Keep Streetcar Momentum Going, Foxx Urges
Former Charlotte mayor and now U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was in town today for the opening of the city’s new street car line. And he had some combative words for state lawmakers. Foxx was a prime backer of not only the street car, but a transit plan that includes the Blue Line Extension, two more street car extensions, and rapid bus lines. In an impassioned speech, Foxx urged city leaders to build those projects without state support.
"So I’ve had my fair share of back-seat driving from Raleigh. And while you can’t ignore Raleigh, I can. And I’m going to tell you Charlotte, don’t stop building for the future," Foxx said to applause.
But afterward, Foxx admitted the city has few tools to do that.
"Honestly without the state helping either with cash or giving the city the ability to generate the cash, it’s going to be very difficult. There are very few options, but you got to keep moving. It’s more expensive to stop," Foxx said.
Foxx pointed out that inflation and other costs have already increased the projected cost of the street car’s second phase by more than $20 million.