Raleigh desires streetcars in more of downtown
Posted May 2, 2008
Raleigh, N.C. — Downtown boosters would like to expand a trolley service to get visitors to more entertainment hot spots near the city's center.
The trolley now runs on a short loop through downtown that doesn't even touch the thriving Glenwood South area, said David Diaz, president and chief executive of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance.
The group is helping city officials design a new downtown transportation system to include areas as far west as Hillsborough Street near the North Carolina State University campus. Raleigh has ordered three hybrid buses for the system, but the routes haven't been established yet.
Plans call for making the downtown transportation service free, one city official said.
Diaz said a more extensive system is needed before the new downtown convention center opens in the fall so that the thousands of visitors to events at the center can find more options to eat, drink and be merry.
"They're not going to want to walk (to Hillsborough Street). It's just a little too far, and so it would be a really nice convenience to come into the center of the city and vice versa," he said.
Restaurants like the Red Hot & Blue, at the intersection of Hillsborough Street and Oberlin Road, said they hope the expanded service has a nearby stop.
"I think it would just be a miss to not tap in," said Carmen Moran, manager of Red, Hot & Blue.