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Corpus Christi - March 2003
   

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Corpus Christi — Streetcars May Return

Rail Transit Online, March 2003

A just-released consultant study shows that a streetcar line in downtown Corpus Christi would be feasible and, in the long term, more efficient and less expensive than a bus alternative.  The idea for the $70,000 study, financed by the local Metropolitan Planning Organization, the city and the Corpus Christi Downtown Management District, originated last year when government officials and civic leaders met to discuss the need for a more intensive transit service to handle increased development.  Among the suggested modes were heritage streetcars, light rail, monorail and buses.  A series of public meetings held last summer narrowed the options to heritage trolleys, either replicas or originals, buses and motorized trolley imitations.  Parsons, Brinckerhoff and Gignac & Associates, a local architectural firm, were hired to analyze costs, routes and technology under Parsons Senior Vice President Alan Wulkan.  Several route variations through downtown were selected by the consultants but all would be about two miles (3.2 km) long, start north of the city center at the site of a proposed baseball stadium and terminate at City Hall, serving tourist attractions including a museum and the waterfront restaurant district.  According to Linda Watson, general manager of the Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority, public input so far favors a heritage streetcar system with a price tag ranging from $22 million to $33 million, depending on the route selected, with annual operating costs estimated at $482,000.  “I don't think there's any way we could pay for the project without federal funding,” Watson told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.   Daily ridership is projected at 1,650 initially. The next phase will be an Environmental Impact Study and preliminary engineering once funding is obtained. 

 

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