The Senate is working on it’s 2008 Transit Appropriations Bill and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has proposed some really, REALLY bad rules for our fair city.
The worst rule change for Columbusites is associated with the New Starts/Small Starts program that cities without fixed transit use to get the ball rolling. The FTA is promoting the use of a system that looks almost completely at congestion (something we have very little of) as the key indicator of whether a project should receive funding. So what’s the rub?
One of the key reasons to install fixed transit in Columbus is to “grow smarter”. There is a transformative effect that fixed transit brings with it. It allows small pockets of density to develop around it’s stations and a higher quality of life to the residents who are well connected to their jobs, retail, and anywhere else they’d like to go. The FTA wants to ignore that and tilt the funding scales further away from growing cities like Columbus.
We shouldn’t have to shoehorn a system in later. It’ll likely be more expensive and less convenient if we go that route.
The good folks at All Aboard Ohio have simplified things for you to send a letter to your congressmen urging them to STOP this proposed rule change HERE. It’ll only take a second, and might help make a difference. 😉