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El Paso - September 2008
   

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El Paso, TX — Streetcar Revival Studied Again 

Rail Transit Online, September 2008

City government staff will conduct a cost analysis for the restoration of streetcars to El Paso, 34 years after the initial system was scrapped. The result will be presented to the city council in November for a decision on whether to move the project forward.

Since 1974 the idea has been studied three times, most recently in 2002, but no action was ever taken. 'The council needs to decide whether rail — commuter or light — is a strategic priority for the city," city Rep. Beto O'Rourke told the El Paso Times. "The issue of streetcars has been studied to death. We need to decide once and for all if we are going to embrace it."

Preliminary discussions envision a single-track, three-line network. The routes would include a downtown loop, a link from the city center to the University of Texas El Paso campus and another from downtown to the U.S. side of the international bridges across the Rio Grande; streetcars once crossed the Mexican border into Ciudad Juarez.

Funding has not been identified but city Rep. Susie Byrd said all possible sources should be explored. "The streetcars are not just a transportation project, but also a tourism project and there could be money available for that, too," she told the El Paso Times.

 

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