VIA hears from residents about street cars

SAN ANTONIO - VIA is opening up the floor to San Antonio residents, wanting to hear what they would like to see when it comes to the proposed modern street car system.

On Tuesday, VIA held a briefing at Sunset Station to announce the very latest on the proposed service, but also to get some feedback from the community.

Mari McBay, who rides the bus on a regular basis, said a street car system can't get to San Antonio fast enough.

"Dallas has one, Houston has one," said McBay. "What's taking us so long? Do we really like sitting in traffic, idling, wasting all that gas? So, this is a really good alternative."

McBay said she would love to see something from the Alamo to San Antonio College.

Architect Mark Kellmann said VIA should consider starting a route from Sunset Station.

"They should actually establish the route east to west," said Kellmann. "A route from Sunset Depot, straight west, to pick up all the convention and hotels."

Brian Buchanan, VIA Chief Development Officer, said that's what their looking for, how residents want to see the street car system operate in San Antonio.

"Tonight starts the process of actually picking the alignment about where we are going to build a street car," said Buchanan. "Coming up is what is called a locally preferred alternative, that's what we will decide to build here in San Antonio."

But, whatever the route, Judge Nelson Wolff, said the project, with the help of $92 million state grant, is well on its way.

"The whole cost of the street car system is less than the interchanges at 1604 and 281," said Wolff. "So, I think we are making a good investment here."

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