El Paso

Insight to the El Paso street car operations

Insight to the El Paso street car...

Testing of the first El Paso street car is expected to begin in January.

All week KVIA has been bringing you some insight on the street cars.

We've covered the restoration process, the history and the resurgence of the street cars.

ABC-7 sat down with Sun Metro officials who will be overseeing the street cars, and
provided some insight on some of the day-to-day operations.

"We hope to cater to people who park their cars and go to work in the morning. We hope to cater to people who go for lunches. We hope to cater to tourists and we hope to cater to big events," said Jay Banasiak, director for Sun Metro.

"Sun Metro will be running the street car," Banasiak said.

Banasiak told ABC-7 they are getting the street car staff lined up.

"We've hired some of the people who are foremost in the street car industry. Not only in knowing the industry but they've done several startups," Banasiak said.

Assistant director of street car operations Carl Jackson has headed similar operations in Washington, Atlanta and Kansas City.

"All of the staffing has basically been figured out on paper," Jackson said.

"We'll have about 18 operators and we'll have maintenance guys and we'll probably have four mechanics," said Banasiak.

Street cars will be maintained at a hub daily and the cars will run off of power lines with four power stations along the routes.

"Four is the power we need particularly going up Stanton or coming down Stanton or coming down Oregon Street," Banasiak said.

So what about the services? Banasiak says the schedules aren't set in stone but they have an idea of when the street cars will run.

"Basically we are going to run at 6 in the morning and we'll run Monday through Thursday till 6,7, or 8 in the evening and then Fridays and Saturdays we'll run until 1 to 2 a.m. Sundays will be a 9 to 5 type of services," Banasiak said.

Banasiak says street cars will pass a stop about every 8 to 15 minutes depending on the location and time of day.

Something not seen in the street cars of the early days -- technology.

"Nowadays, dispatching is done with computer systems making sure cars are spaced properly. We are also going to have an app to where you can go to your phone or computer and find out where the cars are throughout the system at anytime you want," Banasiak said.

All the cars will be equipped with wheelchair accessible ramps, air conditioning and WiFi.

 Because of federal regulations a street car will run without passengers for a month or so and then we will be seeing a new street car almost every month until November 2018 when all six cars are expected to be in service.

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