Monday, August 9, 2010

Tracking State Transportation Spending

Dear TRPT supporter:

We are really excited to present a blog from guest blogger Ya-Ting Liu of Tri-State Transportation Campaign. Ya-Ting is federal advocate for Tri-State, a non-profit policy and advocacy organization that works for a more balanced and sustainable transportation network in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut metro regions. Ms. Liu also works as a field organizer for Transportation for America.

Francisca Porchas
TRPT National Coordinator

Guest Blog from Tri-State Transportation Campaign: Follow the Money

While transportation advocates struggle in Washington to derail the priorities that have shaped transit spending for the last 50 years, it is also important to understand how federal funding is only the first part of the transit pie.

We have learned many lessons about this work, but none comes up time and time again like the importance of tackling state transportation reform.

Read more about it at The Strategy Center

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Monday, August 2, 2010

Detroit moves transit forward!

WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 25:  Former Department o...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Great new to as Detroit moves one phase closer to a light rail system for southeast Michigan.
Feds OK study of 9.3-mile Woodward light rail line

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The federal government today committed to undertake an environmental impact study of an extended light rail line in Detroit and Highland Park -- an announcement that Mayor Dave Bing called "a major milestone in making light rail a reality in Detroit."
A 9.3-mile stretch of Woodward Avenue will undergo the study, according to today's announcement by Bing.

Joining him at the news conference held at the Detroit Institute of Arts were U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood; U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick; and Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

Bing said a light rail system on Detroitwould offer convenient and modern transportation with a tangible economic spinoff.

Earlier this year, the city was awarded a $25-million grant to begin constructing a three-mile Woodward corridor line. The extension would run from Woodward to Eight Mile, and would allow continuous construction instead of a segment at a time.

"Today we're building on the storied tradition of Motor City innovation," said LaHood, who explained that Woodward Avenue was the first street in the nation to be paved with concrete.

The private group M-1 Rail, funded by wealthy Detroiters and charitable groups, has raised about $125 million to build a segment of rail between downtown and the New Center area, while Detroit would have to extend the line north, largely through federal funding. The cost of the 9.3-mile line is estimated around $425 million.

"You get things done when you work together, and this is an example of that," Stabenow said.

Officials said the environmental impact study should be completed within a year, and construction could begin in late 2011.
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