VIA shows off route options for streetcars

Project could be online by 2017

Residents get a look at VIA's proposed streetcar routes.
Residents get a look at VIA's proposed streetcar routes.

VIA is taking the next step in the development of modern streetcars downtown.

The project, which could cost more than $190 million, could be up and running by 2017.

Thursday, VIA showed off some options for routes, where these street cars could run.

Barbara McMillin said she can't wait to see streetcars in San Antonio. She came out to the Central Library Thursday to take a look at all the different alternatives.

"I like the East, West route to the Robert Thompson Center," she said.

VIA showed off six alternatives where these street cars could run. Some of the options run East, West along Martin and Pecan. Some run East, West on Nueva.

North and South routes could run on Alamo or on St. Mary's.

"We are sincerely interested in their input," said Jeffrey Arndt, interim President & CEO of VIA. "These alternatives all have pluses and minuses and it's important that the public let us know what they like and or dislike about the various options. So, we can make an informed decision."

However, some people at Thursday's meeting weren't happy with any of the routes.

"My problem with the streetcars is that it's going to cost the citizens of San Antonio way more than bus service would cost," said Richard Slife, who is against the modern streetcar project.

McMillin said she understands other people's concerns over the cost, but she said she likes the fact that the long term costs are going to be lower and overall, it is just a cost effective option for everyone.

"The streetcars are going to be wonderful because they are going to be running on electricity and steel tracks," said McMillin. "The street cars hold two times the capacity of a bus."

Arndt said they will be going through all of the feedback and that they are looking to adopt a route sometime in July.

For a list of recent stories Stephanie Serna has done, click here.