JLF Triangle Blog

Gov.-Elect McCrory: Triangle Rail Plan Must Meet Specific Criteria To Warrant State Funds

Carolina Journal’s Dan Way reports on comments by Gov.-Elect Pat McCrory about the potential of state funding for a rail plan in the Triangle.

Although he’s warned repeatedly that there is no new money in state government, Gov.-elect Pat McCrory said Thursday he could envision putting up a 25 percent state share of funding for a multibillion-dollar rail transit plan in the Triangle.

“If they meet the same criteria that I asked for when I was mayor of Charlotte regarding federal match, and also if they meet the ridership potential, and the right land use, I will be working with my secretary [of transportation] to support those types of efforts,” McCrory said during a news conference to name his final three cabinet secretaries.

“But regardless of where you put roads or transit, they have to meet certain criteria before they have my support, and, I assume, the support of the Department of Transportation,” McCrory said.

 

A key element of the debate could be new, less rigorous federal standards for funding, which have been proposed. Dan’s story includes comments from David Hartgen, emeritus professor of transportation studies at UNC Charlotte.

“It basically says [federal officials are] going to back off hard criteria for federal funds,” Hartgen said. “If that’s the case, then this is basically going to be a political shootout” among power players in Congress to determine who gets transit money.

Hard criteria include factors such as cost-effectiveness, local support, and economic development, with some additional consideration for items including environmental justice.

“On all of those criteria, the [Triangle] proposal does not score as well as other proposals nationally,” Hartgen said.

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