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VIA responds to streetcar opposition with full-page ad

Red McCombs opposes project in Express-News op-ed

Despite VIA Metropolitan Transit's steadfast position on moving forward with the streetcar project, opposition is still pouring in.
Despite VIA Metropolitan Transit's steadfast position on moving forward with the streetcar project, opposition is still pouring in.

Despite VIA Metropolitan Transit's steadfast position on moving forward with the streetcar project, opposition is still pouring in.

"If this were a private investment, no businessman would touch it. Why ask the public to make such a hopeless investment?" Red McCombs was quoted as saying in Thursday's San Antonio Express-News.

It was included in an op-ed column wherein the prominent San Antonio businessman laid out his argument on why streetcar won't benefit the Alamo City.

"I think Red was given some information that is not accurate. As a matter of fact, we will go item-by-item and sit down with Red and say, 'Where did you get that number?'" said VIA Chief Engagement Officer Charlie Gonzalez.

Also in Thursday's paper was a full page-ad promoting VIA's reasons for moving forward with the streetcar project.

"We thought that we need to get the facts out. Everyone has an opinion and they're entitled to an opinion -- their opinion -- but not to their own set of facts," Gonzalez said.

Educating the public is part of the thinking behind VIA's full-page ad, but, according to Gonzalez, it was also prompted by a block walk over the weekend.

"We are now exponentially increasing our grassroots effort. We hope to reach those numbers in a very short time," said streetcar opponent Jeff Judson.

Judson marched alongside more than 200 firefighters in circulating a petition to get the streetcar project on the ballot.

The firefighters union has been vocal about their opposition to the streetcar project, arguing the city should be spending money on the benefits for firefighters instead.

"In my opinion, there's an ulterior motive. The streetcar, no pun intended, is a vehicle for some people to achieve some other goal or end," Gonzalez said.

Despite the opposition, all indications are VIA is staying on track with the proposed project.

For a list of recent stories April Molina has done, click here.

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