VIA board votes in favor of streetcar route

Board votes 6-0 in favor, 3 members recused themselves, 1 member absent

By Myra Arthur - Anchor/Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The VIA board of trustees has voted in favor of the final route for its modern streetcar project.

The board voted 6-0 in favor of the route.

Three of the 10 VIA board members recused themselves from Tuesday night's vote after possible conflicts of interest arose during discussion over the streetcar project that includes board Chair Henry Munoz.

One member of the board was absent.

The plan has drawn plenty of skeptics and controversy and the selected route -- called "Alternative 6" -- was the lone finalist of a handful of route choices.

The streetcars would run along Broadway, connecting east and west with Martin and Pecan streets, as well as Cesar Chavez. The far western point would be Frio Street, while Saint Mary's and Navarro streets will provide another north-south corridor.

The distance will run a total of 5.9 miles and will cost $280 million.

But VIA must still come up with $70 million of that, which it hopes will come from matching funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The modern streetcar project is expected to serve 1.4 million riders a year and cost $8.5 million a year to operate.

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