Tuesday, September 24, 2013

San Antonio authority sets streetcar vote

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VIA Metropolitan Transit Authority in San Antonio, Tex., is scheduled to vote Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, on a proposed $280 million initial streetcar project.

The authority says it has $210 million identified for use, including state and city money as well as sales tax revenue for the initial line. Still to be locked in is at least $70 million, with federal funding a possibility.

Last year a funding plan tapping Texas state dollars in a fiscal swap will free $92 million for San Antonio's proposed streetcar, being advanced by VIA.

The Texas Transportation Commission approved redirecting the state funding, previously set aside for a San Antonio-area road project, to the proposed streetcar. The move allows a reciprocal action by Bexar County, Tex., to target $92 million in Advanced Transportation District sales tax revenue for the road projects.

San Antonio, with a population of about 1.33 million, is the largest city in Texas without an urban rail transit system.