Streetcar 35

For those of you in Colorado Springs who pine for the days of yore when you could hop aboard a charming streetcar, lean out into the foggy breeze and sing the Rice-a-Roni jingle to the world, you may be surprised to know that it’s not such a far-fetched pipe dream (with the possible exception of the foggy breeze).

Last night, a group of stakeholders from the downtown area met to talk about the feasibility of having a streetcar system running through the streets of Colorado Springs once again (more on the history of streetcars in Colorado Springs tomorrow). And in January of 2010, the process will be open to public input (stay tuned).

We’re sure you have a lot of questions about such a possibility, and so did we. So we spoke with Bill Bottini, Transit Supervisor for the City of Colorado Springs, and Ed Hocker, Senior Transportation Planner for URS Corporation, two of the men closely involved in the feasibility study. (You can download the interview below by right-clicking on the link or you can stream it by clicking the play button below the link).

Tomorrow we’ll bring you a slideshow of beautiful antique streetcars (like the one pictured above. No, it’s not a Photoshop job.) already being restored right here in Colorado Springs and an interview with two of the men from the The Pikes Peak Historical Street Railway Foundation, which operates what may be the most interesting museum in Colorado Springs that you’ve probably never heard of.

If you want even more information such as maps of the study area and possible routes you can go to CSStreetcar.com.

Trolley Feasibility Interview

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10 Responses to Streetcars in Colorado Springs!? (Part 1)

  1. Dave Mills says:

    Another worthwhile item about our fair city. Thanks. Alas, this will certainly spin Doug Bruce’s props and the props of all those pleasant, conservative folks in this area who think that mass transit is another part of the Socialist plot. Let them walk.

  2. Jeremy Van Hoy says:

    Thanks Noel. I could really get behind this project!

  3. Mike Procell says:

    Actually that “foggy breeze” isn’t so far fetched. It fits right in (some days more so than others) with our city heritage of being known as the “Little London” of the west..

  4. jessica says:

    instead of getting all old timey and nostalgic, it would be rad if we had some sort of futuristic public transportation system that would allow people to travel ALL over the city, for business and pleasure, this system would be affordable, efficient, AND RUN ON SUNDAYS………..hmmmm
    how about lets just FOCUS ON THE CURRENT PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM that is highly under utilized, that does not require new construction, facilities or busses, study what we can do to improve it and make it more acceseable and useable for more of the public, hey maybe in the future we can replace the engines with some more environmentally friendly option
    how soon does our city forget the bum shuttle downtown that nobody road……
    seriously you guys with your heads in your asses AND rose colored sunglasses, it will be painful to pull out

  5. [...] Comments oscar on New Voices 4: Marisajessica on Streetcars in Colorado Springs!? (Part 1)Mike Procell on Streetcars in Colorado Springs!? (Part 1)Jeremy Van Hoy on Streetcars in Colorado [...]

  6. Hal says:

    Re: Jessica’s comments. While I agree that the current in place transit system needs to be maintained and improved, don’t discount the ability to get the public behind the idea of putting in a new system that is attractive for them. For better or worse, Americans often find it easier to spend large amounts of money on something “new” that captures their interest than they do to maintain something “old” that’s boring to them. There were various parties that pointed out that improvements to Denver’s bus system would be much cheaper to implement than a light rail system and would probably be more useful in the near term, yet Denverites threw their money into the Light Rail. Last time I rode the Light Rail in August, the cars on my train were all SRO during Thursday morning rush-hour run, and I didn’t hear anyone complaining that they should have ridden the bus.

  7. Tracy says:

    Streetcars are cool, but true commuter rail or subways can solve a lot of problems that streetcars can’t. Because they use dedicated thoroughfares they don’t interfere with and aren’t hindered by street traffic. The weather has to be truly extreme to stop them.
    I lived in Europe for several years and a true public transit system is a joy. When I lived in Germany, once I walked 100 yards to the local bus stop I didn’t set foot in a car again until I arrived in Texas. Bus to the subway, subway to the basement level of the airport terminal, upstairs to check in – no worries.
    Same story when I lived back East(central Massachusetts and Maryland); drive to the outermost Metro/”T” stop, pile the kids into the train, and get off a block from the Smithsonian/Science Museum.
    I’m not sure that the streetcars here could ever be more than a curiosity, simply because we don’t have enough population density to make them self-supporting. Not enough people concentrated in one area wanting or needing to go to the same places.
    The Feds are doing a feasibility study for regional commuter rail between Pueblo and Cheyenne – the rails are already there, we’d have to build platforms and parking lots. Personally, I don’t have a problem with part of my gasoline taxes subsidizing a painless way for me to get to LoDo, the Riverwalk, or Frontier Days!

  8. Chris Curcio says:

    Now that 2C was a complete bust, I doubt this will get off the ground. But it was a nice thought while it lasted. Doug Bruce and his minions are sucking every last bit of charm out of this once-liveable town.

  9. [...] trolleys in Colorado Springs last October, now would be a good time to have another look (Part 1 is HERE, and Part 2 is HERE). Why? Mountain Metropolitan Transit (MMT) is hosting a public meeting [...]

  10. [...] why it’s possible Colorado Springs could have a great future AND past ahead of it: Part 1 is HERE, and Part 2 is HERE). We hope these two posts will motivate you to speak up tonight: The Colorado [...]

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