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.
On Friday, motorists in the Loop 1604 and Hwy. 281 corridors received an early Christmas gift in the form highway connectors. The Alamo Regional Mobility Authority has opened the last two connectors for the first phase of the project; westbound and eastbound 1604 onto 281 south both opened to traffic at noon.
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.
The new Texas State Highway 130 toll road extension is now open and charging motorists to enjoy it’s privatized asphalt while pushing their speedometers to 85 mph. It’s the fastest stretch of legal driving in the nation.
Also known as the Pickle Parkway, it’s the first public-private partnership highway in Texas, but according to opponents the partnership allows the private company to shoulder very little risk, and instead puts taxpayers on the line to pay for such risks as uncollected tolls.
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.