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Streetcar in Portland, Oregon is free today and tomorrow!

The new streetcar loop to the Eastside begins today.

 Look out Llbear another place where the Trolley can stalk you on Broadway bridge here:

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The Portland Streetcar is excited to open its newest line, the Central Loop, on September 22, 2012. The celebrations will start at 10:00AM with a Press Event and speeches at the OMSI Plaza in SE Portland. Service will begin by 11:00AM following the press event and the departure of the first, ceremonial train. The Central Loop will connect with the existing streetcar on 10th & 11th in Downtown Portland. From there it will cross the Broadway Bridge traveling along Broadway, Weidler, 7th, MLK and Grand connecting to the Rose Quarter, Lloyd District, Oregon Convention Center, the Central Eastside Industrial District and OMSI. This is the first streetcar project in the country to be funded with a Federal Grant and includes new vehicles made by United Streetcar located in Clackamas, Oregon.

The Lovejoy stop on the West of the Broadway Bridge:

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $75 Million in Federal Funding for Eastside Extension of Portland Streetcar Loop
04-30-09
Contact: Paul Griffo
Telephone: (202) 366-4064

The U.S. Department of Transportation today announced $75 million in federal funding for the Portland Streetcar expansion, a major boost for communities surrounding the $127 million, 18-station, 3.3-mile eastside extension, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today.

“This streetcar project will not only offer Portland residents additional options for getting around, but will also spur economic development along the line and create opportunities for employment,” LaHood said.

Secretary LaHood and members of the Oregon Congressional delegation announced the Portland project as part of the Department’s ongoing livable communities initiative to promote sustainable surface transportation programs that are more safe, reliable and cost-effective for commuters.

The proposed extension, across the Willamette River from the existing Westside Streetcar Loop, will connect to 10th Street and Lovejoy in the Pearl District northwest of downtown Portland, and then run south along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Grand Avenue, terminating near the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI).

Upon completion, the eastside extension of the Portland Streetcar Loop will include 18 new stations, seven new vehicles and significant capital improvements to the Broadway Bridge to accommodate streetcar operations.  Oregon Ironworks, Inc., based in Clackamas, Oregon, will manufacture the seven new vehicles.

The proposed service will operate every 12 minutes during weekday peak periods. Revenue operations will begin in 2011.  The line is expected to carry approximately 8,700 passengers daily.

A portion of the total project cost is being funded by FTA’s Small Starts program, aimed at promoting less costly but effective transit projects. To be eligible for the program, the request for Small Starts funding must be no greater than $75 million and the total project cost must be less than $250 million.

Here is the car crossing the Broadway bridge entering the West side.

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10:18 AM PT: Come on people I'm going through acute nicotine withdrawal and I drug myself down to the river so I could get you pictures of the trolley crossing the bridge before it officially opens. Pretend you like trains. :P

11:27 AM PT:
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