Plans revived to return streetcars to Grand Rapids

Supporters of a proposed downtown Grand Rapids streetcar line plan to update their vision for the project and pursue funding by this summer.
AP Wire
Feb 5, 2014

The Rapid public transit system wants to find out what an electric streetcar line would cost and how the money could come together.

An advisory committee started meeting last month. Officials plan to build on a 2008 study on the issue.

The original streetcar study envisioned a $79 million, three-mile route mostly along Monroe Avenue between Rapid Central Station and the Sixth Street Bridge.

Grand Rapids in the early 1900s had as many as 70 miles of streetcar lines.


Former Grandhavenite

It's going to be a lot more expensive to rebuild (not to mention costs and legal challenges to acquiring the right-of-way) than it would have been to just keep streetcars running. When even smaller cities like Grand Haven could have a streetcar system back then that made economic sense to operate it makes you realize how cheaply they could be run compared to other forms of transit.

Apparently a lot of the systems were closed to free up lanes for cars, but there were definitely special interests with a lot to gain by getting rid of them. Check out

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