St. Paul narrows list of potential streetcar lines

Community feedback will be sought at two open houses on Aug. 28.

St. Paul has finished part of an ongoing streetcar study by narrowing the list of potential routes from 19 to seven lines — and attaching price tags to each.

The seven routes were selected in part for their development potential, and are situated along many of the city’s major streets: Payne Avenue and E. 7th Street on the East Side, Robert Street on the West Side, Rice Street in the North End, as well as W. 7th Street, Grand Avenue and a single route incorporating both Selby and Snelling avenues.

The major factor in the resulting cost estimates, which climb to as much as $523 million for one route, was the proposed lengths of the lines.

On Aug. 28, the city plans to host two open houses as part of the effort to identify a priority line or lines. It hopes to complete its study by the end of the year.

Minneapolis has been discussing a possible streetcar line on Nicollet and Central avenues.

Earlier this year, St. Paul identified 17 potential streetcar corridors in the first phase of a $250,000 study that will determine how streetcars might work with light-rail and bus lines to improve public transit in the city.

On Tuesday, the city announced completion of the study’s second phase, and made the 153-page report available at: www.stpaul.gov/streetcars.

According to the report, the per-line costs range from about $183 million for a 2.5-mile route on Robert Street from downtown to State Street on the West Side to about $523 million for a 7.1-mile route on Grand Avenue from the downtown area to Cretin Avenue S. near the University of St. Thomas.

The report does not include a funding plan.

The Aug. 28 open houses will run from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Rondo Community Outreach Library, 461 N. Dale St.

People wanting to give online feedback about a priority streetcar line can do so at: www.stpaul.gov/open.

Anthony Lonetree • 651-925-5036

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