Streetcar Feasibility Study
Conducting a feasibility study is an essential first step in determining how best to integrate streetcars into the city’s transit system. Through the planning process, the City will develop a set of prioritized streetcar corridor investments while identifying and addressing issues related to design, engineering, and finance of the system.
What are the goals of the study?
The Streetcar Feasibility Study's three main goals are to:
- Evaluate the feasibility of developing streetcar services in Saint Paul
- Identify corridors that best meet the goals identified in the City's Comprehensive Plan
- Prioritize potential initial segments for streetcar investment
These goals are being addressed through a three phase evaluation of potential corridors.
What streets will be chosen for streetcar routes?
Many corridors across all neighborhoods are being studied. The evaluation process
will identify a network of corridors that makes sense for Saint Paul, and prioritize potential "starter segments" for initial investment.
Phase 1: Corridor Screenings
examined a universe of corridors throughout the city for potential physical fatal flaws, and further screened for supportive land uses and existing and planned zoning. At the end of this phase, the study team has come up with a list of potential lines
which will be examined in more detail in Phase 2.
Phase 2: Detailed Evaluation will further develop these potential lines, and put them through a rigorous evaluation focusing on operations, system integration, capital and operational costs, economic development potential, transit demand, and maintenance/storage facility locations and cost.
Phase 3: Determine Initial Operating Seggments will identify the most effective lines/segments to be pursued as the first new streetcar lines in the city.
This study will conclude at the end of 2013.
Like light rail, commuter rail, and local and rapid bus service, streetcars are another tool that can be used to find the right transit service for each transit corridor market. Streetcars generally require less engineering, right of way, and utility relocation than light rail transit.
For an overview of modern streetcars, see our presentation: Streetcar 101
How can I get involved?
Let us know what you think! The City of Saint Paul is interested in getting feedback from anyone with feedback to give. What do you think of the idea of bringing streetcars to the streets of Saint Paul and to your neighborhood? Use this Open Saint Paul forum
to voice your opinion.
Additionally, the Transportation Committee
of the Planning Commission is serving as a steering committee for this process. Through the course of this study, there will be public open houses, District Council involvement, and opportunities for feedback at various community organizations. The city has also convened a group of partner agencies and technical review staff.
For more information, please contact Michelle Beaulieu at
The City thanks the generous funders who have made this effort possible: the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative, St. Paul Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Ramsey County Regional Rail Authority, and the City of Saint Paul Department of Planning and Economic Development.