Augusta streetcar study team in Little Rock today

Tuesday, June 16, 2009 8:38 AM
Last updated 8:42 AM
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A four-person team studying the feasibility of a light rail system in downtown will be boarding a jet for Little Rock, Ark., this morning to begin a two-day close-up look at that city’s River Rail streetcar system.

The Augusta contingent is using the trip to complete its study, getting answers as to how officials in Arkansas’ capital operate their streetcars and overcame challenges to get it started five years ago.

“It is a transportation system, so it is not meant to make a profit, but we don’t want it to be a bigger burden,” said Margaret Woodard, the executive director of the Downtown Development Authority of Augusta.

The travel team consists of Ms. Woodard; Juriah Lewis, the transit planner for the county’s planning commission; Steve Cassell, the city traffic engineer; and Brian Plascik, transportation planner for URS Corp.

The cost of the trip is coming from the remainder of $40,000 in special purpose local option sales tax funds that the authority redirected last year toward the feasibility study.

URS Corp., which was paid $37,000 for its role in the study, has already presented several potential routes for a 2.5-mile light rail track through downtown. It could cost $25 million, using a rule-of-thumb estimate of $10 million per mile.

URS is still determining ridership estimates for an Augusta system. The final report is expected to the DDA board in August.

The Augusta team will meet with Little Rock traffic engineers today to discuss construction challenges and with the mayor about political issues related to the streetcar system.

“I’m sure it happened there; what were the political issues,” Ms. Woodard said.

The team will spend four hours with River Rail today, some of that time with developers along the track to collect information on what made them begin businesses there.

Ms. Woodard said she is interested in what kinds of businesses would fit along a light rail system and could potential locate in vacant areas downtown.

Comments (18) Add comment
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froggy1
18
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froggy1 06/16/09 - 08:03 am
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what a waste just like

what a waste just like everything else in augusta!!!

imdstuf
10
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imdstuf 06/16/09 - 09:24 am
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Yet another waste of money

Yet another waste of money and stupid idea.

viewer 1
0
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viewer 1 06/16/09 - 09:27 am
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WASTE OF MONEY>>>>>> & the

WASTE OF MONEY>>>>>> & the cost of the trip there.......oh yea,,,,big waste of money!!!!

smitty17s
0
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smitty17s 06/16/09 - 09:54 am
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Im currently stationed at

Im currently stationed at little rock air force base, and the system sucks here, and they actually have a nice downtown setup, this system would never work in augusta, especially never work down town.

Little Lamb
49109
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Little Lamb 06/16/09 - 10:06 am
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I laughed when I read the

I laughed when I read the consulting firm is still "determining ridership estimates." I could save them time and money. Just pull a number out of a hat and write that down. It would be just as good as any estimate the consultant does.

REDRIDER
134
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REDRIDER 06/16/09 - 10:19 am
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A street car named undisired

A street car named undisired

Painter
24
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Painter 06/16/09 - 10:29 am
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Stupid! That's all I can say.

Stupid! That's all I can say. Stupid!

coco rubio
53
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coco rubio 06/16/09 - 11:28 am
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$40,000 for a feasibility

$40,000 for a feasibility study? i could have done it for $40

Barf Obama
0
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Barf Obama 06/16/09 - 11:43 am
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They want another way-reason

They want another way-reason for another penny or maybe 2 cents. Don't be fooled. Vote No!

Barf Obama
0
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Barf Obama 06/16/09 - 11:45 am
0
0
They want a SPSCT. Don't be

They want a SPSCT. Don't be fooled. Vote No!

gnumbgnuts
0
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gnumbgnuts 06/16/09 - 12:09 pm
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Why Little Rock? I guess they

Why Little Rock? I guess they needed a city comparable in suckage.

storiesihaveread
369
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storiesihaveread 06/16/09 - 12:17 pm
0
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Consultants do more harm than

Consultants do more harm than good they can bring a company to it's knees then move on to destroy another company. I dispise them

dashiel
176
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dashiel 06/16/09 - 12:56 pm
0
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A STREETCAR NAMED UNDESIRED.

A STREETCAR NAMED UNDESIRED. LMAO! RedRider. Funniest post of the day! ("They told me to take a streetcar named Desire, and then transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at--Elysian Fields...")

aftbrn
0
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aftbrn 06/16/09 - 02:22 pm
0
0
What a waste of taxpayer

What a waste of taxpayer money. That's all we need another underutilized service clogging up our roads. And, if it wasn't meant to make money, why do it. That was just a stupid comment, If it can't support itself we definitely don't need it. Are these people really that out of touch?

imdstuf
10
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imdstuf 06/16/09 - 07:58 pm
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so will the trolley ride by

so will the trolley ride by the canal on ellis street? haha

DEVGRU
0
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DEVGRU 06/16/09 - 09:41 pm
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I guess they can save a

I guess they can save a little money by sleeping in the same bed.

smitty17s
0
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smitty17s 06/17/09 - 01:40 am
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they chose little rock,

they chose little rock, because they have a street car system in place.

Tots
26317
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Tots 06/17/09 - 08:53 am
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And the waste is only just

And the waste is only just beginning.All aboard for the ride of your life.

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