"The Obama administration is broadening the standards for how the U.S. government funds public transportation projects in order to disburse money quickly and improve the environment.
'We want to base our decisions on how much transit helps the environment, how much it improves development opportunities and how it makes our communities better places to live,' Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in announcing the change on Wednesday.
The Bush administration began using a formula in 2005 to approve projects that chiefly relied on commute times and costs, according to LaHood's agency. ...
LaHood said the budgeting change will give the green light to popular streetcar projects and will strengthen relationships among the Transportation and Housing departments and the Environmental Protection Agency."