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What about that $615 million Riverside streetcar proposal? It hasn’t left the station

By ALICIA ROBINSON | arobinson@scng.com

File photo by Stan Lim, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG

Will Riverside someday build a streetcar line?

As a Magic 8 Ball might answer: “Cannot predict now.”

The project — pitched by Mayor Rusty Bailey during his 2012 campaign — might someday go forward, city officials say, but it depends on several things, including uncertain federal funding and a better forecast of potential ridership.

 Or the streetcar proposal could morph into some other kind of public transit, such as an electric trolley bus that doesn’t use tracks or overhead wires but follows a relatively permanent fixed route.

Either way, the idea appears stalled for the near future.

A grant-funded study of a possible streetcar began more than two years ago, a volunteer ad hoc committee on the project last met in 2016 and a draft report created a year ago was never finalized or made public.

But despite a number of setbacks, Bailey said Thursday, Aug. 3, that the proposal is dormant rather than dead.

“It’s on pause,” he said. “It’s a question of timing, it’s a question of funding and a question of ridership.”

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