Streetcars could service HBG Convention Center

Routes still in public comment stage

By Jessie Degollado - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Streetcars planned for 2017 will serve local riders, but also thousands of visitors and delegates at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

"We understand we need to service that area. We're also looking at the growth on either side," said former Congressman Charles Gonzalez, who is now VIA's chief of public engagement.

However, Gonzalez said none of the proposed routes through downtown would stop the convention center's front door due to the logistics involved in the facility's future expansion.

Brian Buchanan, VIA's chief development officer, said if the eastbound route along Market is selected, a street car stop could go in at Market and Bowie.

If the westbound route along Commerce is chosen, Buchanan said the stop would be at Commerce and Bowie, a three-minute walk to the Convention Center.

Although some visitors said that would not be problem, others like Andy Beasley of Jackson, Mississippi, said it would depend on the weather.

"If it's hot like it is now, that may be difficult," Beasley said.

He said closer would be better.

"I like walking across the street and going in the hotel," Beasley said.

Visitors like Beasley said a streetcar stop would not be as convenient on another proposed route along Cesar Chavez Boulevard on the west side of Hemisfair Park and the convention center expansion.

Another public meeting on the proposed street car routes is set for 6 p.m. July 30 at Temple Beth-el, 211 Belknap.    

The VIA board is expected to make its decision by the end of August.

For a list of recent stories Jessie Degollado has done, click here.

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