The Regina Municipal Railway got its start in 1911, when tracks were laid in Regina 's built-up areas to provide streetcar service for local residents. The first streetcar ran on July 28, 1911 . Not coincidentally, the streetcar lines all stopped directly in front of the R.H. Williams Department Store on 11 th Ave. . (Williams had been Mayor of Regina when City Council voted on where the streetcar lines should be placed.)
Having streetcar lines running in a neighbourhood made the area more appealing to new home buyers. Many developers were quite vocal in encouraging City Council to built streetcar lines into their new subdivisions. Some developers even took the additional step of offering to build their own streetcar lines in their new subdivisions and then turning the lines over to the city to operate. City Council liked this technique, especially since property within a three-block radius of a streetcar line could be taxed at the same rate as property in established areas (instead of on the sliding scale for taxation that had been implemented when Regina annexed new areas in 1911).
The Regina Municipal Railway was not necessarily a money-making operation
in its early years. While it brought in more revenue in taxes for the
city, the company itself ran deficits in the first few years of its existence.
The wooden cars, which were extremely noisy, cost five cents for an adult
to ride in 1911. By 1920 the fare had gone up to ten cents, and the price
dropped again to five cents during the Great Depression. But the streetcars
enabled residents to get more use out of the city's amenities, especially
Wascana Park . Wascana Park had been on the outskirts of the city and
was not well-utilized by the city's residents until it was made more
accessible by the streetcar line. The streetcars also gave the city a
modern feel that was seen as essential for attracting new residents.
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