Our city leaders, county leaders, and VIA have secured the funds to begin construction of San Antonio’s new streetcar system. Vianna Davila explains in this article for the Express-News how they were able to do it.
Local funds for streetcar found
Two lines, four directions — without federal help.
By Vianna Davila, San Antonio Express-News, Thursday, November 10, 2011
County and VIA Metropolitan Transit officials have identified enough local funds to build the city’s first two streetcar lines without help from the federal government.
They will announce the funding strategies and how they cobbled together the $59 million they needed to finish the system at a news conference today.The total cost for VIA’s expansion is $239 million, which includes money for two downtown streetcar lines running north and east, and west and south, plus a slew of other transit projects in and beyond downtown.
As San Antonio begins to rebuild our streetcar system it’s important to reflect on how the streetcars of the past helped shape our center city. This is a good piece written by Christine Vina.
Building San Antonio: The streetcar suburbs of old and new
Written by Christine Vina and posted in the San Antonio Express-News on November 27, 2011
If you take a look at the streetcar map of early 1920s San Antonio, it is quite easy to identify the neighborhoods that were connected by the 19 different streetcar lines that existed at the time. If one lived or worked within the original 36 square miles of the city (roughly the area bounded by Hildebrand Avenue, Rio Grande, Division/Morill Avenues, and 19th/24th streets), you were ‘free’ to travel around the city, and the local commerce located along these major transit routes offered additional economic development benefits to the community.