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Streetcar Debate for Anaheim

Will Anaheim get a new streetcar? The Anaheim City Council did vote three-to-two to invest $319 million into a streetcar system which would serve local employees and tourists. One-half the money would come from the federal government and another $32 million would come from local, state and other federal funds. But some residents, civic interests and obviously some City Council members are dubious.

The concept is to have 10 streetcars operating along 3.2 miles of tracks from ARCTIC, Anaheim’s planned transit hub, along Katella Avenue and along Harbor Boulevard with stops at the Platinum Triangle residential and business hub, Anaheim GardenWalk retail and entertainment center, the Disneyland Resort, and the Anaheim Convention Center.

City planners considered using buses and looked at using an elevated monorail, but both options were considered too expensive.

The streetcars would charge a small fee or perhaps be free, with revenue coming from advertising on the vehicles and a tourism tax on hotel bills. Planners estimate 7,700 daily boardings and believe the system could be in place by 2015.

Traffic and environmental studies are underway amidst criticism of the streetcar concept.

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