A few readers were discussing Louisville’s old light rail proposal circa 2002 called Transportation Tomorrow (T2), so I decided to post the old renderings and route map in case anyone else needed a refresher.
From the project abstract at the U.S. DOT’s Context Sensitive Solutions site:
Travel and congestion in the South Central Corridor have dramatically increased due to population and employment growth within the Louisville Metropolitan Area (LMA). An important indicator of congestion has been growth in trips on I-65 that neither begin nor end in the LMA, but are “through trips” on the interstate system. The combined travel on I-65 for local, regional and through trips has resulted in slower and less predictable travel times and reduced mobility for many interlocking travel markets in the South Central Corridor. Accessibility to jobs, business establishments, and cultural, entertainment, institutional and public service destinations is deteriorating and is considered a primary limiting factor to social and economic development. Neighborhoods are affected by the diversion of some longer trips to the local street system. Existing bus transit operates in mixed traffic and experiences the same congestion as a private automobile. In most circumstances, the rising congestion penalizes the transit traveler more so than the automobile traveler when both in-vehicle and out-of-vehicle travel times are taken into consideration. Existing transit, therefore, does not, and cannot, effectively compete with the single occupant vehicle (SOV).
But what has happened to the T2 light rail proposal since then? From TARC’s FAQ page: What happened to Light Rail?
The Light Rail project began with a Major Investment Study in 1996. After initial studies and analysis, rapid transit was prioritized over other alternatives and the locally preferred South Central Corridor was selected. The project entered into the Federal New Starts Program, and it was approved as a project in Horizon 2030, the region’s long-range transportation plan. The project then moved into Preliminary Engineering after the FTA issued a ‘recommended’ rating and the draft environmental impact statement was completed. In 2004 – 2006, the FTA implied that the movement into Final Design was not possible without a secured local match and the Draft Environmental Statement was not released for public review. At this point, TARC withdrew the Transportation Tomorrow project from New Starts program due to the inability to secure local funding.