This is your Friday update, which takes a quick look at the week ahead and some developments that El Paso Matters is following.

Streetcar Service to Increase: The city will increase El Paso Streetcar service at the beginning of September, the start of the city’s new fiscal year. The change is part of an effort to maximize the streetcars after the City Council considered reducing service to special events earlier this year due to low ridership after the COVID-19 pandemic. The city was operating the streetcars on limited hours after resuming service. City staff Wednesday said increasing service from 34 to 81 hours per week and increasing service days from five to seven days per week will result in operating cost savings of about $360,000 annually. The streetcars cost about $3 million to operate annually. The new schedule will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays, according to city officials.

Public Safety Bond: City officials may have to rethink how to use funding for projects outlined in the public safety bond approved by voters in 2019. The $413 million public safety bond aims to fund a variety of projects and improvements for the El Paso Police Department and El Paso Fire Department, including a new police and fire academy. City staff Wednesday said there has been an increase in cost for construction materials such as iron and steel and asphalt products. The funding gap for the new shared academy for police and fire is estimated at about $10 million. Staff recommended shifting funds from the planned remodeling projects to new construction to meet minimum standards. The City Council took no action, but asked staff to return with recommendations on how to proceed before any budget adjustments are made.

UTEP Promotions: Two senior staff members at the University of Texas at El Paso will be promoted to executive leadership roles effective Aug. 1. Catie McCorry-Andalis is the new vice president for student affairs and Amanda Vasquez-Vicario has been named vice president for enrollment management. McCorry-Andalis has worked at UTEP for nearly 18 years, serving as associate vice president and dean of students since 2011. Vasquez-Vicario started her career as a middle school teacher and then joined UTEP 15 years ago. Her past roles at the university include adjunct faculty, curriculum manager for the Office of the Provost, and most recently, assistant vice president for enrollment services. Both Vasquez-Vicario and McCorry-Andalis are UTEP alumna.  They replace UTEP’s current Vice President for Student Affairs, Gary Edens, who is stepping down on July 31. Edens, who has led the Division of Student Affairs for the last 12 years, will remain at UTEP and transition to a teaching position in the College of Education.

Elida S. Perez is a senior reporter for El Paso Matters. Her experience includes work as city government watchdog reporter for the El Paso Times, investigative reporter for El Paso Newspaper Tree and communities...