Federal officials gave the green light Tuesday to 17 transit projects around the nation, including a bus rapid transit project in downtown Cleveland, a second concourse for New York's Grand Central Station and a light rail system in Orange County, Calif.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) also recommended $40 million for a 2.3-mile monorail extension in Las Vegas, $75 million for a 20-mile light rail line in Phoenix and $55 million for a 1.5-mile rail extension in Pittsburgh.
Jennifer Dorn, FTA administrator, said “recommended” projects will receive federal funding because they promise to stimulate the local economy, carry enough riders to make them useful and have realistic financing plans.
Dorn also said, however, that just because a project is not recommended does not mean it is a lost cause. Planners can still reduce costs or increase benefits to qualify for funding in the future.
Congress still must approve the recommended proposals as part of the 2005 budget, but an FTA recommendation is a strong indication that a project will be funded.