The VIA Metropolitan Transit asked a judge Thursday to allow the agency to borrow money to pay for two downtown transit centers, after streetcar opponents filed a lawsuit last month in an effort to block those projects.
VIA is filing the petition in court as the Advanced Transportation District, which collects a transportation sales tax that is shared between VIA and other entities. The VIA and ATD boards are composed of the same members, and VIA oversees the ATD.
VIA ATD attorneys are pursuing a legal strategy that grants them a quick hearing — scheduled for Jan. 13 in Travis County District Court — in hopes of getting a judgment that the transit agency can issue bonds backed by ATD sales tax revenues for several transit projects, in particular the two transit centers.
The state Attorney General's Office did not approve this particular set of bonds last month, days after opponents filed a lawsuit arguing VIA could not use the money on the two transit centers that will also be streetcar terminals.
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