It’s not a green light, but it is a boost nonetheless for VIA Metropolitan Transit’s plans to build two streetcar lines downtown.
The transit agency recently was awarded a $900,000 federal grant for it to determine where the streetcar’s rail lines would be embedded in streets.
But perhaps more importantly, the study — which federal officials require before awarding the project any more money — would ascertain if streetcars indeed are feasible for the area.
Although VIA is optimistic the analysis will support its goal of establishing the streetcar lines, President and CEO Keith Parker said the study also will look at other transportation modes, such as rapid transit-style buses and light rail.
“I think personally that streetcars will work very well on these corridors, but we’ll see what the data says once we finish the study,” Parker said. “If it says that these corridors can’t support anything but the regular bus service we have out there now, that would be disappointing.”
The study could take up to 11/2 years to complete, VIA spokesman Andy Scheidt said.
Seems like an awful long time to do a study, but whatever. I look forward to seeing the results.