April 15, 2013

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.


Columbia Pike, Streetcar,


April 15, 2013

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Comments (7)

Truth About Pike Streetcar

Information about streetcar alternatives in the media has been one-sided. Now the streetcar boosters are making blanket assertions without evidence. Pretty pathetic.

Terri 114 days ago

Deception? LOL

Who's doing the deceiving? We can't get any information about bus alternatives for the Pike at all out of anyone - government, non-profit civic groups, the media.

Sean 114 days ago

AST's Deception

Read the FTA report and you will see that AST, through Rousselot is not telling the whole story. There is no way better to mobilize the Streetcar supporters than to continue the telling of falsehoods and intentional misrepresentations of facts.

Bring it on.

South Awwlington 115 days ago

Information Please

How about some information about streetcar alternatives on the Pike?

Peter 115 days ago

Arlington Needs an Inspector General

Arlington BADLY needs an Inspector General who reports only to Arlington taxpayers, voters, residents.

Larry 116 days ago

No Pike Streetcar No

Federal Transit Administration said it...I believe it...that settles it...NO streetcars on the Pike!

Peter 116 days ago

Not so

Rousselot isn't telling the truth. The FTA didn't fund any new rail or BRT projects for the first time in 20 years due to the sequester and other funding cuts. If you read the report you will see that the FTA made no judgment on the streetcar whatsoever, so to call this a "negative assessment of the project" is deceiving.

Arlingtonian for Sensible Advocacy 116 days ago

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