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Project Profile: El Paso Streetcar Project

El Paso Streetcar Project

Source: Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority (CRRMA)

Caption: Map of the official 4.8-mile route of the streetcars.

CIFS Tool Categories:

  • Alternative Project Delivery: Design-Build, Project Bundling, & Value Capture (Transportation Corporation)

Project Name

El Paso Streetcar Project

Location

El Paso, TX

Project Sponsor / Borrower

Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority and TxDOT

Program Areas

Alternative Project DeliveryValue Capture

Mode

Streetcar

Description

The Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority (CRRMA) completed the El Paso Streetcar project In November 2018, which restored six historic streetcars and made infrastructure improvements along a 4.8-mile route in the city, including track, overhead contact system lines, power stations, and a maintenance and storage facility. With 27 streetcar stops, the project was designed to link international bridges, downtown retail areas, a convention center, ballpark, Cincinnati Entertainment District, and the University of Texas at El Paso, among other area attractions. The route comprises two loops: (1) the clockwise Downtown Loop that passes through Santa Fe Street, Franklin Avenue, Kansas Street, and Father Rahm Avenue, and (2) the counter clockwise Uptown Loop that passes through Stanton Street, Glory Road, Oregon Avenue, and Franklin Avenue. The CRRMA repurposed Presidents’ Conference Committee streetcar vehicles that ran in the area from the 1950s to 1974, and included track, overhead contact system lines, a power station, and a maintenance and storage facility.

The El Paso Streetcar project is operated and maintained by Sun Metro, the city’s Mass Transit Department. Construction on the project began in January 2017 and was completed in three phases:

  • Phase I: Underground. This phase consisted of improvements and relocations of existing utilities to eliminate any conflicts with the new streetcar construction.
  • Phase II: Civil/Track. This phase included removal of the existing roadway, curbs, and sidewalks to install the rail, concrete trackslab, and associated new street and sidewalk improvements.
  • Phase III: Overhead Contact System. This phase included the erection of the poles and installation of the contact wire that powers the streetcars.

Cost

$107 Million

Funding Sources

TxDOT - $97 million
City of El Paso - $5 million
El Paso Water - $5 million

Project Delivery / Contract Method

Design-Build

Private Partner

None

Project Advisors / Consultants

Public Sponsor: TxDOT, Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority (CRRMA)
Construction: Paso del Norte Trackworks, Brookville Equipment Corporation
Operator: Sun Metro

Lenders

None

Duration / Status

August 2015 to November 2018

Financial Status/Financial Performance

The city of El Paso anticipates it will cost about $2.5 million a year to operate the streetcar system. Riding fees (or fare box revenues) are expected to bring in about $400,000 in the first year, from an estimated 600,000 riders. The streetcar also replaced one of two Downtown bus routes, thus saving about $460,000 in operating costs. Between 2018 through 2020, the city received about $2 million from a Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program grant.

Innovations

  • Utilize Transportation Corporation, Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority (CRRMA)
  • Economic opportunity for a transnational streetcar system between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico
  • Improve region’s transportation, health, and environmental concerns

Related Links / Articles

Contacts

Raymond Telles
Executive Director of the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority
(915) 212-1072
TellesRL@crrma.org

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