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Crafting the corridor: City looks for streetcar route improvements

As the El Paso Streetcar launch draws closer every day, city representatives Svarzbein and Lizarraga brought El Pasoans out to ride the streetcar corridor in a bus Saturday and look for future needs.

Parking, shade, and housing were three biggest suggestions from those invited to scout the streetcar routes and see what’s needed to improve streetcar use.

“El Paso is becoming the city that we;’ve all envisioned it being, and it’s already such an interesting place, but it’s nice that we’re going to have the amenities that make it a wonderful place to go out downtown,” said Stefanie Uribarri who was on the tour.

The route has been mapped out for months, as people rode through the downtown and uptown lines they saw improvements that could be made like student housing or shelters for the hotter stops. They took those observations and wrote them on suggestion cards, placing them all along the future streetcar route.

“With the streetcar being reintroduced to El Paso streets after so many decades, this is an opportunity to engage the public, to listen to their ideas, their ideas of what they want to see in their streetcar,” said City Representative Peter Svarzbein,

As to the many improvements El Pasoans requested, they know not everything can be implemented.

“I think they’ll listen to people’s suggestions, I think the big challenge is always funding. It’s not as if the city has infinite funds and is able to incentivize the pie in the sky ideas we all have,” Uribarri said.

It won’t be only the city working on this, the future of the corridor is in the hands of the government and private investors.

“This is about everybody hopping aboard for the streetcar and for El Paso’s future,” Svarzbein said.

The streetcars are on track to start before the end of the year.

More discussion sessions are in the works, we’ll keep you updated on air and online.

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