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New Orleans transit authority can use federal dollars to jump-start streetcar service

Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation gave New Orleans transit officials the go-ahead to use federal funds to help re-launch streetcar service.

Under an agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will allow the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (NORTA) to use federal dollars to operate the Riverfront and Canal/French Market streetcar lines.

Yesterday, the authority began operating eight of its 35 historic streetcars on the Riverfront Line from French Market Station to the Convention Center Station, and on Canal Street from the Riverfront Line to Crozat Street.

The FTA also will defer NORTA’s local match requirement for transit funds for five years, so the agency can purchase supplies and equipment, and rebuild trolley lines using federal dollars without having to secure local matching funds. NORTA currently has $70 million in FTA grants available.

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More News from 12/19/2005