City Council recommends modern streetcar on Nicollet-Central corridor
In October the Minneapolis City Council approved a measure that makes modern streetcars the preferred transit improvement along Nicollet and Central avenues, which together create one of the busiest transit corridors in Minneapolis. The 3.4-mile modern streetcar line will run in mixed traffic from Lake Street to around 5th Street SE, using the Hennepin Avenue Bridge to cross the Mississippi River.
Modern streetcars fill an important niche in the transit system.
- In high-demand transit corridors, streetcars are better than traditional buses because they can carry more passengers per vehicle.
- The way streetcars and streetcar stops are designed make it faster and easier for people to get on and off the vehicles, so commutes end up taking less time than on buses.
- Streetcars are similar to light-rail transit in that they attract new transit users. This includes riders who are visiting the area and those who are attending downtown events – travelers who typically will not ride a bus.
- By sharing the roadway with motor vehicles, streetcars fit more easily in urban streets than light-rail transit.
- Like light-rail, streetcars offer an economic development opportunity because – unlike bus routes – streetcar lines are built into the infrastructure. This means that area businesses and property owners can be secure in knowing that transit line will be operation for decades to come.
Now that the City has approved making modern streetcars the preferred transit improvement along the Nicollet-Central corridor, the City looks forward to working with the Metropolitan Council to develop more detailed plans.
For more information, visit the project website at www.minneapolismn.gov/nicollet-central..
Published Nov. 22, 2013