CenterLine flatlines

Earlier I noted who’s getting rail dough and who isn’t. Another light rail project that won’t be moving forward is Orange County, CA’s nine-mile, billion-dollar CenterLine. And the decision was pretty much done even before the FTA made its funding announcement. CenterLine didn’t even get support from the local congressional delegation. When Uncle Sam says he wants to give you a bunch of federal money, it’s the rare local politico who says, “no thanks.” Now there’s talk about (sigh) a magnetic levitation train. Expanded commuter rail service is also being talked about as are other options:

Building a sophisticated, sleek bus system with its own lanes so other traffic won’t slow down the buses … Widening Bristol Street in Santa Ana and reserving the street median for future rapid transit. Cost: $240 million. Funding freeway and/or local street projects with the $340 million now allocated for CenterLine.

Of course light rail never really goes away. In fact, some are saying that bus rapid transit would be seen as merely a stepping stone to rail.