The City of El Paso saw the roll out of a bike share program and Rapid Transit System line on Mesa in 2015. Coming soon is a new a trolley system and more smart growth developments that put people closer to bus stops, bikes and businesses.
“When I ran for office, I wanted to make sure that in our goals we made it a lot easier for people to move around in El Paso and have a better quality of life,” said Mayor Oscar Leeser. “But also to control the taxes.”
The hard part was getting the federal and state funding to pick up a portion of these tabs:
– A completed RTS with lines across the city costs under $150 million; to be completed by 2017
– The bike share program cost $720,000
– A trolley system will cost $97 million
Leeser wants to keep taxes low, while making the Sun City more marketable.
“When we go out and talk to companies, if they’re going to relocate to El Paso, transportation is a big part of how they look at cities and the growth of cities, and how cities are becoming proactive,” Leeser said.
But El Paso isn’t being as proactive as it could be according City Rep. Michiel Noe.
“There are those on council that bureaucracy is ingrained in them,” said Noe, “and that to get the job done takes forever because everything has to come back for council approval, be debated ad nauseam, changed, tweaked, come back to council, again and again and again. And you never really move forward. We are — but instead of looking at progress over weeks and months, you have to look at the progress sometimes over years.”
Noe though is pleased with the Mesa RTS line, which he says has granted El Paso national recognition.
“It’s slow progress, but as long as you keep your eye on the goal, you’ll eventually get it,” Noe said.