Monday, January 29, 2018

Do not expect Federal $ for Mayor Barry's mass transit plan

President Trump has revealed some of what is in his $1 Trillion infrastructure plan and it does not look good for cities like Nashville that are expecting big bucks from the federal government to fund new mass transit systems.  According to Politico, "Instead of the grand, New Deal-style public works program that Trump's eye-popping price tag implies, Democratic lawmakers and mayors fear the plan would set up a vicious, zero-sum scramble for a relatively meager amount of federal cash — while forcing cities and states to scrounge up more of their own money, bringing a surge of privately financed toll roads, and shredding regulations in the name of building projects faster."

The federal share of the new infrastructure plan is only about $200 billion and that is expected to entice the private sector and state and local governments to invest. Also, Trump's budget proposals have called for cutting existing infrastructure programs at the Department of Transportation and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Mayor Barry's mass transit plan assumes $1.5 billion will come from the federal government. That seems highly unlikely. How will the city make up that gap in funding?

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