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Market, Commerce Streets Could Become Possible Streetcar Routes

VIA Metropolitan Transit

San Antonio's streetcar project could get a popular route addition thanks to widespread support.

Two new routes have been thrown out as possibilities for the new streetcar project. They include east to west connections via Commerce and Market Streets.

VIA's Chief of Public Engagement, Charlie Gonzalez, says in the transportation authority's public meetings, there were a lot of comments about the Market and Commerce corridors.

Of the six original routes, Gonzalez said, several have been taken off the table, including one that would go in front of the Alamo and another that would travel through Hemisfair Park. The goal is to have a final decision by the end of August, but the board will have to look at some of the obstacles associated with the new routes.

The Market Street realignment project could be one hindrance.

"We're trying to reach this decision by the end of August,” Gonzalez said. “We're still on that timeline. But we really want to listen to people's comments. We want to make sure that we have all the numbers down so that when we present it to the board, they have a complete picture on which to base their decision."

The possibility of the corridors hasn’t yet been vetted. But since it received widespread approval from the community, studies will be conducted to see if it is a viable alternative.

“The board has directed us to get the information back to them regarding of course the cost, ridership, economic development potential; all of those elements that go into making a final decision as to which is the best route,” said Gonzalez.

VIA will hold another public meeting next Tuesday at 6 o'clock at Temple Beth-El to gain more input from the public on what it wants out of a streetcar system.

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