El Paso Streetcar Contributes to City’s Exciting Downtown Revitalization
El Paso’s new streetcar launched on Nov. 7, and it’s been credited with spurring significant revitalization in the city’s downtown area.
The landscape of the city is changing thanks to investments from the city, developers, private investors and small business owners. For example, El Pasoeans (does anyone know what people from El Paso are called?) are watching their first high-rise being built in 30 years right now, thanks in part to the streetcar.
Some differences between our two cities do exist: according to the census, El Paso’s population is 683,000 (200,000 more people than Omaha), but our metro areas are similarly sized. Their streetcar route is 4.8 miles long (about 1.5 more miles than Omaha’s proposed route), and they do charge a fare. They also refurbished vintage streetcars (and added modern amenities), where we are planning on brand-new cars.
But the overall intention of adding to a multi-modal transportation system and contributing ongoing economic development to our respective cities is the same for both El Paso and Omaha. We see the scenario play out again and again – when it’s thoughtfully planned and thoroughly vetted, streetcars can spark meaningful, exciting change in cities.