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OAK CLIFF (1080 KRLD) — From the 1870s into the 1950s Dallas had a street car that connected downtown and Oak Cliff, but decades went by with cars and viaducts being the only way to get back and forth. That changed a couple years ago.

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A new, much more high-tech streetcar that runs on overhead wires and battery power is in place.

John Crawford with Downtown Dallas INC says it was all part of a bigger plan that took years to execute, and a project that largely came to be thanks to more than 20 million dollars in initial funding from a government TIGER grant awarded to Dallas Area Rapid Transit and a few million in Federal stimulus money.

Jason Roberts with the better bloc was the one who spearheaded trying to get the money after noticing something living in Oak cliff more than a decade ago. John Crawford says it’s all about changing attitudes on getting around.

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Bikes can actually be hauled on and off the Streetcar, which is something Vanessa Weaver at Cretia’s Eatery and Bake Shoppe sees. They’re right near the Zang and Davis stop, but even businesses further down like Nick Metzger at Spinster Records sees the impact.

Casual shoppers and diners make up a big chunk of riders of the streetcar that’s been in operation now nearly two years, but there are some who live in the area who are using it more as a major mode of transportation. Roberts says it’s pretty cool to see the streetcar up and running after all these years.

Further expansion is now being discussed.

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