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Will San Antonio Finally Get a Light Rail System?

By November 13, 2008

After many false starts in the last couple of decades, supporters of a proposed light rail system are bringing the issue back into the limelight. Sparred by high fuel costs (research started before the recent drop in oil prices) and consumer interest, Mayor Hardberger and County Judge Nelson Wolff got a committee together to study the potential impact.

The proposal would cut initial costs by using existing abandoned or soon-to-be abandoned tracks instead of laying new ones. Initial plans would have routes from Southtown to The Rim shopping center, with others to be added later.

What do you think, San Antonio? Are we finally ready for a light rail system, or will fear tactics and love of personal vehicles bat down the proposal for a third time in the last decade and a half?


November 20, 2008 at 9:58 pm
(1) Bo says:

As a fervent supporter of public transit and a daily bus rider (in portland, ore.) I hate to say it but I believe light rail in SA is too little, too late. I grew up there and moved away about 15 years ago and each time I’ve gone back I’m just amazed by the incessant onward march of suburban sprawl. As far as locals having too much love for their personal vehicles it’s hardly even an issue. San Antonians are several generations removed now from those who remember a compact, walkable, fairly dense urban core. Those are all requirements for making mass transit really feasible. Otherwise it’s too expensive per rider and too timely and unattractive an option. My suggestion: make the city everything in a about 100 sq mile core and bomb every sprawling eyesore beyond that. Ha just kidding but really it can’t work. PS Bexar County thanks for narrowly favoring Pres. Obama you’re not all bad.

November 21, 2008 at 8:48 am
(2) Kori Ellis says:

Hi Melissa, I just wanted to say welcome to About.com. As far as the light rail, I haven’t been on top of the whole issue but most people that I know think it will never happen (and should have happened long ago). Public transportation does need to get better though.


November 23, 2008 at 4:52 pm
(3) Melissa Martinez (S.A. Guide) says:

Thanks for welcoming me, Kori!

Bo – Portland is a great town, I love the Pacific NW, I used to live in Seattle. I really would love a light rail system, I have seen how convenient they are in other cities I have visited. Only time will tell if this will pass, this may be the last chance for it to become a reality.

December 5, 2008 at 7:56 pm
(4) DJ says:

I’d like to see a light rail system that has stops that connect to all major bus lines serving all parts of the city. The bus service would need to be improved to feed into the light rail system and the rail system needs to provide easy access or connections by bus to the most heavily trafficked areas in the city. This would require someone to really think the project through – don’t just put up a light rail system for the sake of a light rail system – make sure it serves the needs of the community.

December 30, 2009 at 8:42 pm
(5) leateetry says:

Excellent post I did not know that! Its good to see you updating this even during these tough economic times.
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January 10, 2010 at 10:04 am
(6) Houspeshituit says:

Informative read, I did not know this!
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