Streetcar plan opponents release report

Study questions costs, benefits of streetcars

Published On: Nov 28 2012 05:39:56 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 28 2012 05:51:51 PM CST
Street Car plan
SAN ANTONIO -

A plan to build street car lines in San Antonio is generating controversy.

On Wednesday morning, an opposition group called the South Texas Alliance for Progress released a report called "The Streetcar Fantasy," a 25-page study questioning the costs and benefits of streetcars. 

"Streetcars are very expensive," said the author of the report, Randal O'Toole. "They're expensive to build, they're expensive to operate and they're expensive to maintain."

He claimed streetcars have failed to be cost effective in other cities like Portland, Ore.

"It's not really all that beneficial. It's just costing taxpayers a lot of money," said O'Toole.

Mary Hill, the owner of the Pig Stand restaurant on Broadway, disagrees. 

She said she thinks a streetcar route from downtown to the Pearl Brewery area would be good for her business.

"I think it would be very good because I think more people would come out this way because sometimes we have a lot of things going on downtown and they don't make it this far out," she said.

VIA Metropolitan Transit is in the process of weighing public input.

A public meeting to discuss the street car project is being held Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Depot in Sunset Station at 1174 East Commerce St.