Today the City Council voted to approve a new trolley line connecting Uptown to Downtown. The trolley line will run from the current McKinney trolley line, turn south down Olive Street, and end at Bryan Street. The line will run down the west side of Olive, go through the Arts District past the Nasher, and connect to the Pearl Street DART light rail line on Bryan Street. Right now, the plan is for the trolley to return along the same line. In the future, there will likely be a separate return route.
There is currently a trolley line from McKinney Avenue down St. Paul , the line ends at Ross Avenue. The McKinney Avenue Trolley Authority, a non-profit that supports the Uptown Trolley, analyzed various ways to extend the trolley line to a DART light rail line in Downtown. In particular, MATA examined extending the St. Paul line, but due to underground utility problems, could not do so.
I’m very excited about the new connection to Downtown, into the Arts District. Just yesterday, the Economic Development Committee was briefed on the final report of the Inside the Loop Committee. The Inside the Loop Committee is a group of Downtown stakeholders who, at the City’s direction, have developed a comprehensive plan for Downtown that includes transportation, parks and trails, pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, and improved signage. One of their primary objectives is to link Downtown to nearby areas, including Uptown, and this trolley line accomplishes that.
This resolution was important. While we did not allocate funds to this project, we ensured that a state grant that was given to the City years ago did not expire.
VOTE: The new trolley line was unanimously approved.