Paul1705 wrote: ↑Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:38 am
I thought the NJ Transit equipment was eventually repaired, bit off-hand I'm not sure.
I wasn't really thinking of equipment, but rather entire routes (or replacing them with buses). I don't think an agency would close a new rail route within the first ten years or so. But if ridership keeps dropping in many cities (which is a topic in itself), then by about fifteen years out something like Austin's MetroRail or Nashville's Music City Star might be vulnerable. I don't mean to pick on those places, but I think they have two of he lowest patronage rail systems in the country.
Analogies might be Pittsburgh's PATrain or Detroit's SEMTA which which were ended in the 1980s. Those were based on previously existing services and I doubt that any Federal money went into them. But there didn't seem to been any effective protests against their discontinuance.
Austin's MetroRail was not funded by the FTA or the FRA. All initial funding came from their own sales tax revenues, CapMetro's railroad freight revenues, and CapMetro's operation's fares.
The only federal money they might have received may have been for bus operations, certainly not for rail operations.
I'm not familiar with Nashville's Music City Star. But Denton County Transit Authority A-Train was also funded exclusively with local funds, no funds coming from the federal or state governments.
So not every train transit system in the USA had federal funding grants, and they are free to do whatever they wish without strings attached from afar in D.C.