Over the past decade, streetcar service has become increasingly popular. Minneapolis, following a feasibility study by Nelson\Nygaard is developing its Nicollet-Central streetcar line. Seeing that success, Saint Paul wanted to determine the feasibility of restoring streetcar service throughout the city, with a primary focus on transit and economic development benefits.
Nelson\Nygaard began by screening all major corridors in the city for streetcar supportive characteristics, and then evaluating those corridors at increasing levels of detail to determine those where streetcar service would produce the greatest benefits. This process was used to develop what is now the city’s proposed long-term vision for the restoration of streetcar service, a proposed “starter line,” a phasing approach for subsequent development, and potential funding options.
The proposed starter line, which would operate on East and West 7th Streets through downtown, would serve 3,100 passengers per weekday and support development in areas with the greatest potential. It would also set the stage for a subsequent extension of service further south where development potential would be even higher.