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  #61  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2008, 11:52 PM
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the mayor here in KC was on the radio today talking about light rail. His idea is to implement a 1/2 cent sales tax in every metro county that will be served by LRT. According to his math, a tax like this for 25 years will pay for bonds passed on the basis of $45-55 million per mile for a start-up system, with federal and state subsidies to help cover the rest, as well as help pay the operating and maintenance costs, which I think were estimated at $8mil per mile per year. Given that SA metro is of similar size and population density, but with perhaps less tricky geography (KC is mostly rolling hills with the exception of the SW portion on the Kansas side), it would seem those numbers could be considered a basis for LRT there.
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  #62  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2008, 12:00 AM
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I'm really surprised Kansas City doesn't have light rail. You guys have such a fine city up there. Incredibly urban and beautiful. I call it the Philadelphia of the Midwest.
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  #63  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2008, 1:11 AM
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I've only been here 4 months, but I do know rail was approved around '05 or '06 after years of getting rejected by voters. The plan that was approved was repealed by the city council once the true costs were disclosed (sounds like it was a lot like SA's 2000 proposal - too ambitious). KC is very nice and urban in it's good areas, but is also a model of sprawl and urban decay in other areas. Rail has a chance to work here if done properly, and the mayor is really pushing it, but I'm not sure the population density is there to make it succeed region-wide, unless gas goes up $2-$3 in the next couple of years.

It'll be interesting to see how the situation here and in SA progresses over the months, and who will get rail first.
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  #64  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2008, 1:53 PM
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Is this the first real step towards a light-rail initiative??

~~~~


Task force appointed to tackle transportation puzzle

Web Posted: 06/26/2008 11:47 PM CDT

By Patrick Driscoll

With gas prices nudging to $4 a gallon, the economy snoozing and transportation funds on a long vacation, the city's leaders decided to take a serious look at a potpourri of solutions.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff and Mayor Phil Hardberger on Thursday announced formation of the Transportation Task Force to come up with a plan to take to state and federal lawmakers next year.

Everything from light rail to more highway lanes — yes, toll roads, too — is on the table for the 11-member task force.

“We just kind of left it up to them to set the agenda,” Wolff said. “We've got a pretty knowledgeable group of people.”

The task force includes familiar faces in the business community, and four were tapped from the VIA Metropolitan Transit board.

Two members, Terrell McCombs of the San Antonio Mobility Coalition and Bill Barker of the Sierra Club and Green Space Alliance, stood on different sides of a light-rail plan that voters shot down in 2000 and, more recently, on plans to build 70-plus miles of toll roads.

McCombs, a staunch toll-road advocate, said he and others have since softened on light rail even though such systems require heavy subsidies.

“We're going to look hard at rail, light rail,” he said. “It's expensive.”

Barker, who helped draw up the 2000 rail plan when he was VIA's planner, still shuns big highways as the answer, especially since he believes oil is growing scarcer.


“I see a difficult time for transportation ahead,” he said. “I remain optimistic that this group will be able to plan accordingly.”

Figuring out what the city's transportation system should offer is just part of the task force's job. Members will also tackle funding.

Gurgling up in recent government and road-industry discussions are ideas such as indexing the state gas tax, adding a sales tax on gas, raising vehicle registration fees or implementing a transportation property tax. A menu of options could eventually be placed before local voters.

“Frankly, the well's dry, we have to do something,” McCombs said. “I don't think there's any one single bullet that'll solve our transportation problems.”

Task Force members
Hope Andrade, former chairwoman of the Texas Transportation Commission
Bill Barker, Sierra Club and Green Space Alliance member
Mary Briseno, VIA board member
Jack Leonhardt, mayor of Windcrest, board member of the Alamo Area Council of Governments
James Lifshutz, VIA board member
Terrell McCombs, chairman of the San Antonio Mobility Coalition
Richard Perez, president of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
Rick Pych, VIA board member
Jim Reed, Regional Mobility Authority board member
Linda Chavez-Thompson, VIA board member
Derrick Howard, CPS Energy board member


http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/met...N.3e348a5.html
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  #65  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2008, 2:04 PM
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Light-rail in SA would be a Godsend. It would help transform the city to a progressive major metropolitan and shake the sleepy old poor city image. It is needed in many areas across the city. It would help cut down on the urban sprawl and encourage smart urban growth. I cannot for the life of me figure out why voters turned down the 2000 proposal.
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  #66  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2008, 2:11 PM
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SA needs to get on board with light rail. Get all Texans moving .
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  #67  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2008, 2:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgannaway89 View Post
I cannot for the life of me figure out why voters turned down the 2000 proposal.
I bet it was the same reason it never made it in the late 80's / early 90's... the threat of higher taxes in the short term supercedes any logical reasoning about doing something to better prepare for the long term.
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  #68  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2008, 2:52 PM
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Originally Posted by tgannaway89 View Post
Light-rail in SA would be a Godsend. It would help transform the city to a progressive major metropolitan and shake the sleepy old poor city image. It is needed in many areas across the city. It would help cut down on the urban sprawl and encourage smart urban growth. I cannot for the life of me figure out why voters turned down the 2000 proposal.
In certain areas I think it would do well, especially if it can feed into and off of the River North/downtown streetcar system.

From what I've heard, the 2000 proposal was turned down because a) gas was cheaper back then and nobody was demanding alternate transportation, and b) it was a very complex and costly system, and likely freaked a lot of people out. Again, that's just what I've been able to piece together from talking with people about it. I was actually living in Tampa at the time, so I wasn't able to follow it as it was happening in '00.
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  #69  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2008, 3:53 PM
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Originally Posted by oldmanshirt View Post
Task Force members
Hope Andrade, former chairwoman of the Texas Transportation Commission
Bill Barker, Sierra Club and Green Space Alliance member
Mary Briseno, VIA board member
Jack Leonhardt, mayor of Windcrest, board member of the Alamo Area Council of Governments
James Lifshutz, VIA board member
Terrell McCombs, chairman of the San Antonio Mobility Coalition
Richard Perez, president of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
Rick Pych, VIA board member
Jim Reed, Regional Mobility Authority board member
Linda Chavez-Thompson, VIA board member
Derrick Howard, CPS Energy board member
Holy cow. Do you realize this is a freaking dreamteam?

CPS absolutely REFUSED to support LRT before and now they are. VIA didn't donate any manpower to the idea before even though their head wanted LRT. Richard Perez is a freaking GOOD GOOD person to have on board.

I don't know who Jim Reed is, but he sounds familiar.

Also, the last one was scuttled by hometown "hero" Wendell Cox whose interest lies in the pocket of beyond-410 (and now beyond-1604) developers.
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  #70  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2008, 4:03 PM
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This won't be news to anyone on this forum, but I'll say it anyway just for the first hand info value. Riding the subway every day in New York, my transportation costs have remained exactly the same even though the cost of gas is way up. Having a rail transit system allows people the experience that savings while also guaranteeing that you won't have to drive or sit in heavy traffic on the way to work.

I hope rail systems spring up in cities all across the country in the next few years, and I'd love to see it happen in San Antonio.
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  #71  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2008, 4:31 PM
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Originally Posted by JACKinNYC View Post
This won't be news to anyone on this forum, but I'll say it anyway just for the first hand info value. Riding the subway every day in New York, my transportation costs have remained exactly the same even though the cost of gas is way up. Having a rail transit system allows people the experience that savings while also guaranteeing that you won't have to drive or sit in heavy traffic on the way to work.

I hope rail systems spring up in cities all across the country in the next few years, and I'd love to see it happen in San Antonio.
Living in Portland, which has a similar metro profile (though not shape) to San Antonio, I found the light rail system to be leagues beyond the bus system and certainly suitable to the SA area.

We could get Flexity Outlooks since they're pretty narrow and would look beautiful gliding on brown sandstone elevated tracking through downtown and would glint as they quietly swooshed up Fred road. Cityrunners would be beautiful
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  #72  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2008, 5:28 PM
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We could get Flexity Outlooks since they're pretty narrow and would look beautiful gliding on brown sandstone elevated tracking through downtown and would glint as they quietly swooshed up Fred road. Cityrunners would be beautiful
Dude, I have no idea what you just said, but that sounds awesome!

On a serious note, I'm glad you recognized some of those names and that they're open to different transit options. I think the only two I had heard of were Jim Reed and Richard Perez.
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  #73  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2008, 10:02 PM
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Perhaps if the city offered useful public transportation major corporations wouldn't be forced to move elsewhere. Just a thought. It is really time to drop the "conservative" act and embrace the progressive mindset that other major cities (Dallas, Houston, etc.) have held for a while. I couldn't really see myself living in SA in the future (after college) unless the city does get in the game.
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  #74  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2008, 10:07 PM
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Oh please let LRT come to San Antonio, that would be so, geez, words are escaping me right now.
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  #75  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2008, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by tgannaway89 View Post
Perhaps if the city offered useful public transportation major corporations wouldn't be forced to move elsewhere. Just a thought. It is really time to drop the "conservative" act and embrace the progressive mindset that other major cities (Dallas, Houston, etc.) have held for a while. I couldn't really see myself living in SA in the future (after college) unless the city does get in the game.
Maybe you should bring that up with the papers? Bring up the fact that so many companies are moving to areas served by LRT/Streetcars, like Microsoft and Amazon.com moving to Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood due to access to the Streetcar.
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  #76  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2008, 1:10 AM
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Maybe you should bring that up with the papers? Bring up the fact that so many companies are moving to areas served by LRT/Streetcars, like Microsoft and Amazon.com moving to Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood due to access to the Streetcar.
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  #77  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2008, 9:41 PM
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From a story on the Camp Bullis fiasco from WOAI:
http://radio.woai.com/script2/print....feed_id=119078

Quote:
He said any transportation plan has to ‘speed up the movement of troops’ to and from Camp Bullis, and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff floated an intriguing idea.

“Union Pacific Railroad is willing to work with us on a rail line which would go all the way from South Town all the way to The Rim, in terms of putting a light rail system in,” Wolff said. “This would alleviate some of the traffic problems we’re having on Interstate 10 and would provide another mode of transportation that we do not have today, and would lead out to the Camp Bullis area.”

Wolff said talk about the passenger light rail link is still in its early stages, but to be effective, it would presumably run from South Town, which is located along Alamo and Presa Streets south of downtown, up the existing UP rail line that runs east of downtown, through Fort Sam Houston, and then across the city and up Interstate 10 on the rail line which runs just east of Clark High School.
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  #78  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2008, 10:56 PM
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Well that's completely unexpected. High ridership if it has on-base stops (though those would certainly be regulated)...
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  #79  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2008, 12:26 AM
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That seems almost too good to be true, but if it worked, I'd have to think it would be very unique form of intracity rail transit, in that it would be utilized by both the public and military. I'd also imagine it would decrease the price of LRT at start up by a significant amount, and perhaps the DoD could even be convinced to chip in a bit, since they would be using and benefiting from it?
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  #80  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2008, 5:15 AM
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From Southtown to Bullis would be insanely awesome!

And if UP is willing to work with the city and county that is even better news.
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