Leahy to LaHood: let’s talk New Starts!

This item led Metro CEO’s daily email memo to agency staffers on Wednesday:

Today, I wrote to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to encourage him to hold a public listening session at our headquarters on the New Starts reforms he announced last week. On January 13, 2010 the U.S. Department of Transportation announced, effective immediately, that it was rescinding a policy initiated in 2005 that limited New Starts recommendations to projects that have achieved a “medium” or higher rating for cost-effectiveness.  The Federal Transit Administration will, over the next several months, initiate a rulemaking process on the Obama Administration’s New Starts reform proposal.  For your review, please find attached our letter to Secretary LaHood.

The New Starts program is run by the Federal Transit Administration and is used to help fund large transit projects. Metro is currently seeking New Starts funding to help build both the Westside Subway Extension and the Downtown Regional Connector.

The letter is posted after the jump.LeahyLetter