Galveston, TX — Plan to Resume Service Presented
A plan to restore service on the Galveston, TX diesel-powered heritage streetcar line, suspended in September 2008 because of damage from Hurricane Ike, has been presented to the city parks board, Galveston Daily News reports. The rail system would be unlikely to return until latter part of 2015.
Under the plan, the city would bring back trolley service on the route that existed before Hurricane Ike, running between downtown and the seawall, and from The Strand to the University of Texas Medical Branch campus.
The city would also inuagurate tourist-focused shuttle bus routes using “rubber tire trolleys.” One bus would start downtown, proceed to the seawall and then on to Moody Gardens before returning. In the summer, a second bus would remain on the seawall, traveling between Stewart Beach and 83rd Street, with multiple stops along the way.
The cost of operating the rail service would range from $535,000 to $670,000 annually. As much as $376,000 in state and federal assistance could help cover the operating costs. As much as $2.8 million might be available to defray capital costs.
The park board’s Tourism Development Advisory Committee has recommended that $300,000 from the city’s convention center surplus fund be used to fund the system, $200,000 for the operation of rubber tire trolleys and the remaining $100,000 toward the rail system.
Flood damage, which rendered the streetcars inoperable, would need to be repaired before service resumes. Service likely could not be resumed before late 2015.