Ogden, UT — Streetcar Interest Continues
Interest in a streetcar route from Ogden’s downtown transit hub to Weber State University and McKay-Dee Hospital with tracks up 25th Street through the city’s east-central neighborhood, continues but without attracting funding for implementation.
In 2010, a $720,000 transit study estimated the streetcar project to cost $156 million and recommended a lower cost Bus Rapid Transit option via 36th Street in its place.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, City Councillor Susie Van Hooser, rails on the ground would accomplish more than just moving people through the city.
"We see all the [light-rail] lines going south and we’re wondering if it’s an opportunity for Ogden to benefit economically and to enhance Weber State University," Van Hooser said.
Many Weber State students commute by car, and Van Hooser said that the university’s land could be better used for buildings than more parking.
Resident Brandon Bell has been part of the Historic Trolley District, a citizens group that wants to revitalize the city’s east-central neighborhood through a combination of mixed-use zoning and a user-friendly streetcar route. Bell feels that a bus route would not bring the economic development that would be spurred by a streetcar line.
Though transit routes to campus are not of key importance to Weber State University, the university would still like to see improvements. The school would prefer a streetcar line directly serving the campus but expects Ogden will have to grow into that solution as funding is the key stumbling block. The university supports the city's goal of the streetcar line sparking economic development, but thinks the school will suffer if not transportation improvements are implemented.