Ken Larsen's website - DOLRT has low chance of getting Federal funding


(November 26, 2017) I just checked the FTA's list of projects in the engineering phase.  There are six projects, and DOLRT currently has the lowest rating:


# Name of project Location Fed $ being asked for Overall project rating Project justification rating Local financial commitment rating
1 Maryland National Capital Purple Line Bethesda, MD $ 900M High Medium-high High
2 Lynnwood Link Extension Seattle, WA $ 1,173M Medium-High Medium-High Medium
3 METRO Blue Line Extension (Bottineau LRT) Minneapolis, MN $ 753M Medium-High Medium Medium-High
4 Southwest Light rail transit Minneapolis, MN $ 929M Medium-High Medium Medium-High
5 Santa Ana - Garden Grove Streetcar Project Santa, Ana, CA $ 149M Medium-High Medium Medium-High
6 Durham-Orange LRT Durham, NC $ 1,238M Medium Medium Medium


The complete list of Capital Investment Grant (CIG) projects can be found here.  Projects in the engineering phase are listed with the acronym NSE (New Starts Engineering).  I clicked on a project's PDF and then the PDF inside the PDF to see the ratings.


Note that besides DOLRT being rated last, DOLRT is asking for the most federal money.  In addition, Durham-Orange counties are heavily Democratic, and the Federal government is currently Republican dominated.


Combine all of this, and I conclude that DOLRT has zero chance getting Federal funding.


The Federal Funding decision won't be made until late 2019 or early 2020.  Until then, DOLRT is burning $ 5M/month in its engineering phase. 


Click here to listen to an audio recording of GoTriangle's Danny Rogers telling Ken Larsen that the DOLRT project will be ended if DOLRT doesn't get Federal funding. 


Ken:  "Hypothetically what would happen if they [the Federal government] said no?"


GoTriangle's Danny Rogers:  "We wouldn't be building the project."


This one-on-one conversation took place on November 28, 2017 at Creekside Elementary School.  GoTriangle had just given a presentation to about 120 concerned citizens about the ROMF being built nearby on Farrington Road.



Ken Larsen's home page