Aug. 01--SAN ANTONIO -- Mayor Ivy Taylor addressed the VIA Metropoltian Transit board Thursday and reiterated the city's hope that the agency will "pause" its downtown streetcar plan, explaining the need to develop a multimodal transportation plan that's in the best interest of the entire community.
VIA called the special board meeting Monday, after Taylor and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff announced they wanted the troubled streetcar plan put on hold because of the failure to drum up enough consensus for the project. The mayor also said the City Council will vote on withdrawing its $32 million commitment to the project, a move she said the council will take up next week.
"The time is right to fold VIA's plan into the city's transportation plan and move forward with a transportation initiative that works for the entire community," Taylor said. "The city of San Antonio is asking VIA to pause the current streetcar plan and work with the city, the county and the entire community to develop a new comprehensive multimodal transportation plan.
"This pause is not the end," she added.
However, most agree this is the end of VIA's streetcar plan in its current form, a 5.9-mile system that runs in all four directions through downtown.
After Taylor was finished, the VIA trustees adjourned into closed executive session. It was not clear if they would vote on the streetcar project today. The agency has scheduled an 11 a.m. press conference Friday.
Taylor had little to say about an apparent communication between the City Clerk and the Secretary of State's office about the validity of signatures submitted by streetcar opponents to try to get a streetcar-related charter amendment on the November ballot.
"We'll have a full report on that next week," Taylor said.
The Secretary of State told the City Clerk enough signatures were valid; however, the city has not announced that. On Monday, Taylor said the city would put any future streetcar funding for a vote, but that likely wouldn't occur for at least another year.
In other news, VIA trustee Lou Miller resigned from the board to join Taylor's staff.
Miller said his decision to step down, with less than six months left in his term, had nothing to do with the city's decision to withdraw its support for streetcar.
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