Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Orange County balks at Anaheim streetcar plan

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Plans for a $319 million, 3.2-mile streetcar in Anaheim, Calif., are meeting resistance from the Orange County Transportation Authority, even though OCTA has set aside $13 million for engineering and planning purposes.

OCTA's Board of Directors on Monday question whether the line is cost efficient, and also are uncomfortable with the initial capital cost of the project. "The cost is hugely off the charts," board member and county Supervisor Todd Spitzer said at Monday's meeting, according to local media.

Spitzer said he was open to allowing Anaheim to proceed with planning with lower costs as one goal.

OCTA rescheduled a vote on a funding agreement for next month.

Anaheim's City Council last October narrowly approved the streetcar project, identifying $24.6 million in transportation funds for the $319 million project, with hopes of adding federal "New Starts" funding and funding from Measure M2, a half-cent sales tax for transportation projects in Orange County.