The Obama Administration is smiling on Portland's streetcar project.
In years past, the federal government has taken a skeptical view of its benefits. But as April Baer reports, the new Secretary of Transportation is singing a different tune on mass transit.
Ray LaHood: "Portland Oregon is a model for this, They've developed a streetcar system and we're going to be going to Portland and meeting with those folks and making some announcements, because they really are a model."
Secretary Ray LaHood's seemingly offhand remark on C-SPAN's Washington Journal was music to the ears of Streetcar lovers. The project got little support from the Bush administration. Observers believe that policy is being reversed.
The announcements that LaHood referred to are still unclear.
Transit officials in Portland say they don't know exactly when LaHood might be arriving. And they can't say what support the federal government might have in its pocket.
Planning for a streetcar extension is already underway. It's designed to expand the existing line into a river-spanning loop.