San Diego Metropolitan Transit System has released its City/Park Streetcar Feasibility Study. The proposal seeks ultimately to form a loop connecting downtown, Balboa Park, Golden Hill, South Park, North Park, Hillcrest, and Banker’s Hill. However, the initial stage would link downtown to Balboa Park and the Zoo, running along Park Blvd. It would attempt to provide a ridership boost by connecting downtown’s activity centers with Balboa Park attractions.
The total cost for the initial stage is estimated at $68 million and would need to be sourced from multiple sources. The project would rely on existing right-of-ways so that there would be no land acquisition costs. The planning and fund sourcing for the initial stage is expected to take five years.
The feasibility study looked at several historic cars, including Spreckles’ Class One cars, PCC cars, and replicas. It also looked at modern cars, and predicted that the route will ultimately use a mix of historic and modern cars, due to lack of historic car inventory and length of time to rehabilitate such cars.
However, the San Diego Historic Streetcars organization, led by Christian Chaffee, has recovered three of John D. Spreckles’ original 1915 Panama-California Exposition Class One open-air streetcars and is spearheading an effort to restore them to the streets of San Diego. Additionally, MTS has already returned a 1930s PCC car to service, spearheaded in large part by former Councilmember and Dep. Mayor Harry Mathis, which operates in a downtown loop on the existing trolley tracks. Click here to view the Feasibility Study.
All photos in this article are from the Feasibility Study.