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Salem - May 2005

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Salem, OR — Streetcar Routes Released

Rail Transit Online, May 2005

A consultant feasibility study on a proposed downtown streetcar circulator has suggested three route alternatives.  But the cost may be prohibitive, at least for the immediate future.  Two of the options start at the railroad station on 13th Street SE, cut through downtown and terminate at a redevelopment area on North Broadway.  The third route would run from the Civic Center through downtown to the Capitol Mall.  A possible extension to West Salem was not recommended because it would be too expensive, according to Bonnie Nelson, a senior partner of Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates.  The routes vary in length from 3.2 mi. (5.15 km) to 4.1 mi. (6.6 km) and the capital cost would range from $55 million to $61 million.  Members of the Salem Streetcar Committee expressed skepticism that the money could be found, even with a substantial federal contribution. 

Regional transit district general manager Jeff Hamm said the business community would have to support the project.  “Unless there is a champion for this in the private sector, it isn't going to happen for a while,” Hamm told the Statesman Journal.


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