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Sacramento Streetcar's Future Rides On 2/3 Vote

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The next stop on a long-awaited streetcar line in Downtown Sacramento is at the ballot box Tuesday.

People who live in downtown will have a chance to vote on a proposed $38 million property tax for construction.

Elan Bond just moved downtown within the past year.

"I'm excited about it. I love this area, I love walking everywhere. I walk to work, I walk shopping," Bond said.

Now the future of downtown Sacramento and its rush hour traffic outside her apartment door is at a pivotal crossroads.

"I didn't know about it actually. I'm a little embarrassed," Bond said.

People who live here can vote either to give the green light, or put the brakes on a $38 million property tax to turn the streetcar animation into reality.

"We can't be such a car-dependent city and region. We really need to get people out of their cars and this is a main way to do that," said Sacramento Councilmember Steve Hansen.

But not everyone thinks it's a good idea. They're concerned it's too rich a ride.

"We've dubbed it, informally, the 'Latte Line' because you can go up to 19th, jump off, go across the railroad tracks go to Pete's Coffee and get a latte and come back and hop back on," said Dennis Neufeld, who opposes the streetcar.

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The streetcar line would extend from West Sacramento's city hall, around the new arena, and east to 19th Street before looping back through Sacramento's downtown core.

"Good transportation is the backbone of a healthy economy," Hansen said.

Other costs could come down the line.

SMUD's preliminary estimates show relocating utility lines could cost between $28 and $40 million more. And a study of what other utility lines need moving hasn't been done.

But the vote for construction is now here, giving people who live here a chance to decide if they're on board.

The streetcar needs a two-thirds majority to be approved.

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