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Posts Tagged ‘San Antonio’

Alignments proposed for Oklahoma City-South Texas passenger rail

Check ’em out. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) have released 10 service and route options for new and improved conventional and high-speed passenger rail service connecting Oklahoma City, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, and South Texas.  The options are evaluated in a Draft […]

Tim Duncan retires

He will be missed. San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan today announced that he will retire after 19 seasons with the organization. Since drafting Duncan, the Spurs won five championships and posted a 1,072-438 regular season record, giving the team a .710 winning percentage, which is the best 19-year stretch in NBA history and was […]

San Antonio to re-revisit its rideshare requirements

Just when you thought it was all over… With Transportation Network Company (TNC) tension looming from Austin and Houston, the City of San Antonio is preparing its push to renegotiate with ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft. And one of the officials taking the lead on the talks believes they’ll be a model for […]

Lone Star Rail reboot: It’s all about the money

Isn’t it always? The message was clear: If San Antonio-area officials aren’t willing to commit millions of dollars to planning a regional passenger rail line, Austin-area officials will reconsider their financial commitment to the project. The Capital Area and Alamo Area metropolitan planning organizations met Wednesday to discuss the status of a proposed passenger rail […]

An outside view on Uber in Houston

The Statesman looks at how Austin’s fight with Uber and Lyft over fingerprint requirements compares with other cities in Texas, including Houston. Officials in Houston said they decided early on that their city, despite having almost 2,500 licensed taxis, could benefit from the emerging ride-hailing industry. So they approached Uber and Lyft a few years […]

Lone Star Rail: Not dead yet

Just a flesh wound, actually. The decision by Union Pacific to end its working relationship with Lone Star Rail District (LSRD) in February, was a blow in efforts to develop a passenger rail line between San Antonio and Austin. But in a special meeting Friday in San Marcos, district directors reaffirmed their commitment to find […]

Recycling officially re-upped

That new recycling agreement with Waste Management was on Council’s agenda yesterday. Here’s a reminder of what it was about. Originally, Houston was to ink a four-year deal with Waste Management, paying a $95-per-ton processing fee, a nearly 50 percent price hike. [Mayor] Turner, hoping the market would rebound quickly and strengthen the city’s negotiating […]

Other cities want to be like Houston

For parks and landscaping. The word “infrastructure” typically conjures up images of towering buildings, layered freeway interchanges and heavily monitored drainage ditches; concrete, cars, trucks and impressive feats of engineering that attempt to mold the natural world and resources to fit human needs. Houston, the fourth largest city in the U.S., has long been hailed, […]

Our long national breakfast taco nightmare is finally over

At long last, peace in our time. With an escalating culinary battle threatening to destabilize the region, the mayors of Austin and San Antonio met Thursday morning to announce a taco truce. “As St. Paul admonishes us, let us not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with breakfast tacos,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said. “We […]

Lone Star Rail setback

Bummer. Union Pacific dealt a major blow to a proposal to connect San Antonio and Austin with passenger rail by pulling one of its tracks from a possible plan. UP ended its agreement with the Lone Star Rail District to study the feasibility of running passenger trains on a freight line that parallels Interstate 35. […]

Overview of two Bexar County legislative primaries

The turnover of Bexar County’s Democratic legislative caucus continues apace. With the departures in 2015 of Mike Villarreal and Jose Menendez (succeeded by Diego Bernal and Ina Minjarez, respectively) and the departures this year by Joe Farias, Trey Martinez-Fischer, and Ruth Jones McClendon, there will be a whole lot of Bexar County legislators being sworn […]

Another look at AirBnB

Interesting. The hotel industry is starting to object. On Wednesday, a report funded by a national trade group claimed some Airbnb hosts function illegally and operate essentially as full-time hotels without the same health and safety oversight. It also says they can reduce the number of affordable options for full-time renters. The home-rental site has […]

Maybe the state should regulate Uber and Lyft after all

Texas Monthly reviews the current state of affairs with transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft and their fight against mandatory fingerprinting as part of the background checks that new drivers must ondergo, all of which is playing out in Austin right now. The argument in favor of the [fingerptint] provision is simple: Lyft and […]

Petitioners may force vote to change Austin rideshare ordinance

Assuming there were no shenanigans, this is an impressive show of force. A group looking to overturn an Austin ordinance requiring fingerprinting of ride-hailing drivers said Monday it has gathered more than 65,000 petition signatures, more than three times what it will need to force a possible election on a substitute ordinance. Ridesharing Works for […]

Another Uber lawsuit update

Looks like we are headed towards a jury trial soon. U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore has denied Uber’s request for summary judgment and rejected parts of the company’s motion to dismiss. “This court has found that the question of the literal falsity, or allegedly misleading nature, of Uber’s representations is a question of fact to […]

Austin versus San Antonio on ridesharing

The Current reviews the state of play. In the spring of 2014, Lyft led the way in Austin, but the company launched without city approval and was eventually banned, along with Uber, which launched in the capital a short time later. Roughly a year ago, Austin’s city council eased its fight, allowing ride-hailing companies to […]

AG’s office upholds Abbott’s line item vetos

Of course it does. Gov. Greg Abbott was well within his powers when he vetoed more than $200 million in funds approved by the Texas Legislature this year, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office wrote in an opinion issued Monday. […] The nonbinding opinion, written by First Assistant Attorney General Chip Roy, has the potential […]

Austin passes new vehicles for hire regulations

It’ll be very interesting to see how this plays out. Defying implied threats that such a vote would chase Uber and Lyft out of town, the Austin City Council late Thursday put into city statutes mandatory fingerprint-based background checks for ride-hailing drivers. But the move will not immediately empty the streets of transportation network company […]

Garcia to challenge Green in CD29

This will be interesting to watch. Former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia is challenging 23-year Democratic Congressman Gene Green in the 29th district, he told the Chronicle Monday, a risky intra-party challenge of a popular incumbent. The move comes less than two months after Garcia’s third-place finish in the Houston mayor’s race, which already had […]

Update on the cab companies’ lawsuit against Uber and Lyft

Yesterday I noted the latest lawsuit against Uber, filed in San Antonio by a former Uber driver who alleged that their pay amounted to a sub-minimum wage total. Over the weekend we got an update on the lawsuit filed here last April against both Uber and Lyft by various cab companies. The federal lawsuit in […]

Another lawsuit against Uber

Hard to keep track of them all. A former San Antonio-area driver for Uber has filed a class-action lawsuit against the ride-hailing company, alleging it pays drivers less than minimum wage, makes them eat expenses it should pay for and misleads users into thinking they do not have to tip drivers. David Micheletti is among […]

Everybody wants in on the rail action

We’re like a magical land of opportunity for high-speed rail interests. For more than three years, Japanese-backed Texas Central Partners has drawn attention with its plans to develop a Dallas-Houston bullet train. While that project is furthest along, French and Chinese rail interests are more quietly discussing the prospects for rail projects with state and […]

Initial day-after-election thoughts

– We now have two cycles’ worth of data to suggest that having more good candidates in a Council race does not necessarily lead to better outcomes. Following in the footsteps of At Large #3 in 2013, a handful of Democratic candidates in At Large #1 split the vote with sufficient closeness to keep them […]

If you really want to improve turnout in city elections

This is a plan that would do it. Councilman Ron Nirenberg [recently] called for a major change to local elections that he says would boost voter turnout and bolster public participation. The councilman said he’s spent years considering ways to address abysmal turnout in municipal elections, which are held in May of odd-numbered years. His […]

Uber returns to San Antonio

They’re back. The ink had barely dried on the signed operating agreement when ride-hailing firm Uber restarted operations in San Antonio Tuesday, ahead of competitor Lyft, which agreed to a deal in August but has yet to implement services here. The Uber smart-phone application went live Tuesday at about 3:30 p.m., just as the company […]

Endorsement watch: One Farias, two Farias

There’s one state race on the ballot this year, where there’s a special election in HD118 to succeed the retiring Rep. Joe Farias. The San Antonio Express News has endorsed Gabe Farias in that race. Six candidates — three Democrats and three Republicans — are seeking to replace former Rep. Joe Farias, who stepped down […]

Uber and Lyft versus fingerprints

They prefer to do their own background checks, which of course do not require fingerprint checks. Houston, San Antonio and Austin currently take different approaches to a key regulatory issue: whether vehicle-for-hire app drivers must undergo fingerprint background checks. The issue has proven pivotal to Uber and Lyft in Texas. Lyft refuses to operate in […]

More focus on inequality

Good to see. As Houston’s mayoral candidates spar over the city’s largely agreed upon top issues – finances, infrastructure and public safety – a fourth policy concern is percolating: economic inequality. Concerns about disparity underpin discussions about the city’s revenue cap, development incentives, education, even which roads to repair and when. Yet, when it comes […]

Uber update, part 1

The Chron, in conjunction with Al Jazeera Americas, gives the first of what should be a four-part look at how Uber is doing in Houson. Less than a year after Houston began regulating so-called transportation network companies, questions persist about safety assurances from Uber, the city’s sole entrant in the field. Uber is testing local […]

San Antonio implements Vision Zero

Good for them. Tuesday marked the official launch of San Antonio’s Vision Zero, a multi-national awareness and educational initiative that calls for zero traffic fatalities. It’s a lofty goal, but proponents of the plan say these deaths, especially those of pedestrians, are preventable accidents that can be systematically addressed with infrastructure and safety education. Last […]

Rep. Susan King not running for re-election

Though she may run for Senate instead. State Rep. Susan King has decided against seeking re-election as she considers a run for the Texas Senate, the Abilene Republican announced Tuesday. King said she would announce by the end of the month whether to launch a bid for Senate District 24, where Troy Fraser is stepping […]

Lone Star Rail updates

From last week, San Antonio City Council gets set to make a financial commitment to the Lone Star Rail line. San Antonio is expected to make its first financial commitment to building the Lone Star Rail line next week when city council members vote for a budget that includes $500,000 for the project. […] San […]

The local minimum wage fight

Not quite on the radar here, but it could be. After years of failed proposals in the Texas Legislature to raise the minimum wage, organizers and advocates for higher hourly wages are going local. Leaders in two major Texas cities and two large counties will vote soon on raising minimum wages for public employees and, […]

Churches and recall elections

This ought to be interesting. Are Texas churches prohibited from campaigning to recall politicians? The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals [weighed] that question Thursday in a case set to clarify if and how a church as a corporate entity can influence the political process of ousting a sitting elected official. A San Antonio congregation, […]