VIA Clashes With San Antonio City Council Over Wireless Streetcar Plan

VIA Metropolitan Transit Company met with the city council regarding future plans involving a new streetcar line. According to Vianna Davila, "VIA must drastically change its streetcar proposal if it wants the city to help pay for the project."

In late September, VIA presented a plan to the San Antonio City Council that includes a new wireless streetcar plan along with expansion projects. Their new streetcar line would be battery operated with no overhead wires and will run east and west through downtown San Antonio. In the meeting, City Council showed its willingness to proceed with a streetcar system, but on the city's terms, with the line to run north and east.

The debate for the route is due to the way both parties plan to fund the project. To pay for an east-west route, "VIA wants to use city and county money, combined with its own bonding capacity. Local funding contributions would then help leverage federal dollars to pay for a north-south line, which VIA would hope to build a couple of years after the east-west course."

On the other hand, the city wants build a line that runs from the north and the east by using "private investment, combined with other local dollars. A bus circulator would move between the east and west transit facilities."

Keith Parker, CEO and President to VIA says that the expansion plans are "transformative and designed to change the very fabric and the way San Antonio is viewed from around the city, around the county, around the state and certainly around the world."

Full Story: Streetcar Visions Decidedly Different

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