Less than a week after she was elected Mayor of San Antonio, Ivy Taylor this afternoon asked City Council to formally pull the roughly $32 million that council had allocated to the controversial downtown streetcar, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.
Council will vote on an ordinance drawn up by the mayor, and at this point the support seems to be there to kill the city's participation in the VIA Metro Transit project.
"At this time, there is a lack of community support for the streetcar project," the city said in a statement. "Therefore, Mayor Ivy Taylor is asking city staff to draft an ordinance for City Council consideration which withdraws the city's $32 million to the streetcar project."
The statement said Taylor will appoint a charter commission 'to look at transportation and other issues' and said if the commission recommends the streetcar, a 'community wide vote' will take place.
The city's withdrawing of funding will not automatically kill the streetcar. VIA could still make up the money from other sources. But moving forward with the plan will be politically very risky without the city's support.
In one of her first comments after being elected Mayor last week, Taylor told Newsradio 1200 WOAI that while she supports the project, she does not support moving forward without a vote of the people.
The streetcar was never popular with citizens, and a recent poll commissioned by County Judge candidate Carlton Soules, a streetcar opponent, revealed that 60% of Bexar County taxpayers would vote against any candidate who supported the streetcar.
Taylor recommended that the city's share of the project be redirected to other issues.