Arlington and Fairfax counties say they will try again next year for federal funding for the Columbia Pike streetcar project. The Federal Transit Authority has not included the project in their fiscal year 2014 budget, despite what county officials have called a "strong application."
The county has been counting on the FTA for up to $75 million of the $250 million dollar project. It runs about five miles from the Skyline area in Fairfax County to Pentagon City in Arlington. It is different--and differently funded--than the Route 1 Streetcar project which runs from Crystal City to Potomac Yard in Arlington.
“Arlington, in partnership with Fairfax County, is committed to building a modern streetcar line along Columbia Pike as the best long term transit investment,” Arlington County Board Chair Walter Tejada said in a statement released late Friday.
“We will continue to explore all financing options, including federal financing. While we are disappointed at not being included this year, we believe our application was strong, and will continue to work with FTA for inclusion into the Small Starts/New Starts program,” Tejada said.
Arlingtonians for Sensible Transit quickly released a statement on this as well.
“This is just the latest wake up call and negative assessment of this project coming on the heels of the $1 million superstop fiasco,” wrote Peter Rousselot, the group’s spokesperson.
The county has built one “superstop,” on Columbia Pike. It is a bus stop that will work with the streetcar as well. The first one cost $1 million to design and build. Two dozen more are planned, but that project has been stopped and is being reviewed after public outcry at the design and cost.
The FTA did not explain its decision.
- Mercury coverage of the streetcar.
- Superstops postponed.