Tonight: PBS on Transit, States, and the Stimulus
Streetsbloggers will want to tune in to PBS tonight for the latest installment in the Blueprint America series. At 8:30 (in New York), NOW will look at where all that stimulus cash is headed. Here's the teaser:
President Barack Obama's stimulus money is nearly out the door and on its way to the states, but will it be spent in the way it is intended?
One alarming example: Mass transit. Cities and states, strapped for money, are cutting back on mass transit even as it becomes more popular with Americans. Meanwhile, President Obama is calling for increased mass transit as a necessary step toward energy independence. Will the government's investment dramatically revitalize our national travel infrastructure, or will states spend the money according to ‘business as usual’?
This week NOW on PBS -- with Blueprint America -- travels to North Carolina to see what the future holds for mass transit in these troubling financial times.
The previous NOW episode in the series was 30 minutes well spent.
Speaking of states' priorities, California legislators and Governor Schwarzenegger announced a "compromise" budget plan yesterday that abolishes state funding for transit operations. Transit advocates are referring to the loss of $536 million in state assistance as the "Armageddon Scenario". Damien Newton at Streetsblog LA has the story.