El Paso Streetcar/Rail Transit Study

Texas Department of Transportation

Objective

Assess the market demand, benefits versus costs, and constraints associated with a proposed streetcar rail transit system linking the border crossing, downtown, and university area of El Paso, Texas.

Our Approach

  • Assess the population, employment, travel generators, traffic conditions, and ridership on intersecting bus and bus rapid transit (BRT) routes as indicators of market demand along the corridor and identify those who would benefit from the system.
  • Conduct a fatal flaw engineering assessment of up to four alignments, including definition, documentation, and design requirements for the alignments, infrastructure requirements, and capital cost estimates.
  • Identify potential benefits, including economic benefits based on experience of streetcar systems in other cities and an analysis of potential local development opportunities.
  • Assess the order of magnitude of the potential return on investment.
  • Identify the constraints to implementing the system, including public concerns, funding availability, and consistency with other transit system investments.

Project Results

The study concluded that a market does exist for the service and that the return on investment based on economic development benefits would be favorable. However, further study would be needed on some issues such as funding potential, ridership potential, and coordination with the BRT projects that can provide information to key stakeholders in order to advance the project. The El Paso Streetcar/Rail Transit Study can be viewed here.