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Posts Tagged ‘streetcars’

On streetcars and BRT

Offcite considers some alternatives to light rail. Two new light rail lines set to start service early next year will drastically expand Houston’s rail network, but our city will remain dreadfully underserved by the system. Many neighborhoods seeing a greater density of midrise and townhouse developments will not be reached by rail. The bus system […]

Why not a university?

Tory Gattis has an interesting suggestion for that 136 acre tract of land east of downtown. This parcel of land could be the last opportunity for Houston to add a major college campus to the city.  We should consider something similar to what NYC just did with Roosevelt Island, where after a long evaluation process […]

A streetcar for the East End?

It could happen. As the once solidly industrial East End transforms with a 4-month-old soccer stadium, a light rail line under construction and the imminent sale of a 136-acre plot that could signal coming lofts and boutiques, boosters are studying the possibility of reviving the streetcar in Houston after an absence of more than 70 […]

What would you do with 136 acres near downtown?

Something urban, mixed-use, and transit-oriented, one hopes. A rare opportunity lies in 136 acres just east of downtown Houston. The Buffalo Bayou-front parcel, a longtime industrial and office complex, went on the market earlier this summer – a move bayou enthusiasts, East End residents and real estate developers had been anticipating for years. Some of […]

Meet the new rail debate, same as the old rail debate

I feel like I’ve heard all this before. Opponents of the planned downtown streetcar system said Tuesday that county officials broke a promise with voters when they agreed to use advanced transportation district funds to help fund the project. The group contends that multiple pieces of campaign literature used to promote the ATD tax in […]

San Antonio moves forward with streetcar plan

San Antonio City Council has voted to approve funding for a five-year transit expansion plan that includes a streetcar line. The vote all but guarantees construction of the city’s first urban rail project since San Antonio ended its electric streetcar operation in 1933. “I do believe what this plan does is it looks forward,” [Mayor […]

San Antonio approves long term transit plan

The board of VIA Metropolitan Transit, the transit agency for San Antonio, has unanimously approved a long term roadmap that will bring rail construction to the city. San Antonio is the largest city in the U.S. with a bus-only transit system, according to the plan. The city’s only previous electric streetcar system was discontinued in […]

San Antonio rail progress

I’m glad to see them continue to move forward. VIA Metropolitan Transit has hired a program manager to oversee its high-capacity transit initiative, a move that board and staff members say will help usher in the agency’s plans for an urban rail line, possibly within the next five to seven years. The board voted to […]

New development planned for West Gray

From Prime Property: West Gray may soon get a lot busier. Developers are proposing multi-story apartment complexes on two sites just a short distance apart along the largely retail roadway, which runs from River Oaks to downtown. Both developers are requesting variances from the Planning Commission that would alter the building setbacks for their projects. […]

We’ll take it if you don’t want it

Dallas would like the FTA to know that they will gladly take any federal streetcar funds that Fort Worth doesn’t want. That’s the message the Regional Transportation Council, with the support of Dallas leaders, is sending to the Federal Transit Administration this month in the wake of Fort Worth’s decision to shelve its streetcar plan. […]

San Antonio streetcar study

Fort Worth may have punted on streetcars, but San Antonio is still moving ahead. It’s not a green light, but it is a boost nonetheless for VIA Metropolitan Transit’s plans to build two streetcar lines downtown. The transit agency recently was awarded a $900,000 federal grant for it to determine where the streetcar’s rail lines […]


Nice story on NPR about the expansion of light rail around the country. Pretty much everywhere you look in large urban areas, there’s light rail, construction of light rail, or plans for light rail. Couple of points from the story that are worth mentioning: In Salt Lake City, Phoenix, San Diego and other cities large […]

Fort Worth quits its pursuit of streetcars

I’m surprised by this. The city’s discussion and study of the viability of a modern streetcar system for the central city is over for now. The City Council voted 5-3 [last] Tuesday to pull the plug on a feasibility study of running a streetcar line to the near north side through downtown and the near […]

Fort Worth gets streetcar funds

Good for them, though they’re not quite ready to jump on it yet. A downtown streetcar loop could be in Fort Worth’s near future, but the City Council has some serious issues to consider first. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Thursday that an “urban circulator” project submitted by the city and Fort Worth Transit Authority […]

BRT for San Antonio?

As we know, San Antonio is seeking federal funds to build a streetcar line emanating from downtown. That’s not their only big transit plan in the works. As the On the Move blog reports, VIA has proposed changing one of their busiest bus routes into a bus rapid transit line. They have some public meetings […]

Streetcars on Washington Avenue?

Some big things may be coming to Washington Avenue. Super Neighborhood 22 — a council of civic clubs in the Washington Ave. corridor — will hold a meeting May 24 to discuss its proposed master plan for transportation in the area. To deal with increasing development, density and congestion, the neighborhood envisions a streetcar on […]

VIA thinks bigger on streetcars

They may be scaling back in Dallas, but San Antonio’s transit agency will apply for more federal funds to build a more extensive streetcar network. VIA Metropolitan Transit’s board of trustees voted Tuesday to spike a federal grant application for up to $25 million because it could have ended up costing the agency and its […]

More on streetcars in Fort Worth

The TCU Daily Skiff writes about Fort Worth’s plans for streetcars. The city of Fort Worth plans to move forward with bringing in a nationally recognized consultant to finalize aspects of a modern streetcar system that would consist of an initial loop through downtown Fort Worth as early as 2014 and possibly connecting to campus […]

San Antonio to seek federal funds for streetcar system

Another step forward for San Antonio’s quest to lose its title as the most populous city in America without rail transit. VIA Metropolitan Transit’s trustees on Tuesday approved the routes for a streetcar system and directed agency staff to seek a $25 million grant to help fund an initial segment. VIA plans to submit an […]


Streetcars may be coming to a street near you in many cities. What links Boise, Cincinnati and Charlotte — and Salt Lake City, Dallas, Atlanta and Kansas City, where streetcar tracks abandoned in 1953 still poke through the city’s weathered asphalt — is they’re among dozens of local governments hoping their modern street projects will […]

San Antonio moves forward on streetcars

Last month, the city of San Antonio announced it would form a citizens advisory committee to help guide the creation of a starter streetcar system. It has now done so. The commission’s prime task will be to advise VIA’s board of trustees whether or not to move forward with a streetcar project. It will also […]

Streetcars in San Antonio

San Antonio is looking to Portland for inspiration as it contemplates a streetcar system. In the 1990s, driven by a plan to infuse the inner city with new residents, transit advocates drew up plans to link several districts by streetcar and encourage dense, walkable, mixed-use development designed around the rail line. As it turns out, […]

Will the Alabama Bookstop be spared the wrecking ball?

A commenter at Swamplot, who claims to have inside information, has the following to say about the River Oaks Shopping Center and the Alabama Bookstop. 1. Barnes and Noble owns Bookstop. They are closing it to move to the new location at ROSC. 2. Weingarten has no intent of demolishing the Alabama Theater. They have […]

Streetcars and buses

Here’s a little discussion starter for all you transit geeks: Infrastructurist’s list of 36 reasons why streetcars are better than buses. I’d boil a lot of it down to a smaller list: The ride is generally more pleasant, as it is smoother, quieter, and lacks any diesel exhaust smell, they’re more cost-effective in the long […]

More transportation conversation

Some good comments and followup to my earlier post about traffic in the inner core. I want to address Cory’s questions regarding BRT. The short answer is that I have no particular objection to BRT – it’s a perfectly fine technology, and cheaper to implement than light rail. It has a place in the mix, […]

More on streetcars and sidewalks

Andrew Burleson had a couple of good posts last week that followed up on Christof’s streetcar suggestions and my post about a KIrby light rail line. Here they are: West Gray Streetcar, in which he takes Christof’s concept for a streetcar line on West Gray and runs with it, and Will and Won’t, which gets […]