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Revived New Orleans streetcar service a 'significant accomplishment,' USDOT's Mineta says


On May 18, U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta took a ride on a New Orleans streetcar to get a first-hand glimpse at what he termed a "unique" and "highly successful" public-private partnership to revive a long-dormant rail service.

The U.S. Department of Transportation provided $129 million to help restore streetcar service on Canal Street from the Mississippi River to local cemeteries, with a spur line to City Park. The project included constructing more than five miles of track and designing 24 new streetcars, which resemble cars that operated on the Canal Street line before it was discontinued in 1964.

The revitalized line opened for revenue service April 18. Project officials project 31,400 people will use the service daily by 2015.

"All of America can take a lesson from this unique and highly successful partnership. This is a truly significant accomplishment," Mineta said in a prepared statement. "The Canal Street line has proven its value and is a solid investment for the federal government."

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More News from 5/20/2004