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FAST COMPANY: El Paso has launched an ambitious project that defies the current political climate: Rather than wall off its south-of-the-border neighbors, it is hoping to one day run routine roundtrip trolley service to nearby Juarez, Mexico.

The dream is not as far-fetched as it may seem: From 1949 to 1974, streetcars made daily jaunts between the two cities. During its heyday, the service averaged more than 600 trips a day. Construction is already well underway for the first leg, which will stay within the confines of El Paso. The second cross-border leg is still in the discussion stage but the momentum is real.

Thousands of “hardworking Mexican national shoppers took their dollars and pesos and spent it in American businesses,” says El Paso City Representative Peter Svarzbein, 36, who grew up in the Southwest Texan city and recalls a time when American-Mexican relations were far more honored and encouraged than today’s news headlines would suggest.

Click here to read the full story in Fast Company.

Editor’s Note: The photos in the above slideshow were provided by Sun Metro. Click here to go to Sun Metro’s Streetcar page.

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