KCATA presented a modern streetcar proposal at yesterday’s Transportation and Infrastructure committee meeting. T&I is reviewing applications for $1.5 billion in competitive TIGER grants that are part of the federal stimulus package (yes, that’s $1.5 billion for the entire US). It’s conceivable that the entire capital cost could be covered by TIGER funds. The criteria for requests are fuzzy, and there is no formula distribution as with other transportation dollars.
What’s a modern streetcar? Think modern light rail vehicle running in mixed traffic. Why is it better than the MAX? Take a walk along the MAX corridor and see how it’s improved since 2005. Rail lines spur economic development, period.
On a side note: Seattle’s first light rail line opens this weekend. Track progress at Seattle Transit Blog.