Thursday, March 01, 2012

Sacramento joins neighbor's streetcar push

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Sacramento, Calif.'s City Council unanimously has approved involving the city in a starter streetcar route primarily traversing suburban neighbor West Sacramento.

The state capital will begin identifying the portion of the starter route running over Tower Bridge and into Sacramento proper, linking with the city's light rail transit line. In addition, the Sacramento study will evaluate a larger streetcar network.

Sacramento's move, made late Tuesday night, makes it possible for the city and West Sacramento to seek federal funding support in a cohesive manner.

"We're ready to step up and join as true partners," said Sacramento Councilman Steve Cohn before making the motion to endorse the study. "The time has come for streetcars in Sacramento."

West Sacramento voters in November 2008 approved a local financing measure to pay for a 2.2-mile, $70 million starter streetcar line. Current cost estimates, including Sacramento's portion, run at about $125 million.