City regroups after defeat of streetcar expansion - KCTV5

City regroups after defeat of streetcar expansion

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Officials are regrouping after voters overwhelmingly rejected an expansion of Kansas City's streetcar system.

Voting against the expansion were 60 percent while 40 percent favored it.

Mayor Sly James said he was disappointed by the results. He said the downtown streetcar starter line will be a success and a model for other cities. He said Kansas City will eventually expand the streetcar line.

"Last night, voters told us that they want to see a balance between taking care of the basics and being ambitious. I still strongly believe in rail as a conduit for economic development, but I understand where voters are coming from," he said, adding that "we'll get to work re-envisioning how we can prudently expand economic development related to transit."

James said the city can't afford to do nothing, especially as the city competes for major conventions like the 2016 Republican National Convention. Transportation issue was a concern raised during the process.

"We have to do something about transit in this city," he said. "It's becoming increasingly a problem for not just the residents but for people who want to come here."

Carla Watson said she voted against the expansion, which would have required a tax hike, because she didn't see how she and her family would use it in the near future. She said she doesn't see how it would work in Kansas City.

Asel Mukeyeva lives downtown and will be on the line. She said she understands why some opposed it.

"Especially those that are not going to get the benefit of it but the sales tax is going to go up," she said. "They're going to be get affected. They're going to have pay for it but not really get the benefit."

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