Opponents of that planned downtown streetcar have picked up a powerful and potentially game changing ally...Red McCombs.
In a letter to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the businessman and former Spurs owner says it is his opinion that the funding proposal floated by VIA Metro Transit, including bond packages based on funding from the 2004 Advanced Transportation District sales tax increase, is 'not legal.'
In addition, McCombs calls the $280 million streetcar plan 'a very very bad situation for our citizens.'
"We have many advantages going now for Bexar County - most of them in the City of San Antonio," McCombs writes. "We certainly don't need this major interruption for the next three years."
Not only is McCombs an extremely well respected local figure, he is also a donor to the political campaigns of many of the politicians who have thrown their support behind the streetcar.
McCombs' letter is the latest in an increasing drum beat of opposition to the streetcar plan, which is already $70 million over budget even though it has not even been formally approved by the VIA board yet. Last week a lawsuit was filed challenging the legality of the use of ATD funding to build two major streetcar stations downtown. Earlier the very downtown businesses which would allegedly benefit from the streetcar refused to help pay for it, and officials of the League of United Latin American Citizens have expressed concern that the streetcar will suck up so much of VIA's revenue that the result will be reduced bus service to VIA's basic customers, people who live in low income neighborhoods around the city.