VIA Metropolitan Transit

After Mayor Ivy Taylor's surprise announcement yesterday that the city of San Antonio would be asking for the $32 million it gave to VIA Metro Transit for the modern streetcar, many questions about the future of streetcar and downtown development were left unanswered.

The decision comes after months of intense political and public pressure on the city to put the measure on the November ballot.

Flickr user ericnvntr / cc

San Antonio's streetcar project hit a major hurdle Monday when city council asked city staff to draft an ordinance that would withdraw the city's $32 million contribution from the project.

Joey Palacios / TPR News

The city of Castle Hills is considering removing VIA and VIA Trans service from it’s city boundaries.

If the Castle Hills City Council approves it, the citizens of the small San Antonio suburb will be able to vote on whether or not to remove VIA from the city. Acting Castle Hills Mayor Timothy Howell, who was placed into the position last week, said he’s not taking a side on the issue yet.

“I think it’s very important that we allow the citizens to decide what they want to do moving forward,” Howell said.

Flickr user ericnvntr / cc

A new economic impact study has tried to put a tangible number on the intangibles of the benefits from investing in streetcars.

$1.3 billion over 25 years is the expected benefit to the city for the $280 million investment.

The study, conducted by The SABÉR Research Institute, says the 5.9 mile streetcar route will spur development and the ascent of property values. 

VIA Metropolitan Transit

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.

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