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Rail News: Passenger Rail

USDOT provides $75 million grant for Portland Streetcar extension


Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced it will provide $75 million in Federal Transit Administration Small Starts funding for a Portland Streetcar eastside expansion.

The 3.3-mile, 18-station extension would run from the existing Westside Streetcar Loop, across the Willamette River, to the Pearl District northwest of downtown Portland, then along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Grand Avenue to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. The $127 million project also calls for purchasing seven new vehicles and improving the Broadway Bridge to accommodate streetcar operations.

Scheduled to open in 2011, the line is expected to carry about 8,700 passengers daily. The project is part of the USDOT's livable communities initiative, which "promotes sustainable surface transportation programs that are more safe, reliable and cost-effective for commuters," according to the department.