St. Louisans Sound Off On Plans For Downtown Streetcar

Michael Calhoun (@michaelcalhoun, mrcalhoun@cbs.com)

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — About two-hundred people got their first glimpse at plans for a city streetcar line last night. The plans call for two lines, one that connects the Central West End to Kiener Plaza, and another to connect the Civic Center MetroLink station to North Florissant and St. Louis avenues.

Most who attended the meeting spoke highly of the project, but there were some concerns: most notably, whether the streetcar would be integrated into the Metro system, and how much would the line cost?

The federal government could put up 50% of the construction cost, and the rest of the estimated $218-$270 million project would be paid by property owners along the route.

One resident thinks that will not be a major deterrent.

“I think a lot of property owners will be fine with that,” said Frank de Graaf. “They can see their property rising in value. So its a little bit of give and take.”

Another potential property owner said he would have no problem paying more taxes.

City resident, Mike Rizzo, says it should help attract and retain city-dwellers from moving out of the city. “There’s not really an easy way to get around with public transportation right now.”

The streetcar has already passed a feasibility study and now faces a year long environmental study.

Supporters aim for the line to be up and running by 2016 or 2017.

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