The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) SORTA that $876,762 in rail-related grant funding awarded to SORTA in 1996 must be used soon or it would be forfeited.
FTA agreed to allow SORTA to expend $608,484 of the funding for the Metro bus system and rather than losing the balance of the grant, it suggested that SORTA transfer the remaining $268,278 to the Cincinnati Streetcar project, which is the only active rail project in the region.
Because no other SORTA or regional projects qualify for these funds, SORTA says the choice was simple: Transfer old, unused federal funding to the Cincinnati Streetcar project or lose these dollars for the region. The SORTA Board approved the transfer of the funds to supplement the city of Cincinnati's streetcar unallocated contingency fund.
"Our objective is to keep these federal funds in the Cincinnati region," said SORTA Chairman Jason Dunn. "It was a use-it-or-lose-it proposition."