SORTA to transfer unused federal funds to Cincinnati Streetcar project

Project gets almost $270K in FTA deal

CINCINNATI -- It’s better to have and not need than need and not have, right?

The Cincinnati Streetcar project is catching a lucky break thanks to Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) to the tune of almost $270,000.

Officials said the money is leftover funds from a $876,762 rail-related grant that was awarded to SORTA in 1996 that must be used or would be forfeited.

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The Federal Transit Administration agreed to let SORTA use $608,484 for funding the Metro bus system.

The FTA suggested that rather than losing the money, SORTA should apply the remaining $268,278 to the streetcar project.

SORTA said no other regional projects qualify for the funds, so rather than forfeit the balance, the money will be transferred to the streetcar.

The money will be used to supplement the city’s unallocated contingency fund for the project.

“Our objective is to keep these federal funds in the Cincinnati region,” said SORTA Chairman Jason Dunn in a release. “It was a use-it-or-lose-it proposition.”

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