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New Orleans Streetcar Grand Opening

Secretary Ray LaHood

“Remarks as Prepared for Delivery”

New Orleans Streetcar Grand Opening

New Orleans, LA

Monday January 28, 2013

  • Thank you Mayor Landrieu.
  • I’m delighted to be back in New Orleans to celebrate the grand opening of the new Loyola Avenue streetcar line.
  • I was here for the groundbreaking of this great project in June 2011.
  • And what I said then is still true: President Obama has a bold vision for the future of transportation in this country.
  • From Tucson to Fort Lauderdale, we’ve invested in projects just like this.
  • We’re putting people to work, spurring economic growth and creating more transportation options for people across America.
  • Right here in New Orleans, we were proud to give to the city $45 million from our successful TIGER program to complete this project.
  • And today, I’m excited to see the development that’s going on around this project.
  • You’ve got more than $2 billion pouring into this community to renovate hotels, put up new office buildings, and build new housing so that more people can live closer to where they work.
  • A lot of that real estate activity is what we call transit-oriented development, and it’s a direct result of building this streetcar line.
  • This local streetcar line is a tremendous example for how a project can generate growth in a local economy—benefiting thousands of hard-working families, business owners, and many others.
  • This is a great addition to the city’s expanding transit options – and it’s going to be put to the test very soon.
  • With Super Bowl 47 coming to town, we’ll see a surge of people visiting this city. And for the first time, fans can ride this streetcar to the Superdome.
  • Tourists flocking to the French Quarter will find a new option in the streetcar as well.
  • As most of you know, the streetcar has long been a part of New Orleans’ history.
  • And we’re proud to be your partner in modernizing this enduring tradition.
  • On a final note, it’s inspiring to see how much progress New Orleans has made since Hurricanes Rita and Katrina hit the region so hard nearly 8 years ago.
  • The determination and perseverance demonstrated by this community is a model for Americans—reminding us that we must come together in order to overcome the challenges we face.
  • On behalf of President Obama, we stand with you, New Orleans. And we will continue to partner with you as we build a 21st century transportation network that meets our future needs.
  • Thank you and congratulations.
Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2013