VIA defers the Modern Streetcar Project

The VIA Metropolitan Transit Board of Trustees has announced plans to defer the modern streetcar project.

The official action to defer the project will take place at the August 26, 2014 meeting of the Board of Trustees. The VIA Board will also take steps to cancel the agreement with the City of San Antonio to provide $32 million in City funds for the streetcar project.

“We are thankful to those who shared the vision of creating a new transit option that would have invigorated our central business district and connected the region,” said VIA Board Chairman Alexander Briseño. “Although we are disappointed that the value of the modern streetcar was not understood or realized by many, we remain optimistic. We are focused and committed to continue the path of this well thought out 2035 Comprehensive Transportation Plan and achieving our mission.”

The VIA Board of Trustees is now directing staff to immediately advance the implementation of the additional projects within the existing 2035 Long Range Comprehensive Transportation Plan. The funds that had been earmarked for the modern streetcar project will now be allocated to such endeavors as the installation of more modern bus shelters, the expansion of the bus rapid transit network, the construction of the U.S. 281 North Park and Ride and the Brooks Transit Center, and the building of a VIAtrans operations facility.

“Most important to us are the VIA riders,” said Briseño. “VIA will redouble efforts to continue giving them the best service; modern, environmentally friendly vehicles; increased frequency; and more routes, reflecting the culture that has made VIA an award winner in the transit industry time and again.”