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VIA Streetcar Meeting On Holy Thursday Could Affect Attendance

VIA Metropolitan Transit

VIA’s modern streetcar project will receive another public input meeting, this time concerning alternate routes.

But the flyer doesn’t make clear that routes are the alternatives that will be discussed.

The digital flyer sent by VIA says, "Modern Streetcar: Come hear and provide comments on detailed alternatives and their characteristics."

George Rodriguez, president for South Texas Alliance for Progress, a conservative group, said VIA appears to be involved in a game of wordplay.

"When you think of streetcar alternatives, you certainly would think that we're going to be discussing alternatives to the streetcar, but it's not," he said.

Rodriguez said he hopes people show up to voice their concern for the streetcar project overall, but meeting is scheduled on Holy Thursday, a day that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles.

Rodriguez said he and the members of his group thought about the coincidence, but said he hopes people will still be able to attend the meeting to give their input on the streetcar project overall.

"We're also hoping that people will understand that this is a civic situation right now where we're looking at mortgaging our future courtesy of VIA to the tune of billions of dollars," he said. "What we need to do is make sure that folks understand that and those that can attend, make sure that they are there to be heard."

VIA’s Andy Scheidt clarified that the meeting is for alternatives of routes.

"When you're coming up with a new kind of service along a new corridor, you want to study different alignment possibilities and come up with alternatives," he said.

Scheidt said the meaning of the day was not a factor into the meeting.

"We took no religion into consideration," he said.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Central Library downtown.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.