Proponents of a modern streetcar system in Omaha are not giving up their dream. Jay Lund is the co-founder of Modern Streetcar Advocates and is holding a presentation this afternoon on the many benefits a system can bring to the city.
Lund says, “They are economic development vehicles. With that we get job creation and more people that choose to live and work in Omaha and we can retain the talent that we have. It ultimately will increase our tax revenue and our tax base.”
Lund says streetcar systems are ideal for today’s lifestyle and modern living. He says it creates walkable neighborhoods that young people want. It reduces traffic congestion and parking problems.
This proposal would connect the midtown area to downtown with extension added at later dates. The streetcar concept is different than previously discussed options of a light rail system or a trolley connector from the Old Market to the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. Lund says this will be a streetcar that runs on six rails and in traffic. It is very similar to a system recently built in Kansas City. He says they are exploring funding options but believes the system will pay for itself once it is built.
Today’s meeting is at 5:15 p.m. at Commerce Village at 10th and Mason Street in Omaha.