Transportation Secretary officially announces federal funding for streetcar

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood with members of Cincinnati council
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood with members of Cincinnati council

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has officially announced funding for the Cincinnati streetcar project.

The streetcar project is one of 46 projects receiving funding from the Department of Transportation's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) III program. The streetcar is getting $10.9 million in funding.

LaHood joined Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory on Thursday for the official announcement.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) received 848 project applications from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, requesting a total of $14.29 billion, far exceeding the $511 million made available for grants under the TIGER III program.

"The overwhelming demand for these grants clearly shows that communities across the country can't afford to wait any longer for Congress to put Americans to work building the transportation projects that are critical to our economic future," said Secretary LaHood. "That's why we've taken action to get these grants out the door quickly, and that is why we will continue to ask Congress to make the targeted investments we need to create jobs, repair our nation's transportation systems, better serve the traveling public and our nation's businesses, factories and farms, and make sure our economy continues to grow."

Cincinnati had asked for $57 million toward the project.

Mayor Mallory and other supporters say the streetcar project will spur downtown development. The city has $95 million in funding before the new grant but is seeking more money to expand route construction.

Voters in November rejected an issue aimed at halting streetcar construction. Opponents of the streetcar say it's wasteful and will accomplish little.

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