Monday, March 18, 2013

St. Paul ponders streetcar options

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As the Central Corridor light rail transit line readies for a midyear 2014 opening, St. Paul, Minn., is looking ahead to returning streetcar service to the state capital, in essence extending the Central Corridor's ridership reach.

St. Paul last was served by streetcars in 1954.

The city is reviewing up to 18 possible future routes for streetcars, some of them replicating lines once in existence, as part of $250,000 study to analyze how streetcars might complement LRT and bus services.

"St. Paul's residents deserve a world-class transportation system, and streetcars certainly have that potential," Mary Chris Campbell said to local media.

St. Paul City Council Member Russ Stark supports the idea as well, noting among other things that real estate interests are intrigued by the advantages streetcars offer, including the idea of permanence.

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