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.
You may be trying to catch up on a few last minute things this weekend and not had time to check, so here is a list of city services that will have alternate schedules for the holidays. City Hall and most municipal offices will be closed Monday, Dec. 24, 2012 through Tuesday, Jan. 1. but emergency services like SAPD and SAFD will be open.
The Vía Metropolitan Transit Board voted to increase regular fares on Tuesday night, but it doesn’t mean customers will immediately see increased costs.
A local governmental approval committee consisting of Bexar County Commissioners, members of the San Antonio City Council and members of the suburban council of mayors will still need to give the green light before fares go into effect on Feb. 1.
Vía is considering a 10 cent rate hike for a regular bus fare, which would amount to a $5 increase for a full-fare monthly pass. Currently, a regular bus fare costs $1.10 and a full-fare monthly pass is $30; In Dallas, the regular fares for DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) just jumped from $1.75 to $2.50. The public meeting for Vía in San Antonio is Monday, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. in the Vía Metro Center, 1021 San Pedro. For more info go online to: www.viainfo.net/Communications/CommunicationsMain.aspx
More than 100 community members turned out at Sunset Station last night to talk about the city’s proposed streetcar system. The meeting was an effort to begin a two-way dialog between Vía Metropolitan Transit and people who would use and pay for mass transit.
Guests at the meeting gathered around tables with street maps and placed 6-inch lengths of track along downtown thoroughfares where they would like to see streetcars.
Opponents of Vía's modern streetcar plan say it is wasteful and illegal, and that commitments to subsidies will be a financial headache to San Antonians for decades to come.
The streetcar plan is for two lines, one that runs North-East on Broadway cutting through Hemisfair downtown, and another East-South from Vía's West Side transit hub, across Nueva St. and down Alamo St.
Prímo, San Antonio’s bus rapid transit (BRT) system, will officially launch Dec. 17 amid a transition for the organization; Vía Metropolitan Transit CEO Keith Parker stepped down to take the lead position in Atlanta’s public transportation system.
Vía spokesperson Priscilla Ingle said that with ridership at an all-time high, the standard 40 foot bus wasn’t working anymore, especially for the downtown-to-Medical Center corridor.