The city has chosen the URS Corp. to conduct a feasibility study for adding a rail track that would run streetcars along Tejon Street in downtown Colorado Springs.
City Transit Division Manager Sherri Ritenour said the downtown construction would hopefully be the first phase of construction on a rail line that would eventually run between downtown and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
The idea is that the rail line would bolster development and commerce along north Nevada Avenue, which planners hope will become a major retail and destination corridor.
While the plan is still in its infancy, Ritenour said if funding can be found, the first phase of the project could become a reality within five years.
“We’re just beginning the feasibility study,” she said. “This is the first entry into the question of whether this is good for our community and whether this is economically feasible.”
But, finding money to support such a public transit project could be a challenge.
Already this year the city has cut 50,000 hours from its bus schedule, and last week ended its free downtown shuttle service because of budget problems.
“I’m optimistic that things will turn around and hopefully our transit services will be restored,” Ritenour said. “Our city needs a rail service like this.”