Text Resize

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

Mayor Vincent C. Gray Announces DC Streetcar Financing and Governance Task Force

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mayor Vincent C. Gray Announces DC Streetcar Financing and Governance Task Force

14 Member Panel Will Advise Mayor on Potential Funding Sources & System Governance

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray today announced he has established a Streetcar Financing and Governance Task Force to advise him on potential sources of funding and forms of governance for the District of Columbia’s emerging streetcar system.

“The District has the most ambitious streetcar plan in the nation. We are the only city talking about putting down 37 miles of tracks,” said Mayor Gray. “I want to make sure we have the best minds inside and outside the government working on the important issues of financing and governance to ensure the system has a firm foundation.”

The 14 member Task Force will be chaired by City Administrator Allen Y. Lew and will include 6 public members, appointed by the Mayor, with expertise in transportation systems design or engineering, public-private development partnerships, project financing and/or economic development.

Mayor Gray today announced he has appointed Jair K. Lynch, President and CEO of JAIR LYNCH Development Partners to serve as Vice Chair of the Task Force. The other public members include Richard H. Bradley, the Executive Director of the Downtown DC Business Improvement District (BID); Charles C. “Sandy” Wilkes, Chairman of The Wilkes Company; Matthew J. Klein, President of Akridge; Robert Puentes, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program; and Ginger Laytham, Senior Executive Officer to the President, CEO and Chairman of Clyde’s Restaurant Group.

The additional members include the Director of DDOT, the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, the Director of the Office of Planning, the Chief Financial Officer for the District of Columbia, the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Budget and Finance, the Director of the Department of General Services, and the Director of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

The Task Force is expected to:

• Provide detailed annual cost estimates for the construction of each portion of the 22-mile priority segments of the planned 37-mile streetcar system, including separate estimates of any streetscape or ancillary improvements associated with construction of the streetcar system;

• Provide detailed annual cost estimates for the operation and maintenance of the streetcar system for at least the first eight (8) years of operation;

• Examine potential sources of funds, including District capital funds, special assessments, tax increment financing, private investments, value capture mechanisms, and federal funds, for the construction of the streetcar system;

• Examine potential financing options for the construction of the streetcar system, including options that minimize the impact of financing on the District’s debt cap;

• Examine potential sources of funds for the operation and maintenance of the streetcar system, including District operating funds, special assessments, fare box revenue, advertising revenue, regional contributions, and federal funds;

• Propose reasonable timelines for the construction of each portion of the streetcar system, based on the funding and financing models;

• Examine potential forms of governance for the construction and operation of the streetcar system, including the establishment of an independent agency; and

• Transmit to the Mayor written reports of its findings and recommendations.

“I look forward to working with our agency directors and public partners to move the streetcar initiative forward as quickly as possible,” said Lew.  “Having these respected industry leaders on-board to help identify potential private funding is a huge commitment by the business community.  The personal involvement of business leaders cannot be over stated.  I’m committed to making this a model public-private partnership.”

The Task Force will sunset on December 31, 2013.

For more information about the DC Streetcar, please visit www.dcstreetcar.com.