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Omaha - November 2006

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Omaha, NE — Another Look at Streetcars

Rail Transit Online, November 2006

A privately-funded study into a downtown streetcar circulator has been completed by consultant HDR Inc. and is being reviewed by Mayor Mike Fahey.  The analysis found that a 3.5-mi. (5.6 km) loop between the Old Market and Creighton University, serving the downtown business district, the Qwest Center and north downtown, could help economically revitalize the area.  The study, financed by Heritage Services, a local nonprofit fundraising organization, estimated the loop would cost approximately $55 million and could be operational by 2010.  However, HDR warned that the figure could change as more detailed planning is completed.  Fahey said he was excited by the streetcar proposal and could make a decision by the end of December on whether to forward it to the city council for approval.  Capital funding could come from the federal government, the Omaha Public Power District and a proposed special property assessment district.  The source of operating funds has yet to be identified.  The study also outlined two additional phases for future consideration:

  • Another loop linking downtown with the Mutual of Omaha area and the University of Nebraska Medical Center along Farnam and Harney Streets
  • A line connecting the Old Market with Rosenblatt Stadium and Henry Doorly Zoo.

A previous streetcar plan also costing over $50 million was proposed by the city’s previous mayor, Hal Daub, but failed to get council approval three years ago by just one vote. 


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