attendees, and $150 for private sector attendees, is required, and may be paid online (secure server) at http://www.nationalcorridors.org/conf/, faxed, or mailed by check. The National Corridors Initiative, a private 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation which advocates for investment in transportation infrastructure as an economic development and environmental tool, is organizing this October 11 event.
The conference will begin at 7:45 a.m. in the Press Room of the Omni Parker House Hotel, Tremont and School streets, Boston, with luncheon in the Alcott Ballroom and surrounding rooms, and concludes with a reception from 5-6:30 p.m.
Additional information, directions, tentative agenda, and registration materials are available at:
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Amtraks Talgo Tilt Trains Head Back
Into Cascadia Service
CASCADIA (EUGENE-PORTLAND-SEATTLE-BELLINGHAM) --- Amtrak has received approval from the Federal Railroad Administration to make needed repairs on the Talgo-manufactured railcars used in the operation of Amtrak Cascades service between Eugene, Oregon and Bellingham, WA, Amtrak announced this week.
The trainsets, built by Spanish manufacturer Talgo and immensely popular with West Coast travelers in Oregon and Washington State, were found to have suspension-parts manufacturing defects in early August and were taken out of service then for inspection and repair.
As the trainsets are repaired, they will be rotated back into service one at a time starting this past weekend, Amtrak said, and all trainsets are expected to be repaired by early November. Amtrak said that [we] anticipate that train schedules will return to normal in time for the busy Thanksgiving travel season.
We have determined the appropriate solution and are moving forward with the repairs, said Nora Friend, Talgos spokesperson. Once the repairs are complete, the trainsets will gradually be put back into service and travelers will once again enjoy all the amenities available on the Amtrak Cascades service.
During a routine train inspection in early August, small cracks were discovered in welds of the upper portion of the car bodys suspension support system of several cars; WSDOT, Amtrak and Talgo agreed to remove the trains from service as a precaution, Amtrak said.
Talgo and Amtrak then determined that the cracks were caused by welding techniques in the manufacturing process, and did not compromise the safety of the passengers. The cracks are not deemed a safety hazard and will be repaired under warranty at the maintenance facility in Seattle, Amtrak said.
Substitute train service is currently operating on the route at reduced speeds and does not include some of the amenities featured on the regular Amtrak Cascades service, such as business class, feature movies, checked baggage, or bicycle accommodations.
The Amtrak Cascades Service is operated by Amtrak under contracts with the Washington and Oregon Departments of Transportation. Under contract, Talgo has responsibility for the maintenance of the trainsets, and these maintenance operations are performed in Seattle.
Amtrak Cascades consists of four daily round-trips between Portland and Seattle, with service between Bellingham, Wash., and Portland, via Seattle; between Eugene and Seattle, via Portland; and between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.
Amtrak will continue to operate trains 510 and 517 between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., utilizing Superliner train equipment.
Operation of the Seattle-Los Angeles Coast Starlight (Trains 11 & 14) and the Chicago-Portland/Seattle Empire Builder (Trains 7/27 & 8/28) continues on their normal schedules. (See www.amtrak.com for all schedule information)
Top Left: Amtrak Cascades awaits boarding passengers.
Bottom Left: Some of the Talgo coaches at the station.
Photos Courtesy of Marcel Marchon. www.marcel-marchon.com
T&I Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-MN)
WASHINGTON --- House Transportation and Infrastructure Chair Jim Oberstar, long a champion of intercity rail and transit in America, is demanding to know if South Dakota has misspent money, originally intended by Congress for rail and transit, for a new state airplane, the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader is reporting in weekend editions.
The purchase of [a] King Air 90 is the subject of an investigation by a Minnesota congressman. Democratic Rep. Jim Oberstar recently asked for a probe of the purchase, because Amtrak money was used to replenish the aeronautics account, reported Argus-Leader staff writer Ben Shouse, following a story by Terry Woster of the Argus-Leader the previous day which first broke the story.
Oberstar, who leads the House Transportation Committee, said in a letter to Amtraks Officer of Inspector General Friday that the states purchase of the airplane violated the purpose of the Amtrak funding, the paper reported.
South Dakota recently replaced an aging state aircraft with some 14,000 engine-hours with a new plane purchased with $1.9 million in funds in a special account created in 1997 when Congress wrote the Amtrak Reform Act, which was passed in 1998.
At the time, and has been the case more than once over the nearly four decades since its creation in 1970, Amtrak funding was the subject of contentious wrangling in Congress, especially from some Republican lawmakers at that time in high ideological dudgeon about any funding for rail at all. As part of getting approval for legislation funding for Amtrak, the then-four states without any Amtrak service in the lower 48 --- Maine, New Hampshire, Wyoming, and South Dakota --- were given special funds in the Amtrak appropriation bill to pay for rail or transit of some kind.
In the intervening years Amtrak service has come again to Maine and New Hampshire, which in the case of Maine used a special appropriation and the transit fund money to create The DownEaster, a wildly successful train which has after only seven years of operation become the number-one rated passenger train in the United States. New Hampshire, which is served by the DownEaster as it passes through on the way to Boston, this past week chose a chairman for its new statewide transportation authority which will tackle the new Nashua rail corridor immediately.
Only South Dakota and Wyoming remain without passenger rail service in the Continental United States, which excludes Alaska and Hawaii, although there is a possibility that a Denver-Cheyenne commuter rail connection, as Denvers rapid growth continues to advance from the downtown core, will erase Wyoming from that list, leaving South Dakota alone without service.
States without Amtrak rail service got a one-time payment from the government; South Dakota got $23 million, reported Shouse, noting that the money initially could be spent only on intercity bus and rail service, but that was expanded in 1998 to include air service centers and the purchase of intercity air service between primary and rural airports and regional hubs.
Oberstars letter states that the airplane purchase was in violation of the express purposes for the funding, Wrote the Argus-Leader. Republican Gov. Mike Rounds spokesman had no comment at press time, the paper reported.
MBTA Keeps Haverhill Trains
But Slows Them Down for Bridge
HAVERHILL, MA --- Try to take away a popular morning commuter train and what do you get? A huge groundswell of opposition --- dozens of emails and phone calls to local officials and the transit agency ---- that, much to the surprise of some commuters, keeps the trains on the schedule --- but at super-low speed.|
Thats what happened recently in Haverhill, Massachusetts. The railroad bridge spanning the Merrimack River between Haverhill and Bradford, which has been in need of repair for years, was abruptly brought to public attention back in August with the collapse of the I-35 highway bridge in Minneapolis: it is one of the 750 bridges nationwide that are of the same design, called a steel deck/through truss.
The bridge was built in 1919, has two tracks and 1,600 railroad ties, 75 of which are badly rotted. Upon further inspection soon after the Minneapolis tragedy, it was determined that the timber deck should be replaced and the granite pier underpinnings should be repaired. Inspectors confirmed that the bridge did not need to be replaced.
Train speeds over the deteriorating bridge had already been reduced, but last August they were reduced again, down to 5 mph. In addition, officials ordered that only one train at a time could cross the bridge.
Work began almost immediately to replace the 75 wooden ties that were in the worst condition. A spokesman for the MBTA, Joseph Pesaturo, said, Its going to be a major project.....but we are confident we will be able to keep one side of the bridge open at a time while we repair the other. That way, we can keep one track open at all times and not impact service.
But that was last August. Ten days ago, MBTA announced they were considering canceling two morning commuter trains that stopped on the Haverhill side, a rescheduling that could be in place for two or more years. The proposal was to cancel the trains that leave at 6:55 and 7:25 AM.
Within days, the decision was reversed. When the story came out in Sundays Eagle-Tribune last week, the MBTA was besieged by phone calls from local and state officials opposed to eliminating the two morning trains.
We received many calls and e-mails from upset riders, said Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini. This would have been terrible for the city. We asked the MBTA to please not do it, and they agreed. We are very happy about how it ended.
The loss of the morning trains also would have had an adverse impact on the citys campaign to promote hundreds of new apartments and condominiums around the downtown station as desirable places to live for young professionals who would ride the train to jobs in Boston, Fiorentini said. A prospective downtown housing developer called the mayor to express concern about losing the two morning trains.
The change would have affected hundreds of commuters who live near the downtown station. They would have had to catch their train on the other side of the Merrimack River at the Bradford station 1500 feet away. Riders who drive to the station have free parking on the Haverhill side but would have to pay $2 on the Bradford side.
It already costs $14.50 to take the train from Haverhill to Boston, said resident Daniel Spurling, who rides the downtown train every day to his job as a law clerk at a Boston courthouse. I was not happy at the thought of having to pay another $2 a day to park at the Bradford station.
Upon hearing the news that his train would not be canceled, Spurling said, I never in a million years thought theyd keep the trains after they told us they were going to get rid of them. This is great news.
Many commuters and officials were afraid the scheduling change would have been permanent. David Evancha of Haverhill, when he heard the proposal, said, Once the trains are canceled, they will never be brought back. This stop will just go away.
But Pesaturo has reassured everyone. Were keeping all the downtown trains, and we wont revisit it, he said.
The MBTA has $8.4 to million to repair the span. They are advertising for an engineering firm to develop the restoration plan. No timetable has been set for the repairs but the authority hopes to begin within two years.
A T spokesman told DF staff last Friday that the entire timber deck will be replaced in the spring of 2008.
Besides the commuter trains, freight trains and the Amtrak Downeaster use the bridge to cross the Merrimack on a daily basis.
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Tiered Fare Hike Proposed By MTA
SEPT 27 -- The MTAs proposed fare increase next year would charge less during off-peak hours, which could mean some riders would end up paying less overall.
In a story for NY1 News, transit reporter Bobby Cuza writes You would pay $2 in the peak and $1.50 off peak. The idea is to encourage people not to ride when its really crowded.
Charging subway riders less during off-peak hours has never been tried before. But its one idea being considered by the MTA as it prepares to raise fares early next year.
Under this proposal, the cost of a weekly unlimited-ride MetroCard would probably go up from $24 to about $25.50 or $26. A monthly MetroCard would likely go up from $76 to $81 or $82. Adding to the confusion, the base fare would go up to $2.25. But the base fare would only apply if you put less than $6 on your card.
The peak/off-peak price structure would only apply to pay-per-ride cards, not to unlimited-ride cards.
Those who can only afford to buy one or two rides at a time would have to pay the full price.
I think the volume discount is a good idea, said one straphanger, but I know that its hard for people who are living paycheck-to-paycheck to manage to scrape together enough to pre-pay for a MetroCard. So I think maybe thats not fair to that population.
Judging from NY1s experience, just explaining the concept could prove a challenge.
One straphanger said, I dont get it. Is that gonna help me? I work in the morning. I dont ride the subway on off-peak hours.
Another straphanger told the reporter that this sounds really complicated.
MTA says even just a tiny percentage shift translates into millions of rides annually, and could help reduce overcrowding during rush hour.
The public will have a chance to speak during public hearings and an interactive public forum in November.
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Reverse commute train a hit with first passengers
SEATTLE, SEPT 24 -- The Tacoma to Seattle commuter train arrived at 6:01 a.m. as usual last Monday but something different was about to happen: instead of sitting on the tracks to wait for the afternoon commute, the train opened its doors to passengers traveling from Seattle back to Tacoma.
A reverse commute was taking riders to Tacoma who normally would have to drive.
These rails are owned by Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) and in the past this reverse commute had not worked on the shared tracks, but a recent agreement with BNSF now allows the southbound train to access the rails it needs.
With plenty of seats and leg room, first-time riders couldnt contain their excitement, writes reporter Jenni Hogan for YouNewsTV in Seattle.
Im looking forward to just being able to sit there and read and relax and not fight the cars all the way down, said passenger Wade Strange.
But that extra room may not last long. Sound Transit has seen double-digit growth since the train service started in 2000, and passengers hope the trend continues.
By the end of 2008, Sound Transit plans to add a second morning reverse commute train to Tacoma.
In addition to the new run to Tacoma, the first run to Seattle now leaves at 5 a.m., 45 minutes earlier than last week.
And officials have added another daily roundtrip train between Everett and Seattle.
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Mass Coastal Railroad Wins Cape Cod/SE
BOSTON --- Massachusetts Coastal Railroad, LLC (Mass Coastal) has been awarded the Commonwealth of Massachusetts freight rail contract for southeastern Massachusetts, Mass Coastal announced this past week.
The contract was awarded by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation, in a ceremony at his office. Mass Coastal is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cape Rail, Inc., a railroad management and holding company that also owns Cape Cod Central Railroad, a successful passenger, excursion and dinner train company operating on Cape Cod since 1999.
The rail lines awarded comprise approximately sixty (60) miles of tracks throughout southeastern Massachusetts, including the line from Middleboro to Hyannis, with branch lines to Yarmouth and Falmouth. Also included are lines in Taunton, North Dartmouth and Westport. Mass Coastal will commence freight rail service to the lines customers on January 1, 2008. The contract with EOT is for ten years, with options beyond 2018, Mass Coastal said in a press statement.
The Hyannis-based railroad is best known for its award-winning sister company, Cape Cod Central Railroad, and for being an organization that is deeply rooted in the communities that it serves. The companies are owned and operated by John F. Kennedy, chairman and chief executive officer; Andrew J. Reardon, chief financial officer and treasurer; Christopher Podgurski, vice-president and chief mechanical officer, and Ted Michon, executive vice-president. Andrew Eldredge of Barnstable will be superintendent of the lines.
As with its Cape Cod Central Railroad operation, Mass Coastal will operate with the core value that partnership with its true community stakeholders is imperative for long term success, the railroad said.
The contract was awarded by EOTPW after a Request For Responses was issued in late 2006. Coastal takes over service from Bay Colony Railroad, which had held the contract for two decades. A large part of the railroads work is the hauling of trash for burning at the SEMASS energy plant in Rochester.
The contract is with Massachusetts Coastal Railroad, the freight arm of Hyannis-based Cape Rail, Inc. The company is also the parent company of Cape Cod Central Railroad, operator of passenger, excursion and dinner trains from Hyannis to Buzzards Bay.
Something else new will be a timetable for all freight and passenger operations, reported the Barnstable Patriot. Well continue the excursion trains, Kennedy said in an interview with the papers Edward F. Maroney, Associate Editor.
We hope to operate more of them into Buzzards Bay, and more trains to Wareham. Next year, were seriously contemplating running some dinner trains, family supper trains, possibly others out of Buzzards Bay and Wareham, Kennedy said to the paper.
At some point, Kennedy told the Patriot, he envisions people coming from those towns to Hyannis to shop and enjoy a meal, or dine on the train.
He said he is, certainly interested in continuing to pursue the feasibility of connector service to Middleboro and the MBTAs commuter line to Boston. Thats an even more interesting question now that the town is being considered as the host for a casino, the paper noted.
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The Most Effective Route to Cutting Carbon
SEPTEMBER 27 -- With global warming in mainstream news, people are more aware today of all the uses of oil in our daily lives that contribute to global warming, and some conscientious citizens are learning to calculate their own carbon footprint.
To find your footprint. Go to: http://www.climatecrisis.net/takeaction/carboncalculator/
While you may be taking measures such as making your house more energy efficient, the biggest impact in reducing ones personal quotient of carbon dioxide pollution is to switch from cars to public transit, according to a groundbreaking new study recently released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
The researchers found that that public transportation in the United States saves approximately 1.4 billion gallons of gasoline and about 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide annually.
This means, they conclude, that using public transit compared to other household actions can be more than ten times more effective in reducing this greenhouse gas. Even if we use a green car, driving has a significant impact on climate change. Transportation accounts for more than 30 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions.
The APTA study took on four big questions:
In 2005, the report stated that public-transit use reduced CO2 emissions in the United States by 6.9 million metric tons--the net difference between the emissions produced by transit and the emissions prevented by reducing congestion and taking cars off the road. A single individual with a 20-mile commute could reduce her personal carbon production by more than 20 pounds a day simply by switching to public transit. And although its hard to precisely measure the land-use impacts of increased transit use, various studies have estimated that the number of vehicle miles traveled goes down between 1.4 and 9 miles for every passenger-mile traveled on transit.
The impact is greater than any other measure an individual could do, the study concluded. Making ones home more energy efficient and lowering the thermostat can save about 2800 pounds a year while using public transit, assuming a 240-day work week, eliminates more than 4800 pounds of CO2 a year.
The study also concluded that public transportation can save a family on average $6,200 annually, which is more than most households spend on food.
Transit has to be available to people for this to work, and gradually things are improving in that direction. According to the latest available numbers, the number of miles transit vehicles spent in revenue-generating service went up 31 percent between 1996 and 2005. Light rail built during that period increased 85 percent and vanpools increased three-fold. Nationwide, buses make up more than half of all transit systems, but light, heavy and commuter rail systems continue to grow.
Still, much needs to be done to increase transit availability: only 14 million Americans use public transportation daily while 88 percent of all trips in the United States are made by carand many of those cars carry only one person.
According to Treehugger.com, if just one in 10 Americans used public transportation daily, U.S. reliance on foreign oil would decrease 40 percent.
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Events & Meetings...
Midwest High Speed Rail Association
Breakfast and Lunch are provided!
Join the Midwest High Speed Rail Association online at www.midwesthsr.org.
Rick Harnish, Executive Director
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National Leaders to Gather in North Carolina
To Discuss Future of High Speed Rail
Registration opened September 24 for this summit to be held on Monday, Oct. 22, in Raleigh. Virginians for High Speed Rail is a sponsor and has been involved in the planning since March.
The Summit Steering Committee, headed by Julie Hunt of Moffatt & Nichol in Raleigh, includes representatives from Departments of Transportation in Florida, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, New York and Georgia. Also working on this meeting have been representatives of CSX, NS, Amtrak, the Coalition of Northeastern Governors, AREMA, Don Itzkoff and the I-95 Coalition among many others -- especially representatives of sponsors, the Womens Transportation Seminar and the North Carolina DOT Rail Division.
The Summit, titled, High Speed Rail for the East Coast-Its Time, will focus on the nations east coast rail corridors with particular emphasis placed on the connection between passenger and freight rail. A series of panels throughout the day will feature national and international rail transportation experts who will examine technical, policy and funding issues related to these corridors.
Neal Peirce, a nationally syndicated columnist and Chairman of The Citistates Group, and Wisconsin Secretary of Transportation Frank Busalacchi, known nationally for his support of high speed rail, and the Commissioner for the New York State Department of Transportation, Astrid Glynn, will be among the 20 speakers and panelists participating in this intensive one-day event.
We believe our growing crisis in passenger and freight transportation requires leaders to come together to explore the long talked-about high speed rail corridors, especially on the east coast. Our goal is to continue to build the support that is necessary for implementing high speed rail as a relief measure for our over-capacity roads and air quality challenges, said Julie Hunt, vice president of the Womens Transportation Seminar North Carolina Triangle Chapter and convener of the Summit. Were pleased to have the participation of high-level industry leaders from North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, New York, United States Department of Transportation, Amtrak, CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern. Weve also extended invitations to additional railroad operators and policy makers around the nation.
The Summit will feature four panels aimed at exploring the key issues related to the future of high speed rail service on the east coast corridors. On the agenda are:
Panel moderators include Patrick Simmons, Director, Rail Division, North Carolina Department of Transportation; Mark Yachmetz, Associate Administrator for Railroad Development, USDOT; Louis Thompson, Principal, Thompson, Galenson and Associates, LLC; and Don Itzkoff, Partner, OConnor & Hannan.
Other speakers include (to date): Nancy W. Dunn, Chair, Transit, Ferry & Rail Committee, NC Board of Transportation; Andrew M. Perkins, Jr., Chair, Rail Sub-Committee, NC Board of Transportation; Nina S. Szlosberg, Chair, Environment Planning and Policy Committee, NC Board of Transportation; Lisa Mancini, Vice President, Strategic Infrastructure Initiatives, CSX; Drew Galloway, Assistant Vice President Strategic Partnerships and Business Development, East, Amtrak; Astrid Glynn, Commissioner for the New York State Department of Transportation; Craig Lewis, Vice President for Corporate Affairs, Norfolk Southern; Frank Busalacchi, Wisconsin Secretary Of Transportation; Dr. Anthony Perl, Director of Urban Studies, Department of Political Science, Simon Fraser University; Smedes York, Chairman, York Properties; Jennifer Esposito, Majority Staff Director, Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (invited - pending congressional calendar); Stephen Gardner, Professional Staff Member, U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security (invited - pending congressional calendar); Anne Stubbs, Executive Director, Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG); and Mortimer L. Downey, Chairman, PB Consult Inc.
October 22, 2007, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A summit fee of $100 includes seated lunch and theatre floor seating for the first 300 registrants. A late registration fee of $50 applies after October 15.
Founded in 1977, WTS is an international organization dedicated to the professional advancement of women in transportation. Boasting more than 4,000 members - both men and women - WTS is helping women find opportunity and recognition in the transportation industry. Through its professional activities, networking opportunities, and unparalleled access to industry and government leaders, WTS is turning the glass ceiling into a career portal. Additional information on the international organization is available at http://www.wtsinternational.org/.
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An Essential Need for Light Rail
and Other Mass Transit
Reprinted with permission
SEPT 27 -- An article by the Associated Press stated that on average drivers spend forty hours a year in traffic jams. This was a companion to a piece which reported that Washington, D.C. had become second only to Los Angeles in traffic congestion. If one commutes from Virginia, there are only five bridges which cross the Potomac River.
Various free market think tanks state that Americans love their automobiles and do not desire rail systems as an alternative. Really? Each year Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), D.C.s subway and bus system, reaches a new high in ridership.
I have an employee who drove to work. He often was upset upon his arrival. He now lives less than one block from a Metrorail station. He comes to work smiling and continually points to the virtues of the Metrorail system. Metrorail carries close to 600,000 riders per day. Some are tourists but most are workers. If these riders were stranded on the streets of Washington, there would be gridlock beyond comprehension.
Many of Free Congress Foundations visitors live in the suburbs and take Metrorail and Metrobus. They sing the praises of mass transit. Sure, Americans love their cars. But cars are only good when they are moving.
The fact is more cities want to build light rail systems. Depending upon the definition of light rail, the country has progressed from five to 22 light-rail systems since 1970.
Portland, Oregon is leading the way in building and operating streetcars. The Portland Streetcar line runs ten miles through downtown Portland. Over thirty cities have built streetcar lines recently or are planning to do so by 2010. Even after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina at least two of New Orleans streetcar lines are working again. Many cities are taking the streetcar revolution so seriously that a company is now building vintage streetcars. If one wants to buy so-called Authentic Trolley Cars, they are available from GOMACO, which is located in Iowa.
The last modern streetcar was built in the United States in 1952 for San Francisco. There is now no American manufacturer, although Oregon Iron Works plans to start building streetcars to a Czech design.
The biggest problem is the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). FTA has an inherent bias against streetcars. Indeed cities that want streetcars, both Heritage streetcar systems and modern systems, find that they simply cannot obtain FTA funding. Approximately 30 cities have shown interest in streetcars. The FTA answer is always no.
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Senator James M. Inhofe (R-OK) created the Small Starts program in 2006 under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users. The primary focus of Small Starts was to assist cities that wanted to build streetcar lines with less than $75 million from the Federal Government. Cities that applied found that they were told that they had to initiate bus rapid transit programs. What a typical response from the bureaucracy.
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) recently predicted a remarkable number of light rail and streetcar systems would operate within the next thirty years. A colleague of mine from an organization known as the Streetcar Coalition stated that regardless of who wins the next Presidential election, rail will be on the agenda. Whether we speak of light rail, which is used to relieve traffic congestion (and is often interurban), or streetcars, which simply circulate around a city, rail is necessary unless people are willing to spend days in their cars.
Paul M. Weyrich is Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation
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We Get Letters...
Thanks for your Destination Freedom Newsletter. I read it every week. I actually look forward to Monday!
I wanted especially to thank you for the inclusion of the maps which accompanied some of the articles this week. The articles are greatly enhanced by being able to see the routes and communities discussed - some because they are far-off and unfamiliar, others because they are well-known, where every detail of a discussed route is of relevance. It also saves jumping back and forth between the articles and a mapping website to clearly understand the topic.
Your editorship of Destination Freedom has allowed me to learn and enhance my perspective on transportation/infrastructure issues far beyond that of simply being pro-rail.
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