VIA Metropolitan Transit has released a commissioned study showing a $1.3 billion economic impact along the routes of its proposed streetcar system. Those opposed to the street car system say the transit authority is paying for exactly what they want to hear.
The economic impact study commissioned by the SABÉR Institute at St. Mary’s University and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce predicts a multi-billion dollar return on investment over 25 years through VIA’s initial $280 million.
Mounting pressure on the city of San Antonio and VIA Metropolitan Transit to stop their construction of a streetcar system has grown.
In the last few months, the political landscape has changed surrounding the project: San Antonio notables like Red McCombs and state Rep. Lyle Larson have come out against the plan, Mayor Julián Castro is soon to depart to lead the U.S. department of Housing and Urban Development, and opponents say they will be able to get a charter amendment requiring a public vote added to the ballot in November.
Bexar County commissioners have appointed Rebecca Q. Cedillo and Bobby Perez to the county seats on the 11-member VIA Board.
Cedillo is the former chief of water resources for SAWS and a former city planner. She said the issues important to her include ensuring adequate infrastructure to keep up with growth in the outlying areas of the county.
Cedillo said the proposed streetcar is a city issue, not a county issue, but she supports it.
VIA Transit is preparing grants to secure federal funding for its proposed streetcar project. Now that the Federal Transit Administration has given its stamp of approval to the streetcar plan, several federal funding sources have become available to help it along.
After hundreds of committee meetings, four public meetings, and an array of route configurations, VIA finalized its streetcar plan, allowing it to move forward with requests for grant applications.
A grassroots coalition of protestors gathered in front of the Bexar County Courthouse Tuesday to voice opposition to VIA’s proposed downtown streetcar system.
Members of LULAC, the Tea Party and other organizations joined with numerous political candidates to protest the county’s pursuit of the downtown streetcar system after they said the voters have spoken against it. Light rail has been voted down here, but the streetcar has not been put to a vote.
A near derailment for the city’s forthcoming streetcar program when Texas attorney general’s office reversed its initial finding saying the city transit corporation couldn’t sell bonds to fund its new transit centers.
Attorney General Gregg Abbott’s argument was that people in San Antonio voted twice against light rail and this is light rail. The city sued and won last week.
A new report shows new technologies are helping people reduce the number of miles they drive, which may be a hard sell to those who have to sit in traffic on IH-35 or Hwy. 281 every day.
The largest decrease in driving miles was found to be among Millennials -- the new driving generation that will dominate driving trends in the future.
Sara Smith, program director for the Texas Public Interest Research Group, said they compiled statistics from the Federal Highway Administration and found a reduction in miles traveled over the last decade.
The war on terror was launched 12 years ago and since has transformed many bodies of government, creating whole new agencies and expecting the cooperation of bureaucracies, foreign governments and non-state entities.
"As I told the American people we will direct every resource at our command to win the war against terrorists: every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence..." - President George W. Bush - September 24th, 2001
VIA staff members and consultants have chosen alternative 6 as the recommended route to move forward with in the modern streetcar project.
The plan would route the streetcar along Broadway to Martin and Pecan Streets to service the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, UTSA's downtown campus, the Westside Multimodal Center, El Mercado, South Town, and many other highly desired areas in the downtown area.