The U.S. Department of Transportation today announced $75 million in federal funding for the Portland Streetcar expansion, a major boost for communities surrounding the $127 million, 18-station, 3.3-mile eastside extension, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today.
“This streetcar project will not only offer Portland residents additional options for getting around, but will also spur economic development along the line and create opportunities for employment,” LaHood said.
Secretary LaHood and members of the Oregon Congressional delegation announced the Portland project as part of the Department’s ongoing livable communities initiative to promote sustainable surface transportation programs that are more safe, reliable and cost-effective for commuters.
The proposed extension, across the Willamette River from the existing Westside Streetcar Loop, will connect to 10th Street and Lovejoy in the Pearl District northwest of downtown Portland, and then run south along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Grand Avenue, terminating near the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI).
Upon completion, the eastside extension of the Portland Streetcar Loop will include 18 new stations, seven new vehicles and significant capital improvements to the Broadway Bridge to accommodate streetcar operations. Oregon Ironworks, Inc., based in Clackamas, Oregon, will manufacture the seven new vehicles.
The proposed service will operate every 12 minutes during weekday peak periods. Revenue operations will begin in 2011. The line is expected to carry approximately 8,700 passengers daily.
A portion of the total project cost is being funded by FTA’s Small Starts program, aimed at promoting less costly but effective transit projects. To be eligible for the program, the request for Small Starts funding must be no greater than $75 million and the total project cost must be less than $250 million.
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