Federal government favors buses over streetcars

Bad enough that the Santa Ana City Council did not put their silly Streetcar system out to bid – instead they handed it to Parsons Brinkerhoff and Cordoba Corp. (the latter is owned by George Pla – who also is the main funder of the Santa Ana Business Bank, which features Santa Ana Councilman Carlos Bustamante on its board, and includes amongst its investors Councilman Vince Sarmiento). Now information has come out indicating that the system that allegedly inspired Santa Ana City Manager Dave Ream to come up with this $748 million boondoggle, in Portland, ran into some serious funding issues when it tried to expand. It turns out the federal government prefers funding buses over streetcars…

Federal Transit Grants Favor Buses Over Portland Streetcar

Posted by: Nate Berg

3 January 2008 – 9:00am

Portland wants to expand its streetcar system, and is relying on federal funds to do it. But the Federal Transit Administration says it will give grants to only cost-effective proposals — creating a heavy bias toward buses and away from streetcars.

“The expansion, pegged to cost $147 million, would extend the streetcar from the Pearl District across the Broadway Bridge and south to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, nearly completing a streetcar loop of the city’s core. The federal government, according to the Portland City Council’s plan, would pay for half.”

“But the City Council scrambled in early September to meet a deadline to apply for funds, only to learn from the Federal Transit Administration that Portland is failing to meet a cost-effectiveness test that planners here say is biased against streetcars in favor of high-capacity bus lines.”

“Transit administration officials have said the Office of Management and Budget, a department in the White House, has ordered them to raise standards for cost effectiveness when judging transit projects. That contrasts with the bill Congress passed in 2005, saying projects should be funded if they support public transportation, are cost-effective and boost local economic development.”

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.