by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
Reason.com is reporting that President Trump’s proposed transportation budget would cut federal funding to transit projects, including the much-debated rail plan in the Triangle.
Hear Peter Rogoff—CEO of Seattle-area Sound Transit system—tells the Seattle Times “there seems to be something about delivering people in trains and buses that is very hard for this administration to support.”
Sound Transit is just beginning to break ground on a $54 billion light rail and transit expansion that voters approved with the assumption that the feds would front at least $7 billion of the costs.
Also endangered is a more modest $2.47 billion light rail project in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area of North Carolina. GoTriangle—the transit agency responsible for the project—is counting on $1.2 billion in federal grants for their light rail line, all of which would be axed by Trump’s 2019 budget.
“The fact of the matter is this, we cannot complete the project without a full funding grant agreement from the federal government,” GoTriangle government affairs manager Matthew Clark warned Orange County Commissioners last week.
Will this prospect re-energize the discussion about how best to move people and goods across a growing and thriving area of our state? Let’s hope so. A check of GoTriangle’s twitter feed as of this writing shows they’re promoting a light rail design workshop on Feb. 20.