Chicago — Six-mile Streetcar Line Proposed
A group named Chicago Streetcar Renaissance (CSR) is conducting a thorough economic study for a more than six-mile streetcar system, which would start at Ogilvie Transportation Center and Union Station and extend to Navy Pier, McCormick Place, and the museum campus.
The $235,000 study covers an area the group has termed the city’s “Superloop.” CSR is working with HDR Engineering, former Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) planners, and faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Urban Transportation Center. They expect the study to be released by summer.
The study is expected to estimate the cost of building and running the system, along with expected ridership, which bus lines the streetcars could replace, funding plans, and the streetcar system’s impact on property values.
The route would connect popular downtown destinations not currently connected directly by public transit such as the Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, Field Museum, Northerly Island, and the planned Lucas Museum.
The sysem would be costly with very preliminary estimates putting the capital cost at $350 million. Planners envision the line operating in dedicated lanes to increase service speed and attract riders.