I thought it would be nice to start the week off with some hope - there seems to be a lot of it going around. Last week was a roller coaster ride for transit advocates across the country. From Seattle to the Twin Cities, everyone was asking what transit solutions could be expected from the first wave of stimulus projects (yes - I said first wave), and while the initial draft was not great a piece of shit, I am proud to say that one of our leaders - Mayor Carlos Alvarez - finally put his thinking cap on. Reading the letter and revised stimulus project list, I was filled with hope. After being ignored and mismanaged for so many years, our transit system has an advocate in Mayor Alvarez.  His blueprint puts transit front and center, stating that constructing the Orange Line is a priority. Bravo!

By asking for funds to complete the Earlington Heights Connector to the airport, along with $93 million worth of maintenance requests, Mayor Alvarez has made a huge shift in how the County perceives its responsibility toward providing transit alternatives. The Intermodal Center and Earlington Heights connector should never have been funded by the PTP without matching Federal Dollars (rather than funding the entire project with Trust dollars with some state funds). Not only is it shovel ready, but getting funds for this project would free up revenue for Phases 2 and 3 of the Orange line. Similarly, the maintenance projects listed will also help improve MDT’s fiscal future.

Now reality: most transit dollars in the stimulus package (now listed as a meager $10 billion) are to be funneled to cities with existing transit systems (NY, DC, Chicago). In addition, it is still uncertain that money will be sent directly to local municipalities, and not highway hungry DOTs.

Either way: good job Mayor Alvarez! At least here at home, we have something to hope for…

Related posts:

  1. Mayor Alvarez Responds to Tragedy
  2. Mayor Alvarez Holds the Line
  3. Alvarez Proposes Cutting Bus Routes
  4. Bueno Mr. Mayor, Se jodió la bicicleta!
  5. “No New Lane Miles!”

One Response to Bravo Mayor Alvarez!

  1. TransitDave says:

    Kudos to Mayor Alvarez for finally putting the Orange line on the top of the stimulus wish list. Naturally, this means that the Miami streetcar will probably get bumped of the list (and quite right)

       0 likes

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