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Trace: at MMR_Render.Press_Release.Page_Load(Object sender, EventArgs e) Villarreal Files Legislation to Expand Public Transit in San Antonio - News from Mike - Representative Mike Villarreal - District 123 San Antonio

Villarreal Files Legislation to Expand Public Transit in San Antonio

Monday, February 23, 2009

 

"Our Future: Our Choices"
Bill would give voters the power to choose to invest in light rail and other options
 
(Austin, TX)     Today, State Representative Mike Villarreal filed legislation to give voters the power to choose new ways to invest locally in public transit. The bill, H.B. 1674, would give local government amenu of options to raise revenue locally to fund transportation solutions such as buses, light rail and passenger rail, and bike lanes. The lawmaker authored the measure in response to the looming crisis in San Antonio’s transportation infrastructure.   
 
Texas’ transportation infrastructure and funding options fail to meet our growing commuter demand.   Each year, 57,000 more cars are added to Bexar County roadways, but the region has inadequate funding to meet the increased capacity. Texas lost $1 billion in federal highway cutbacks in the last two years and San Antonio’s regional funding shortfall through 2030 is projected at $19 billion. Both our infrastructure and our funding options have failed to meet our needs in an efficient, affordable and effective way. 
 
Many local families spend more than a third of their household income on transportation and spend more on transportation than on housing annually. Low-income families are hit the hardest with the cost of commuting, and are particularly susceptible to fluctuations in gas prices. With gas prices expected to reach $4 per gallon again, local leaders are searching for long-term solutions.
 
“If we want to ensure that we have cleaner air and affordable, efficient transportation for our residents, we must give voters the power to choose new ways to invest locally,” said Villarreal of the legislation. “San Antonians know best what we want out of public transit and what we're willing to personally invest to achieve our community vision.” 
 
The legislation would give local authorities a range of local revenue options including a county vehicle registration fee, a driver’s license fee, a roadway impact fee or usage fees based on miles traveled, emission levels or the weight of the vehicle. The measure requires that local voters approve the proposed fees.
Villarreal supports a diverse transportation plan that includes ample public roads, comprehensive public transportation such as buses, light rail and passenger rail, and navigable bike and pedestrian ways, and an integrated transportation dispatch system for senior citizens.  
 
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