Light rail, bus rapid transit and dedicated lanes are all up for consideration in Virginia's Hampton Roads metropolitan region. The area is studying options that may give the area -- where streetcars once prospered -- a familiar feel.
"More than 50 years ago, shipyard workers jumped on downtown trolleys to get to work. For decades, boxy streetcars schlepped through Hilton Village or along Chesapeake Avenue - until the rise of the automobile pushed them out of business."
"Now history might reverse itself - if the dollars are right."
"The Newport News City Council has agreed to let Hampton Roads Transit add streetcars to a study of mass transportation options that would make sense for the city."
"The $3 million study, which is fully federally funded, is scheduled to be released this fall."
"According to preliminary estimates, light-rail would cost about $250 million compared to about $241 million for streetcars. Federal money would pay 50 percent of the cost of construction, with another 25 percent coming from the state and 25 percent from the city."
"The study will look at running streetcars on their own tracks on exclusive rights-of-way, mingling them in regular traffic or using some combination of the two."