The Downtown Development Authority of Augusta is getting closer to determining the feasibility of a downtown streetcar system.
A planner in the Charlotte office of URS Corp. said this morning that he is 30 days from having an estimated ridership for a 2.5-mile track.
The streetcar system could cost $25 million, using a rule of thumb cost estimate of $10 million per mile, said Margaret Woodard, executive director for the DDA.
URS Corp. presented transportation planners with several route options. The one selected as most feasible has a light rail track going down Broad and Reynolds streets, between 13th and Seventh streets. The rail track will also go down 13th Street to serve the medical district and possibly cross the river into North Augusta. A leg will travel down Seventh Street to James Brown Arena, according to the preliminary plan.
City transit planner Uriah Lewis said a streetcar system in the downtown area would allow him to use it as part of the public transit system, moving three bus routes to other parts of the city.
URS Corp. planner Brian Piascik said a streetcar system isnt a necessity based on Augustas population density, but should be considered as a development attraction tool.
Members of the trolley study committee are planning to see the system in Little Rock, Ark., in June.