Streetcars Riding Their Way Back to Bham
By Alabama Public Radio
Birmingham, AL – The Jefferson County Commission is planning to spend $25 million to revive a streetcar system in Birmingham. A majority of commissioners decided last week to move ahead with the project and seek federal funding later. Consultants on the project say the county can get four miles of streetcars ready to run by the end of 2007 for $30 million. Meanwhile, a proposal to establish a county-appointed railroad authority to operate the streetcars may be derailed because three commissioners say they don't support it. The commission is set to vote Tuesday on both the railroad authority and on spending the $25 million over five years for the streetcar system. Commissioners want to resurrect the 1880s-era streetcar system that operated throughout downtown Birmingham and out to the suburbs. The county hopes to get $4 in federal money for every dollar it invests.