Seemingly adhering to its longstanding tradition of striving to be “anything but Dallas,” Fort Worth, Tex., Tuesday rejected further study on or pursuit of streetcars. The city had been awarded $25 million in federal funds to pursue the streetcar option.
In a 5-3 vote, Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief joined four other council members in voting against continuing to the final phase of the three-part study. “This has been a real struggle for me,” Moncrief said. “The bottom line is, many of us are still wrestling with concerns over funding.”
The $88 million project would have created a three-mile north-south line through downtown, served by three streetcars, estimated to draw 2,000 daily riders. Estimated operating costs of $1.6 million per year would have been covered by the Fort Worth Transportation Authority.
Observers had questioned whether Fort Worth was a logical choice for aiding streetcar development, given the city’s tenuous support of the mode. By contrast, the other cities offered a total of $105 million in federal funding last July included Charlotte, N.C. ($25 million), Cincinnati ($25 million), Fort Worth arch-rival Dallas ($4.9 million), and St. Louis ($25 million), all aggressively advancing their respective projects.