by Mark Reagan
VIA Board of Trustees Chairman Alexander Briseño. Photo from @Via_Transit on Twitter.
While shaking off the streetcar blues, VIA Metropolitan Transit will reset and work toward other projects in the existing 2035 Long Range Comprehensive Transportation Plan.
VIA Board of Trustees Chairman Alexander Briseño announced Friday that the transportation agency will put its modern streetcar project on hold.
“Although we are disappointed that the value of the modern streetcar was not understood or realized by many, we remain optimistic,” he said. “We are focused and committed to continue the path of this well thought out 2035 Comprehensive Transportation Plan and achieving our mission.” You can read and download that plan here.
Funds VIA had earmarked for the streetcar will instead be allocated toward installing more modern bus shelters, expanding the bus rapid transit network, constructing U.S. 281 North Park and Ride and the Brooks Transit Center, and constructing a VIAtrans operations facility.
Official action to defer the project will take place during the Aug. 26 meeting of the Board of Trustees where steps will be taken to cancel a $32 million agreement with the City of San Antonio for the modern streetcar project.
Interim Mayor Ivy Taylor and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff announced Monday that the city and county would pull support for the project. Wolff, a longtime streetcar supporter, is running for re-election against Carlton Soules, who has been opposed to the streetcar project.
Taylor said $32 million the city allotted for the project will be redirected to other Downtown projects.