STREETCARS, TROLLEYS AND AMERICAN CITIES
WHEREAS, The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) enacted several changes to the New Starts program, including establishing the Small Starts program; and
WHEREAS, this Small Starts program reflected a new interest in American Cities to reintroduce streetcars and trolley's as a way in which to promote neighborhood economic development and mobility; and
WHEREAS, in those cities in which streetcars and trolleys have recently returned the evidence has shown that housing availability, commercial and retail opportunities and strengthened urban centers all follow; and
WHEREAS, SAFETEA-LU required economic development and urban development factors to be taken into consideration in the development of regulations under the Small Starts program which FTA failed to adequately do, which was the subject of a recent oversight hearing by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Subcommittee on Highways and Transit;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges that the Federal Transit Administration move expeditiously to implement the Small Starts program in an effective manner consistent with the provisions of SAFETEA-LU; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the FTA develop a Small Starts project evaluation and review process that gives equal weight to cost effectiveness, public transit supportive land use and the effect of a project on economic development.