Not Everyone Agrees with Plans to Bring Back Street Cars to St. Paul

Updated: 01/16/2014 11:13 AM By: Cassie Hart

St. Paul residents will have another chance to learn more about a controversial plan to bring street cars back to the city.

An open house will take place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Dayton's Bluff Recreation Center. The city also held an open house Wednesday to talk about a study on how the street cars would work.

City planners are expected to be at Thursday's meeting, along with the people who conducted this study and engineers for anyone who has technical questions.

KSTP told you back in December about a plan to bring streetcars back to St. Paul. On Wednesday night the city held an open house to update the public on the plan.

We found not everyone is in agreement with the proposal.

"To me it's a losing proposition. We’ll never get our money back for what we put into it,” said Bob Plaster of St. Paul. He says he's lived along West 7th his whole life and rode the street cars as a child.

He says he doesn't like the city's plan to spend $250 million in taxpayer dollars to bring the cars back. “I just don't feel like we need public transportation like that. We got buses that do everything we need them to do,” Plaster said.

St. Paul’s Planning and Economic Development Department identified East and West 7th Streets from Arcade to Randolph Avenues as the recommended start of the line.

At a cost of nearly $50 million a mile, longtime city council member Dan Bostrom tells KSTP he will not support it. "For the life of me, I cannot imagine a $250 million investment for four miles of track. It just seems obscene to me."

There will be a public hearing on the plan Jan. 24.