Augusta — Streetcar Study Delayed
Rail Transit Online, August 2009
Release of a feasibility study on a downtown streetcar circulator has been postponed from Aug. 13 to mid-September because engineering consultant URS Corp. is still finalizing cost estimates and potential funding sources.
An earlier and very preliminary projection placed the price tag for a 2.5-mi. (4 km) project at up to $25 million. URS has suggested that the FTA's Fast Starts program could provide as much as 90 percent of the required capital outlay.
City officials recently visited River Rail in Little Rock and found the streetcar operation impressive, according to Augusta Traffic Engineer Steve Cassell. "Talking to some of
the developers, they love it," he told the Augusta Chronicle. "It was something to see to believe. It meshes well in the traffic. We couldn't find anybody who didn't like it."
The five-year-old line, which connects Little Rock and North Little Rock with a fleet of Gomaco replica heritage cars, has generated $400 million in development. "It wasn't (built) for ridership originally; it was mostly as an economic development tool," Margaret Woodard, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority of Augusta, told the Chronicle. Little Rock was selected for the visit because it has similar demographics to Augusta.