Omaha, Council Bluffs streetcar officials push for extension

Plans to expand Omaha's forthcoming streetcar into Council Bluffs are gaining traction.
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 5:42 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Plans to possibly expand Omaha’s proposed streetcar into Council Bluffs are gaining traction.

“I think a result of implementing a streetcar through Council Bluffs would not only help expand existing businesses but also provide new opportunities for future housing,” said Brandon Garrett, Council Bluffs’ chief of staff.

Garrett says they still have a lot of work to make the project a reality. They’ve been studying transit in Council Bluffs’ urban core for several years.

“Our next step is to put out a request for qualifications for a planning and environmental linkages study, which is required by the FDA,” Garrett said.

That study looks at the environmental impact of the potential project. Garrett believes it’s important since the extension would run from N.P. Dodge Park at the Missouri River to First Avenue all along West Broadway in downtown Council Bluffs.

”Connecting tens and thousands of people to their residences, jobs, healthcare, entertainment, and education,” Garrett said.

Melinda Brink grooms cats for a living at her shop, Club Meow Inc. She’s been running her business on West Broadway for quite some time. Brink believes the streetcar would provide better transportation for her elderly clients.

“Instead of having to rely on someone else, a family member, a friend, or a transportation company to transport their animal for them,” Brink said.

And not just provide transportation, but increase the foot traffic downtown.

“That’s going to help all our businesses,” Brink said.