El Paso, TX — Waiting for $90 millon from State
El Paso in west Texas is designing its heritage streetcar line based on an informal promise of $90 million in state funds, KVIA television reports. The City Council-approved plan is to rebuild the ex-El Paso City Lines PCCs, bought secondhand from San Diego, for heritage service.
Based on the informal commitment of $90 million, the city council allocated $5 million for planning, and $4.4 million of that has already been spent so that construction can start once the state money arrives. City officials said Texas Transportation Commission Chairman Ted Houghton committed $90 million for the trolleys once the city performed a preliminary study and applied for the money.
Houghton, who is from El Paso, has since stated that the Commission is still evaluating the streetcar line's design, including whether bridges along the route can accommodate the streetcars. Once the design has been approved by engineers, then Houghton could work to obtain the funds from a transportation allocation made by the legislature.
The project to restore stored El Paso PCC cars remains broadly supported by area leaders, but is subject to debate about whether it will become a reality.