Trump plan would kill Triangle rail system

One positive element of the Trump administration’s budget proposal: It would kill the boondoggle passenger rail program proposed for the Triangle. Christian Britschgi explains at

Also endangered is a more modest $2.47 billion light rail project in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area of North Carolina. GoTriangle—the transit agency responsible for the project—is counting on $1.2 billion in federal grants for their light rail line, all of which would be axed by Trump’s 2019 budget.

“The fact of the matter is this, we cannot complete the project without a full funding grant agreement from the federal government,” GoTriangle government affairs manager Matthew Clark warned Orange County Commissioners last week.

That’s the good news. The bad news?

If recent history is any guide, these transit agencies have little to worry about.

Though still a minority, Democrats—particularly in the Senate—have a remarkable amount of leverage they can bring to bear to preserve these grants. …

… And some Republicans have kept up a quiet pressure to maintain the same programs beloved by urban Democrats.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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