Raleigh struck out on its bid for money to upgrade New Bern Avenue with sidewalks and super bus service, but Charlotte hit it big today with a $25 million federal grant to start building a downtown streetcar line.
The Federal Transit Administration announced $293 million in grants for urban circulators and downtown livability programs. Charlotte was among six cities that won the maximum $25 million for downtown circulators:
Project: Charlotte Streetcar Starter Project (Urban Circulator)
Sponsor: City of Charlotte
The City of Charlotte will build a 1.5-mile streetcar starter route with six stops and three replica trolleys, in advance of a future 10-mile streetcar route. The project would be implemented on a reconstructed street already built with a double-track for streetcar vehicles and pedestrian and urban design enhancements along part of the alignment. The operating agency already has the streetcars and will provide the all of the vehicles required to operate the project.
Asheville also won $428,000 to buy five hybrid and diesel buses.
New Bern Avenue is Raleigh’s eastern gateway street and its busiest bus route. The city sought $11.1 million in federal funds for a $13.9 million proposal to repave New Bern, line it with sidewalks and add a bus rapid transit route with 12 sheltered stops.
“We’ll continue to look for ways to fund that very worthwhile project,” said David Eatman, Raleigh’s transit administrator.