Budget Cuts Will Not Affect Arlington Street Car Project

The Washington Post  is reporting that despite two Country Board members calling for the Commonwealth Transportation Board to drop funding for the Colombia Pike streetcar project amiss budget cuts, the state will not reduce it’s promised funding for the project.

Director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, Jennifer Mitchell says that the state remains “fully committed” to aiding Arlington and Fairfax counties with $65 million over a period of 6 years.

“This projects is an important regional priority and a key part of the economic redevelopment along Columbia Pike and the Pentagon and Crystal City corridors,” remarked Mitchell.

Board members Libby Garvey (D) and John Vihstadt (I) are against the streetcar plan and feel that the money would be better served if it was to go to funding rapid-transit busses along the same area.

“John and I strongly support a world-class transportation solution for Columbia Pike,” said Garvey earlier in the week, adding “that solution is bus rapid transit (BRT) — not the streetcar, which is currently in your plan. In fact, we believe BRT is a good solution for the entire region.”

Garvey and Vihstadt have been unsuccessful in opposing the streetcar project which is slated to run from the Skyline area of Fairfax County, northeast along Columbia Pike to Pentagon City, then over to Crystal City where it will connect with a separate but still related streetcar traveling from Crystal City to Potomac Yard.

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