Business Journal: Streetcars May Return To Sacramento

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, August 3, 2005

The streetcars of San Francisco are certainly an icon in that city  … and now in Sacramento, a combination of enthusiasts and public officials are proposing a two and a half mile loop through the downtown area that would be a much smaller version.

Three historic streetcars from Sacramento’s past, in different states of repair, are already in local hands. Regional Transit is warm to the idea of running the old streetcars, whether restored or replicas … using electricity to power them, in sync with existing light-rail lines.

Far-fetched? Actually, no.  Streetcars were returned to downtown Portland five years ago, and prompted big investment. A Florida expert says 75 communities large and small are looking at reinstituting streetcar service, like the old days.

A local Streetcar Summit in late September will try to build momentum behind the idea. The timing couldn’t be more auspicious. With high-rise residential living in downtown Sacramento catching the public’s fancy … and a major new Metropolitan Transportation Plan coming next year, with a big wallet and open to public transit innovation …. Streetcars may find traction.