VIA has officially unveiled a proposed streetcar route that would run east-west along the Market and Commerce Street corridors downtown.
The route, which also includes a Cesar Chavez option, was popular with many people. VIA’s Chief Engagement Officer, and former congressman, Charlie Gonzalez, said the plans knocked off the table now are routes VIA couldn’t ignore: one that passed the Alamo and another at Hemisfair Park.
VIA will unveil one of the newest proposed routes at a public meeting tonight. The plans would have the transportation system's streetcar traveling east-west down Commerce and Market Streets, and would provide connections to people at a number of stops along the popular thoroughfares.
VIA Spokesman Charlie Gonzalez says the route addition actually came about as a result of public input from one of the early meetings.
Six possible rail routes have been proposed in VIA's new streetcar proposal. $210 million is the number VIA has to work with, and according to the San Antonio Express-News only two of the proposed routes fit the bill which could ranges from $182 million to $272 million.
The new VIA smartphone app, Go VIA VIA, has a real chance at changing the landscape of transportation in San Antonio by making it easier for long-time riders and new riders to navigate the intricate maze of bus routes and schedules. (see note about new riders at bottom of post*)
The health of San Antonio is gauged each year by the San Antonio Metro Health District's annual report. Bexar County and San Antonio have never been beacons of health, but the report details the specific issues that we are dealing with locally.
From unprecedented levels of syphilis infections to amputations from diabetes at a rate four times the national average, the city still has major health problems.
The back and forth on VIA's proposed modern streetcar continued Thursday night at a meeting to gather public input; the system is on track to launch in 2017, but many people are determined to derail the idea.
The proposed downtown system for San Antonio involves five miles of rail with one route traveling north to south through downtown, and the other east to west. Like most of the exact details involving the system, it's yet to be determined where the embedded rails and overhead powerlines would go.
The controversial San Antonio streetcar project is moving ahead without help from the private sector. On Thursday city council voted to remove money from property owners that would have amounted to about $15 million.
Even though there is tens of millions of dollars coming from the county, $40 million from the city, and newfound money from VIA, Dist. 10 Councilman Carlton Soules said he believes that if people want streetcars, they should be allowed to help fund it.