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San Antonio - February 2010

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San Antonio — County OKs Streetcar Plan

Rail Transit Online, February 2010

On Feb. 9 Bexar County commissioners unanimously approved a plan to build a 2.2-mi. (3.5 km) streetcar starter line along North St. Mary's Street. The project would cost nearly $90 million and could be open in 2014 if funding, including $25 million from the FTA, can be lined up; another $20 million would come from VIA Metropolitan Transit, $17 million each from the city and the county and $10 million from the private sector. Engineering and design would require two years followed by another 24 months of construction.

The scheme has already been endorsed by the city and VIA, and some property owners have already indicated they would participate. The full system would include an eight-mile (12.9 km) east-west line and a 10-mi. (16.1 km) north-south route.

Streetcar Routes Approved

Two proposed streetcar routes have been approved by the VIA Metropolitan Transit board of trustees along with authorization allowing staff to apply for a $25-million federal grant under a newly-enacted Federal Transit Administration policy encouraging rail circulator systems.

The initial 2.2-mi. (3.54 km), north-south line has an estimated capital cost of approximately $90 million and will run on Broadway and South Alamo Street from Josephine Street to South St. Mary's Street. City and county officials said they are committed to providing the local funding share, although specific sources have not been identified other than $20 million
pledged by VIA President Keith Parker.

The second project would run east-west along East Nueva Street between the AT&T Center and Our Lady of the Lake University, serving the downtown area. "This is a game-changer for our community," said VIA board Chairman Henry Munoz. "The time is now for mass transit."


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