Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Council Chooses Streetcar Route

A new streetcar route was chosen by City Council at its June 5, 2012 meeting. The new route creates a narrow loop for the future El Paso streetcar route which will use both Oregon and Stanton streets to connect Downtown and the UTEP area. The streetcars will travel north on Oregon Street, turn east at Glory Road/Baltimore, then south on Stanton Street. A downtown loop will travel east on Franklin Avenue, south on Kansas Street, west on Father Rahm, and north on Santa Fe Street.

The two-block-wide route allows the city to expand the streetcar's economic development footprint, and should help foster development along Oregon, Mesa, and Stanton streets. The route also runs through popular pedestrian areas such as UTEP, Cincinnati, EPCC's Rio Grande Campus, Downtown, Union Plaza, Segundo Barrio, the downtown international bridges, and the Convention Center.

Downtown Loop
The choice of the preferred route now allows the environmental and engineering assessment to move forward, which must be completed by the end of September to ensure up to $90M in state funding for the construction project. No word yet on how the trolley route will affect the planned Bus Rapid Transit route slated for Oregon Street.

Council to Choose Trolley Route
Trolley Project Could Get $90M in TxDOT Funds
Push for Trolley System Re-Emerges