In communities across America, a streetcar renaissance is under way. And at DOT, we are dedicated to improving public transit services by supporting streetcar projects all across the country.
This morning, I was happy to join Mayor Mitch Landrieu and other New Orleans officials as we broke ground on the Loyola Avenue Streetcar Line, an exciting expansion of one of the most popular streetcar systems in America.
Thanks to $45 million from our TIGER program, this streetcar project--from the busy Union Passenger Terminal to downtown's Canal Street--helps us continue our progress toward an America with the safest, fastest, and most efficient methods for moving people and products.
The New Orleans Streetcar project will create new jobs and economic opportunities while it adds a transportation option for residents and tourists. Although not expected to begin service until next June, the new line has already stimulated hotel renovations, new apartment construction, and retail projects along Loyola Avenue.
Once operational, the line will make jobs and services easier to reach by providing residents greater access to the city's vital central business district.
Streetcars are helping make New Orleans the kind of livable community where transit brings housing closer to jobs and businesses. And at a time of record high gas prices, streetcars are also providing Americans in many cities with a convenient, affordable way to get around.
A century ago, streetcars were a common sight. But by the 1960s, most cities had phased them out – to the detriment of neighborhoods and downtowns.
Today, streetcars are coming back, and they’re reviving the same neighborhoods they once helped create. Now, thanks to the Loyola Avenue streetcar line, New Orleans--home of our nation's most famous streetcars--is once again at the heart of this great American story.
Increased livability, more transportation options, and more jobs – that’s how we win the future.