McCain’s List of Wasteful Transit Includes Wilshire Bus-Only Lanes and Gold Line Extension

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a self-styled foe of what he labels
wasteful government spending, has launched a broadside against transit
projects in the U.S. DOT’s 2010 spending bill, which is slated for a
vote this week in the upper chamber of Congress.

john_mccain_speech.jpgSen. John McCain (R-AZ) (Photo: Scrape TV)

McCain
had proposed more than 20 amendments to the legislation as of Friday —
all but one of them to prohibit fellow lawmakers from earmarking
Federal Transit Administration aid for local transit systems.

The GOP’s 2008 presidential nominee frequently targets earmarks that span
a broad variety of issues, although his efforts rarely succeed in
peeling off more than a handful of Democrats. Still, his target list
for the 2010 spending bill that funds the DOT and the Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is notable for its focus on
stifling transit.

McCain included one federal highway
project on his hit list, one that appeared deliberately chosen from his
home state: a $4.25 million earmark for the Hoover Dam bypass bridge, requested by his fellow Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl (R).

Even
if McCain’s amendments fall short, as is likely, the U.S. DOT still
could be blocked from spending money on clean transportation. Sen. Tom
Coburn’s (R-OK) seven proposed amendment to the 2010 bill include one
that would "prohibit the use of funds for
roadkill reduction programs, transportation museums, scenic
beautification projects, or bike and pedestrian paths"
until the nation’s highway trust fund is on a firmer financial footing, according to a report in Friday’s CQ.

After the jump, check out a full list of the transit projects that McCain aims to strike this week.

  • the ARC transit tunnel connecting New York City and New Jersey 
  • Utah’s Mid-Jordan light rail, Draper light rail, and Weber-to-Salt Lake City commuter rail projects
  • the Sound Transit light rail extension in the Seattle area
  • the West, East, and Gold rail transit corridors in the Denver area
  • Northwest/Southwest light rail and the Houston light rail extension in Texas
  • the Dulles Corridor extension of D.C.’s Metro into Virginia
  • the Sacramento light rail extension
  • Honolulu’s proposed rail transit line
  • the Miami area’s Metrorail Orange Line extension
  • Wilshire Boulevard bus-only lanes and the Metro Gold Line extension in L.A.
  • the Blue Line extension in Charlotte, N.C.
  • the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red Line rehabilitation project
  • bus rapid transit from Bellevue to Redmond in Washington state
  • the Tennessee statewide bus program
  • Commuter rail improvements on the Wilmington to Newark route in Delaware
  • regional rail from Ann Arbor to Detroit
  • Stamford urban transitway in Connecticut

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