SAN ANTONIO -

Residents got their last chance Wednesday night to check out the Via Metropolitan Transit Board of Trustees preferred route for a streetcar system downtown.

An open house was held at VIA's headquarters for residents to review Alternative 6, the preferred route chosen by VIA trustees. The 5.9 mile route is the most expensive option with an estimated price tag of more than $280 million.

The route is expected to service 1.4 million riders with an annual operating cost of $8.5 million.

Some VIA riders said at the open house that they are looking forward to the new public transportation system to get them around downtown.

"This is for anyone who is going to move downtown.  It could change their lives.  It would be really good," said Jeremy Dugan, a VIA bus rider. "More workers would be able to come to work downtown.  It would bring more of a city nightlife, where people could come in and enjoy themselves, not just tourists.

VIA still has to come up with an additional $70 million to cover the cost of the project, which will be built in phases. Trustees hope to cover the funding gap with matching funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The Via Metropolitan Transit Board will vote on the route Sept. 24.