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Reaction Mixed To Downtown Trolley Line

Published On: Sep 13 2011 05:20:41 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 08 2011 08:35:15 AM CDT
SPOKANE, Wash. -

San Francisco is known for it's trolleys and now maybe Spokane will be too, as the city is considering adding an electric trolley bus that would carry passengers between Browne's Addition and Gonzaga University.

The City of Spokane and the Spokane Transit Authority are in the early stages of putting together a plan to build an electric trolley bus. Even though this would take many years to actually see the plan in place there's already disagreement over the proposal.

On any given day thousands of people in Spokane hop on the bus to get around, but people may soon have another way to move about the city.

"We think we can get the bang from both a transportation and an economic perspective from the trolley bus," Susan Meyer with STA said.

The proposed trolley line between Browne's Addition and Gonzaga would be three miles long and cost $36 Million. Not everyone is happy about that sticker price.

"Transit is obligated to move people from point A to point B as efficiently as possible and really the electric trolley bus will really do nothing more than add to the cost of that," Chris Cargill with the Washington Policy Center said.

Cargill things the trolley is too expensive and that the city should look at more cost-effective options.

"An enhanced bus option that would move along this same route and provide a cheaper expense for taxpayers and it would move people just as efficiently as an electric trolley bus," Cargill suggested.

STA's Susan Meyer doesn?t think this type of bus system would work.

"We don't think we can meet all of our objectives with a bus," Meyer said. "We don't think people will see it as a cool transportation mode we are looking for."

Residents, meanwhile, have mixed opinions about it as well.

"I like the idea because I think it would be a lot cleaner and easier than the bus mainly, and I think it would be fun; my kids would love it," Cassandra Bower said.

"If it seemed to me that the plan was not well thought out and that it end up costing tax payers more that would not benefit them then I would not be for it," Dan Johnson said.

After the city council and STA transit board adopt the proposal and create a strategic plan, voters will then have the final say, but not any time soon: It's expected to appear on the ballot in 2013.

If voters approve the trolley bus system it would take another three years to put the trolley line in place.

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