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With a new administration in D.C., it's time to think outside of the box because passenger rail's survival just may depend on it

Saturday, September 13, 2014

TIGER VI Grants

Central Corridor in Connecticut

After about three years of efforts, another part of New England is about to get privately run passenger rail--and not a moment too soon. Yes, the $10.2 million was for freight improvements along the line between New London, CT and Brattleboro, VT, but the added bonus will be passenger service for residents and college students in Amherst, MA, which will be dropped by Amtrak next year. NECR will scoop in and serve the city but it's a question of when.

Southwest Chief

Another big surprise is that the beleaguered Raton Pass route received funding. The kicker is that only 20 percent of the needed improvements will be covered and as a result, the reroute via Amarillo is still in play. As a result, my proposals are still better than the recent reprieve.

M-1 Streetcar

Detroit's streetcar project got a boost in the public portion of the PPP.

Viewpoint

I'll use this space to get something off of my chest. TIGER has been a great benefit to rail and transit in general over the last five years. If the prognosticators are correct about the Senate changing hands in ;less than two months's time, this grant program is DOA because the Tea Partiers have tried to gut TIGER over the last three years. Congress had better come up with a way fund transportation projects moving forward or it will be held responsible for whatever happens to the decline of affordable transportation solutions.

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