Monday, August 27, 2012

LaHood, touring MotivePower, backs Boise streetcar

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Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Aug. 22 endorsed the idea of a streetcar for Boise, Idaho, while touring Boise-based MotivePower's locomotive manufacturing facility with local officials.

MotivePower, a division of Wilmerding, Pa.-based Wabtec Corp., manufactures freight and passenger locomotives, while parent Wabtec provides parts and services for various passenger rail needs, including light rail transit (LRT).

"This morning, I had a chance to spend more than an hour with the mayor and his team," said LaHood. "I have committed to the mayor a team from [DOT] to work together with the mayor on his mission. The idea of a streetcar system to connect the university community with the downtown community is a very strong vision."

Local media note Boise received a $375,000 DOT grant in 2011 for a $500,000 alternatives analysis assessing a streetcar route. The study is scheduled to be completed before 2014.