To recap Omaha’s history of streetcar-related studies:
1995: 10th Street trolley feasibility study.
1998: Streetcar study for downtown, north Omaha and 10th Street to the zoo.
2006: Downtown streetcar feasibility study.
2009: Streetcar financial feasibility study.
Now Metro, the city and some significant community partners are taking another crack at it. They’ve stressed to us: This is not a streetcar study.
So to be fair, this study is analyzing streetcars, basic improvements to the bus system and a streetcar-bus cross called bus rapid transit. To also be fair, streetcars are not an “oh, by the way” part of this study.
I caught some flack from the transportation alternatives group ModeShift Omaha on my coverage of this study, officially called an “alternatives analysis.” The group tweeted: “Seems for the World Herald, there is but one narrative for the upcoming Alternatives Analysis: Streetcars.”
Love streetcars or hate them, this analysis is going to be the definitive study on the issue. Either streetcars prove out, or they get knocked down.