Rapid “Laker Line” gets funding in Obama 2017 budget

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The Laker Line

WASHINGTON, D.C. – When President Obama released his 2017 Fiscal Year budget Tuesday, the Grand Rapids’ Laker Line Rapid Transit Project got a big boost.

The 13.3 mile Laker Line bus system is to provide service to Grand Valley State University from downtown Grand Rapids.  The project is one of 31 transportation projects in the budget to receive a total of $3.5 billion in federal funding through a grant program.  The Laker Line would get about $57 million.

The Laker Line is one of ten “Small Starts” projects not yet under construction.  Other projects include systems in Tempe, Sacramento, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Albuquerque, Everett and Seattle, Washington.

The funding comes from the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant Program.

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2 comments

  • Andrew

    A $57 million dollar grant to start a project that will lose $2-3 million a year.
    Yeah, that is an Obama budget alright.
    Did anyone look at what happened with the Silver Line to determine whether the idea of giving money to The Rapid is even financially responsible before approving this grant? No, I didn’t think so.

  • Dave

    This is a funding recommendation- the funds have not yet been appropriated by Congress. In his FY2017 budget request President Obama has asked Congress for $3.5 billion in funding for the FTA,s Capital Investment Grant Program.If Congress does not appropriate the full funding for the CIG program some of the recommendations will not be funded. If Congress appropriates no dollars , none of the projects will be funded. In FY Congress only appropriated $2.15 billion of the Presidents requested $3.5 billion so some of the FTA,s recommended projects did not receive funding or had their grant slashed.This is Federal gas tax money that was supposed to help fix our roads and bridges here in Michigan and across the U.S. A few years ago Congress started this CIG program to fund other projects with this money. And people wonder why our roads are crap. You send money to Washington D.C. expecting them to use it for road repair and it gets used in some other program. Then Michigan has to increase taxes to fix our roads. Grand Valley already has a bus line. They don’t need another to save 5 min of time. Upgrade the one already in service $71 million not spent wisely and I would bet more will be spent.