Little Rock — Streetcar Expansion Advances
Rail Transit Online, August 2011
A two-week public comment period on a proposed expansion of the River Rail streetcar is currently underway and will end on Aug. 30.
The extensions would run north and south from the existing line deeper into residential areas of Little Rock and North Little Rock along the Main Street/John F. Kennedy Boulevard corridor. Several track layouts are possible including single- and double-track and one-way couplets. The capital cost, including the purchase
of one additional Gomaco Birney replica streetcar, would range from $33.2 million to $69.2 million depending on which of two recommended alignments is selected. However, no funding is currently available for construction. The expansion is expected to stimulate sustainable development and improve urban mobility.
Several routes that had been under consideration, including a branch to Little Rock National Airport, have already been discarded,
at least for the initial project. According to a draft report prepared by consultant URS for the regional Metroplan agency, the airport line "...was generally not feasible due to the overall cost of the alternatives in comparison to projected market share ridership estimates and due to a lack of existing land use development and future redevelopment potential in the primarily industrialized areas located nearby and adjacent to the airport."