To Ostar, the Portland-Milwaukie light-rail line is the top project in question. Last year, state officials confirm, TriMet asked the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to fill the line's funding gap by pouring in a share of federal grant money over the next 10 years. ODOT, recently given $100 million in "flexible" federal funds for non-highway projects, agreed. But the deal, strongly opposed by local transit advocates, came with a catch: TriMet agreed to give up any future requests for that grant money.
When TriMet released its budget in February, the agency showed a $4
million reduction in the federal funds it normally counts on.
"Here we are a year later and they're saying that the federal grants
aren't coming through," says Ostar. "But they agreed on this! It shows
how little they care about the bus system and how much they are willing
to risk on the light rail."
Debt on the Tracks | City | Portland Mercury