Thursday, January 30, 2014

San Antonio streetcar plan survives threat

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San Antonio streetcar plan survives threat VIA Metropolitan Transit

Texas's attorney general will not appeal a judgment affirming the right of San Antonio's VIA Metropolitan Tarnsit to sell bonds for several projects, including two downtown transit depots to serve as hubs for a streetcar system.

Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is running for governor, waived the appeal option as part of an agreement with VIA that was signed by Travis County District Court Judge Stephen Yelenosky earlier this week. The order also prohibits the filing of any other lawsuits challenging the bonds.

Abbott himself had challenged VIA, saying funding any downtown transit centers would be equivalent to spending directly on the proposed streetcar system itself because the two were so closely connected. VIA denied that, saying the streetcar was a separate project, paid for by separate funds. Others noted the transit centers would also serve the city's bus network.

Last month VIA Metropolitan Transit planners recommended the launch of a north-south streetcar route first, with a complementary east-west alignment to be added later.