How does it work?
A modern streetcar is a short electric train that runs along rails set into streets and drives alongside automobiles for much of its journey.
Rails set into streets signal to businesses that they can be confident in their investment along the transit line as it will be around for years to come. The ride quality and accessibility of a streetcar is considered an advantage over buses as streetcars have been found to attract more riders than a comparable bus line.
Let's talk about the word 'transit'
Transit (interconnected system of modern streetcars, light rail, bus, bicycle, and pedestrians) and associated urban development are key tools for civic, economic, and environmental advancement. A modern streetcar is a particularly effective city-building tool.
Not only does a modern streetcar serve ridership by connecting major existing employment and cultural centers, services, and institutions, the streetcar also attracts along its route investment in new businesses, retail shops, restaurants, services, and residential development. The modern streetcar is the kind of tool our municipalities need now to accelerate current redevelopment of our community and sustain it over the long run. And the benefits of a streetcar extend well beyond its immediate route.
Building community through transit
Where would the streetcar route be located?
The planning and construction of a modern streetcar line connecting the municipalities of South Bend, Mishawaka, and Notre Dame is envisioned as a driving force in advancing opportunities and innovations across civic, industry, research, commercialization, and entrepreneurial endeavors in the Michiana area.
The proposed streetcar line connects numerous diverse neighborhoods (River Park - 3,104 population; Sunnymede - 2,323 population), community assets (Morris Civic, Century Center, South Bend Library, Howard Park, Farmer’s Market, Potawatomi Park, Beutter Park), and employment centers (University of Notre Dame, Memorial Hospital, Downtown South Bend and Mishawaka).
Farmer’s Market Square is a transit-oriented, multi-use infill development facing both Mishawaka Avenue and the St. Joseph River. Closely associated by name and proximity to the South Bend Farmer’s Market, the development is comprised of four floors of retail, residential (townhouses, apartments), an indoor parking garage, restaurant, and the Farmer’s Plaza – a public indoor/outdoor atrium plaza space.
All streets surrounding Farmer’s Market Square (Mishawaka Ave, Northside Blvd, and Sample St) are designed for multiple modes of movement – pedestrian, bicycle, automobile, bus and a proposed new modern streetcar. Streetscapes are designed to maximize human activity and comfort with street furniture, lighting, trees and other plantings, and streetcar and bus shelters.