Congressman Blumenauer joined US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Congressman Peter DeFazio, and Congressman Kurt Schrader to applaud the manufacturing of American-made streetcars at an event with United Streetcar.
United Streetcar, based in Oregon’s Third Congressional District, produced the first American manufactured streetcar in 60 years. Sec. LaHood said that the success of the company was evidence of the Oregon's Congressional Delegation championing the kinds of transportation projects that create jobs, expand transportation options, and build more vibrant communities.
The Obama Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation have been strong partners in the expansion of streetcar lines in Oregon and nationally. The federal government made a $75 million federal investment in Portland's Eastside Loop, which is getting closer to completion. Congressman Blumenauer’s “Small Starts” legislation, signed into law in 2005, has allowed for greater flexibility for cities being able to leverage federal funding. This has opened up opportunities for communities across the country interested in street car lines that would otherwise be restricted from applying for federal matching funds. While the City of Portland was the first to purchase from United Streetcar, the company has recently inked a contract with the City of Tucson and has several pending proposals with cities around the country.