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New push could make San Diego the next stop for streetcar revival

New push could make San Diego the next stop for streetcar revival
Posted at 3:47 PM, Mar 01, 2021

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Once a popular sight in San Diego, could electric streetcars make a comeback?

Right now, streetcars roam cities like San Francisco, Seattle and Portland as transportation options. A new push could make San Diego the next stop for the streetcar revival.

"My reaction to the idea of a streetcar coming back to the Uptown District is one of excitement." said Eddie Reynoso, who heads the Equality Business Alliance.

At a recent planning meeting, city staff revived the long-talked-about idea of the return of streetcars. Electric street cars were once a popular way to get around San Diego, until 1949, when the streetcar company was sold to a company that favored buses.

Recently, two refurbished streetcars were assigned to the Silver Line downtown.

More streetcars be headed our way, as city officials eye routes along 4th and 5th avenues, connecting the Gaslamp Quarter and Hillcrest.

Reynoso believes another transportation option would be a boon for businesses.

"It allows for easy access for people that walk to visit the neighborhoods, either as tourists, or whether they’re in the Gaslamp and want to come up to Hillcrest, and dine at a restaurant or shop at one of our eclectic stores," said Reynoso.

While critics may point to the potential cost and the need to remove parking to create a light rail line, Reynoso believes the streetcar option would lessen the need for that parking.

Reynoso says more transportation options means fewer cars and a more walkable neighborhood.

"Gives people a sense of safety. Allows people to come out and walk the neighborhoods, spend money in our restaurants and spend money in our businesses," said Reynoso.