Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Revitalization of Tucson....Bringing people back to Downtown!

The idea for returning streetcars to Tucson came out of the University of Arizona's 1985 Centennnial celebration planning. Fundraising for a "bring back the trolly" campaign began in May 1983 and by 1992 a trolly line was up and operating.

In 2006, Tucson completed a major transit investment study for its urban core, and in January of that year the mayor and city council unamiously approved the concept of building a modern streetcar line. Just recently, the reality of this line was given a major boost when the city was awarded a grant of 63 million in federal funds to complete a 4 mile streetcar route.

This four mile route (using trackage embedded in street pavement) will ultimately take the line from the University Medical Center (University of Arizona's Health Sciences Center), through the University of Arizona campus, along University Boulevard and Fourth Avenue, westbound on Congress, eastbound on Broadway, and then would continue down Granada Avenue and Cushing Street to reach the Tucson Origins project, finally terminating at the Rio Nuevo redevelopment site (Congress Street and Avenida del Convento)

Streetcar stops will be located about one-fifth of a mile apart, with four major stations planned along the route –at Tyndall Avenue and University Boulevard, Helen Street and Campbell Avenue, and at Eighth and Sixth streets at Fourth Avenue. Each electric streetcar will have a capacity of about 125, including seats for approximately 35 passengers. There will be four or five streetcars traveling on this four mile route and it is hoped that average weekday ridership will be about 4200 paying passengers.

Hopefully, the building of this line will be a major step in revitalizing our city and bringing folks downtown once again!

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