This would be nice.
Houston Metro is due to receive as much as $180 million over the next 12 months from a huge economic stimulus bill to help jump-start construction of two light rail lines, a House committee chairman said Wednesday.
The long-delayed rail lines on the city's north and southeast sides are a "very high-rated project," said Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., who heads the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The project, he said, is ready to go and has cleared all but one step of a federal review.
"I will work with the Houston (congressional) delegation and with the Federal Transit Administration to process this project along," Oberstar told the Houston Chronicle.
Asked if Metro's overall request for $410 million from the economic stimulus bill had been realistic, Oberstar replied, "I should think so."
But the veteran lawmaker said the final amount of stimulus money for Metro would depend on action by the Senate and a House-Senate conference committee. Oberstar expects to sit on the conference committee.
If the transit portion of the stimulus package "stays at the $12 billion level (set by his committee), this would be a project in very good standing," he said. The Senate was debating the bill Wednesday.
By the way, on a related note, Tom Abrahams links to the document from the White House that outlines the impact of the stimulus plan on each state; it claims 285,000 new jobs in Texas if the plan passes. Check it out.Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 06, 2009 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles