Archive for the 'Other Cities' Category
The KCATA and St. Louis Metro transit systems asked a Missouri House committee yesterday for emergency funding to prevent impending service cuts.
KCATA is asking for $14 million to cover shortfalls from reduced sales tax revenues and diversion of transit funds to other uses — all in the face of increased ridership and a recently-enacted fare increase.
The article references a “Ken Kohler”, but we’re pretty sure that it was KCATA’s Mark Huffer doing the legwork at the Capitol, according to information we received from Jeff City.
UPDATE: The article has been corrected and a commenter has confirmed that Bob Kohler was representing KCATA this week in Jefferson City. Also, the request is double the amount of this year’s shortfall, so we’re assuming the $14 million will cover two years of operating assistance, which is in line with most stimulus timelines.2 comments
St. Louis beats us to the punch again. Short on operating funds? Ask the state government who sits at the bottom of the list for state support of local transit. While Missouri has a shortfall like everyone else, it’s possible that money allocated from the stimulus package could free up some operating support (it would save jobs and continue getting people to jobs, after all).
City Manager Wayne Cauthen — the source of the recommendation for most of KCATA’s funding cut — should contact KC’s state delegation immediately to determine the feasibility of such a request.
Meanwhile, here’s a confirmation from our new US DOT secretary that agencies should not expect operating support directly from the feds.
UPDATE: Response from State Senator Jolie Justus… “The KCATA just made a direct request for stimulus dollars from the state. The KCATA general manager was down here today lobbying for support. I’m hoping both cities will have their requests granted.”2 comments
Unfortunately, that isn’t a quote from any local politician. Try Texas.
Monday morning, a group of lawmakers is expected to introduce the Texas Local Transportation Act. The act would create a transportation district made up of 12 counties, which would have the power to levy taxes and fees in order to fund the Rail North Texas project and other roadway improvements.
And still we wait for one (or many) voices to support a serious regional transit initiative. The specter of a failing economy doesn’t seem to be holding people back elsewhere.
The transit “and other roadway improvements” approach has been used in several other metros, most notably LA and Seattle. The trick has always been to get the right mix of transit (more transit than roads usually wins at the ballot box, when they’re combined). Could that be the right approach for the reportedly road-loving KC metro? And if we’re really going to do a regional plan, is three counties enough?
UPDATE: Here’s some editorial support for the Texas plan.
No Soup For You:
- No free holiday cab service this year (KMBC)
- Krugman: Obama stimulus not enough (CBS News)
- Where are oil prices headed in 2009? (CNN)
- Light rail attracts 150,000 in opening Phoenix weekend (KNXV)
Metro Route Changes (effective 1/5/09):
- #28-Blue Ridge Ends Independence Trips
- #28X Changes Afternoon Times
- #51-Ward Parkway Adds Stop
- #57-South Oak Changes Times On One Trip
- #71-Prospect To Eliminate One Trip
- #101 Changes Times On One Trip
- #102 To Serve Prescott Plaza, End Union Station, Bethany Medical Service
- #106-Quindaro Changes Times On One Trip
- #129-I-29 Express Adds Rush Hour Trips
- #135 Changes Times On First Trip
- #142-North Oak Adds Rush Hour Trips
- #243 Changes Route Near Argosy
- #260 Changes Indian Springs Route
- Independence Fare Increase, Service Changes
- Light rail ridership forecast won’t be finished before Nov. 4 vote (Kansas City Star)
- Light rail opponents fail to file reports with ethics panel (Kansas City Star)
- Funkhouser: Build light rail, and eco-devo will come (Kansas City Business Journal)
- Mr. Stinky Feet debuts catchy new light rail song (Fox 4 News)
- Subverting democracy on a technicality (Kansas City Post)
- So who is this Patrick Tuohey? (Prime Buzz)
- JoCo’s interest in public transit rises with fuel prices (Kansas City Business Journal)
- Light rail would keep KC working (Kansas City Star)
- Downtown convention hotel opens in Phoenix (Expo Magazine)
- Bringing BART here: “Yes” on B adds connecting rail (Milpitas Post)
- Park-and-ride lots lead to light rail (Arizona Republic)
- Rail plan offers chance to get back on track (Boston Globe)
- Telling D.C. why we need transit money (Hudson Reporter)
- Metro walking a fine line on Prop M (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
- To build or not to build? (Denver Daily News)
Since the opposition has made a lot of fuss about the actual construction period of light rail affecting business owners — pay no mind to the long-term benefits to the community — we decided to hit up our City Transit Advocates compatriot at Light Rail AZ to see how Phoenix’s outreach program for affected businesses worked for them. Construction on the 20-mile starter line is complete; the line is in testing now and will open in December.
So, straight from the source is a post about their first expansion (already!) and some of the tools Phoenix used to mitigate construction impacts.
Regarding the specifics of financing options for these businesses:
The city of Phoenix offers several different types of loans to corridor business owners.
Expansion Assistance and Development is a collateral reserve deposit that can help Phoenix business owners meet a lender’s collateral requirements. Collateral enhancements up to $150,000 are available at no cost to METRO corridor businesses or to their lenders. These enhancements can be used with any commercial loan, including Small Business Administration loans and lines of credit.
The New Markets Loan provides below-market rates on loans to stimulate economic growth in low-income areas, which includes most of the METRO corridor. Qualifying investments may include office, industrial, retail or mixed-use projects with funding approval for construction, acquisition or rehabilitation. Project minimums are $1 million and loan repayment terms range from one to seven years.
Community-based micro loans are available through the Self-Employment Loan Fund and Prestamos, a lending subsidiary of Chicanos Por La Causa. The Self-Employment Loan Fund helps small businesses access capital in amounts ranging from $200 to $35,000. Prestamos offers loans ranging from $2,000 to $250,000. You can also get free business advice when you apply for these loans.
So there’s an easy way to get through this and hard way. What’s it gonna be, Main Street?3 comments
A new station that’s part of a Portland MAX light rail extension will feature wind turbines, solar panels, salvaged materials, and bio-filtration of storm water run-off.
The wind turbines — designed and manufactured in Oregon and perched atop the catenary poles near the station — will generate 275 watts. The solar array will generate 50 kilowatts, enough to run all lighting on site. The bio-filtration allows the station to be untethered from the city’s storm water system.
A common complaint about light rail is that the construction impact trumps any reduction in pollution or congestion realized by increased transit ridership. Projects like this address that complaint. However, opponents who trumpet the construction impact of light rail rarely include the manufacture of cars or the production and supply chain impacts of oil and gasoline in their estimates.
- Light rail and the ballad of the known unknowns (Prime Buzz)
- Light-rail proposition generates opposition (Dos Mundos)
- US Rep. Jim Oberstar and future transit funding (Prime Buzz)
- Federal funds for light rail aren’t assured (Kansas City Star)
- Councilman to Nutter: Fess up to anti-light rail ads (Plog)
- Calm down, Mr. Cordish (Midwest Voices)
- Light rail analysis: Where does it go? (Prime Buzz)
- Five Transportation Measures to Watch (Center for Transportation Excellence)
- Yes to Proposition M (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
- Bailout gives tax break to bicycle commuters (San Francisco Chronicle)
- Yes on Measure R (Los Angeles Times)
- APTA recognizes ‘outstanding’ agencies, individuals at annual conference (Progressive Railroading)
- North light rail’s price hits $900 million (Charlotte Observer)
- Public to get first look at Metro Detroit transit plan (Detroit News)
- Officials set to propose new taxes, fees for transit (Fort Worth Business Press)
- Light-Rail Supporters Kick Off Campaign (KMBC)
- Light Rail Campaign Launches (KSHB)
- Looking into light-rail myths: What are the facts? (Kansas City Star)
- Light rail costs (Prime Buzz)
- Public transit and oil dependence (Gristmill)
- Speaker touts perks of mass-transit line (Indianapolis Star)
- Metro let problems multiply, audit says (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
- Unsnarling Transportation Funding (The Bulletin)
- Transit author tracks new ideas (Fort Worth Business Press)
- The railroad not taken (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
- New Light Rail Line Coming To Baltimore (WJZ)
- KCATA considers discontinuing downtown-to-KCI bus route (KCATA)
- Rail plan looks for approval in November (Sun Gazette)
- Scrutinizing the latest light-rail proposition (Dos Mundos)
- Wyandotte County to start Sunday bus service in September (Kansas City Star)
- Regional transit planners from three counties hear from the public (Sun Gazette)
- Plans to expand light rail progress (Arizona Republic)
- Portland in an hour? Say hello to new commuter rail (Forest Grove News-Times)
- Council OKs ballot question on transit (Honolulu Star-Bulletin)
- Tranportation secretary Houston-bound with ‘good news’ (Houston Chronicle)
- Dueling transit plans differ on station placement (Crain’s Detroit Business)