It's difficult to imagine a better place than New Orleans to announce the availability of $280 million in grants for urban circulator projects like streetcars and buses.
I'm really excited about this opportunity, not just because the streetcar system in New Orleans is such a great part of that community, but also because this is the first batch of funding for the Obama Administration's Livability Initiative.
And few projects can enhance the livability of a community more than those that connect destinations and jumpstart the redevelopment of communities into walkable, livable, and sustainable environments.
It's a simple idea: Fostering livability with transportation projects will stimulate America’s neighborhoods to become safer, healthier and more vibrant.
That's what streetcars have done in New Orleans; that's what they're doing in Portland; and that's what the residents of Dallas would like them to do in that city.
And I am not alone in advocating this path. If you read our news release on these grants, you'll find a collection of legislators who recognize the value of low-cost, energy-efficient, made-in-America approaches to transportation.
Approaches that create jobs and increase quality of life--we can do a lot of good with this money.