Jason Roberts -- a Happy Bullet, co-founder of the Art Conspiracy, Texas Theater-rehabber and, for the purposes of this item, Oak Cliff Transit Authority board member -- sends word that this morning's Dallas-Fort Worth streetcar item has (pretty much) nothing to do with downtown Dallas trolleys. Which is why Angela Hunt didn't know about the North Central Texas Council of Governments' joint grant application. Roberts says the Star-Telegram -- which noted that in Dallas, "the idea is to back streetcar circulator service downtown" -- got the story wrong as well.
Actually, Roberts says, the application for federal money is being filed on behalf of Fort Worth and the OCTA, which is trying to get dough to run a streetcar line between Union Station downtown and Oak Cliff (at this point, it would stop near Methodist Hospital before expanding throughout the O.C.). The request will be for $95 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants geared toward creating transit near workforce housing. Roberts says the 3-year-old OCTA, which doesn't have a formal relationship with Dallas Area Rapid Transit, needs help funding the project, since a good mile of the rail line would span the Houston Street viaduct and therefore not allow for the kind of cost-off-setting economic generators of which Hunt speaks in the earlier item.
"Downtown Dallas is going after grants as well, but this one's catered specifically toward workforce housing," Roberts says. "We've been working on this for the past few months, and when we heard Fort Worth was as well, we thought, Why don't we collaborate?' Maybe this will help our efforts. We needed someone who could act as a mediator and fill out this application on our behalf. Which is why there's the confusion: We hadn't even talked to Angela about the coordinated effort till this morning."
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