58ºF

SA Councilman pushes for Lone Star Rail

SAN ANTONIO – A commuter rail line that would link Austin and San Antonio has a big supporter pushing for the idea. 

"I don't think we want to be left at the station when that train pulls out," said City Councilman, Joe Krier.

In a KSAT-12 exclusive interview, Krier said he is not only pushing for Lone Star Rail, but that he would like a vote on the idea within the next two months.

Ideally, the line would ease congestion along the interstate; trains would run from Georgetown to south San Antonio along the Interstate 35 corridor. Every major city along the line has pledged its support to the Lone Star Rail District, except San Antonio. So why is Austin on board before San Antonio?

"Well, that's a very good question and I think the answer is we have not had a push for it within the council to bring it forward," Krier said. "I'm prepared to make that push. I've talked to a number of my colleagues; I think they're prepared to make that push."

Krier travelled to Austin to talk to the city's mayor about the project. He said he was convinced Austin and other cities would build the line with or without San Antonio.

If that happens, and San Antonio doesn't pay its share, the rail will not include the city. Krier also said he wants the idea on the council agenda and voted on before the end of September.

"In my district, which is a pretty conservative district, I have brought up Lone Star Rail at neighborhood meeting, after neighborhood meeting, and there is uniform enthusiastic support for it," said Krier. "People see it as something they would use, they see it as something that would benefit the region, and they think it would help us get more good jobs and keep the good jobs we have."

San Antonio would pay its share of the operating and maintenance on the line, which would be around $10 million to $20 million a year. The line would have express routes from San Antonio to Austin, and have stops at cities along the way, like New Braunfels.

KSAT-12 is told if the city votes for the rail there will be four stops in San Antonio: along north Loop 1604, the airport, Downtown, and Texas A&M San Antonio on the South Side.

Krier said his toughest sell may be Mayor Ivy Taylor. When asked about Lone Star Rail after the election, she said it wasn't one of her priorities.

 


About the Author: