We Know Where Those Downtown Streetcars Might Go. But How Will We Pay For 'Em?
In 1945, Dallas city and transit officials, among them Mayor J. Woodall Rodgers, introduced "the first of twenty-five new, silent, streamlined street cars."
Courtesy Justin Cozart
It's been a year since the word "streetcar" started circulating through the halls of City Hall; as Jim noted upon his return from a so-called "streetcar workshop" in May '08, "It looks like the best idea since Mad Max Goldblatt's scheme for a downtown monorail." In January of this year, the Dallas City Council's Transportation and Environmental Committee took its first shot at streetcars, but came away with more questions than answers -- chief among those questions, how to pay for the trolleys.
On Monday, the committee will get yet another briefing on the subject from Dallas Area Rapid Transit's Jay Kline and Keith Manoy, program manager in the city's Public Works and Transportation planning department. Unfair Park got a sneak peek at the not-yet-posted PowerPoint presentation, which follows after the jump, in which you'll find three proposed alignments and several possible extension routes (to Oak Cliff-West Dallas, Deep Ellum and Dallas Farmers Market, for starters). The briefing also lays out the details of the Dallas-DART partnership: The city will provide "funding for infrastructure, vehicles and operations" and oversight (and the streets, natch), while DART will handle everything else: "coordination of system planning and design," procuring the trolleys and operating and maintaining the system.
But, again, there's a giant question mark on almost every page, as in: Who's gonna pay for all this and how? Listed among the "potential" funding sources: city bond funds, TIF revenues, DART's Site-Specific Shuttle Operating Policy and city parking fees. The presentation also notes that beginning this very Tuesday, DART and the city are prepared to get serious with the creation of a comprehensive implementation plan that it wants to present to the council some time in the early fall.