President Donald Trump's budget blueprint would eliminate the federal programs that have fueled the Portland area's transit expansion in recent years.
Yay! The only thing that's been keeping the cabal of "planners" and construction companies that Metro and Tri-met are in bed with afloat has been "free" federal money. Cut that off, and they dry up and blow away.
The federal grant program is funded through 2020, but Trump's proposal calls for cutting off new applications, sending payments only to those projects it's already agreed to fund. That would include TriMet's Orange Line, for which the agency expects to receive $100 million in fiscal year 2018.
Correct: Tri-Met can't operate their new 7.2-mile light rail line without $100 million in "free" federal funding. But they can afford to pay their appointed board members hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.