Is the Fresno city council about to give the finger to fed funding?
BRT is in the news again in Fresno. It’s sad for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they’re arguing about funding when the system was originally supposed to open this year. Fun fact: the RFP for the BRT buses went out in 2011. A winning bid was selected but obviously the buses have not been ordered.
Today, the city council will vote yet again on approving funding. Not city funding, but federal funding, free money that has fallen from the sky and is intended to help the city fix a portion of its terrible transit system.
The money didn’t come by chance. Two different mayoral administrations have supported seeking the grants (one democrat, one republican). A variety of city staffers have worked hard to submit applications for grant after grant, and have gotten the money secured – a giant coup as transit funding is limited and every city in the country is hungry for it. For example, the city grabbed onto $17 million in 2011, and a final $10 million earlier this year.