Students Weigh In on Streetcar

Don't let Austin be shown up by Dallas and Houston, say students who advocate rail

Will UT students organize as vocal Austin streetcar advocates? At a campus meeting recently, the UT student group Urban Devel­op­ment Society asked Capital Metro representative Matt Curtis about immediate plans to expand regional public transportation and rail transit options. The meeting generated a front-page story in The Daily Texan and an offer from UT student government leaders to help organize broader pro-transit advocacy on campus.

"With fuel costs soaring and environmental damage associated with autos mounting, we need to unite all UT students looking to get rail-transit options, sooner rather than later," said UDS officer Greg Anderson. "Our great city is a leader in so many ways; it is time for us to catch up in the one place where even Houston and Dallas have us beat." He expressed frustration that the Central Austin streetcar circulator once headed for a Novem­ber voter referendum appears stalled.

UT urban design professor Sinclair Black presented a ridership rationale to UDS for why the proposed streetcar route through the UT campus should run along Speedway (or possibly Guadalupe), not along San Jacinto as the administration insists. Also on hand to hear from students were Glenn Gadbois of the Alliance for Public Transportation and Jim Adams and Jana McCann of ROMA Austin (which will present its streetcar recommendations to City Council July 24).

UDS is organizing another meet-up for Wednesday, Sept. 10, 6-7:30pm, at the Texas Union on the UT campus, to unite more UT students in advocacy for transit and sustainable urban development.

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streetcar, Capital Metro, University of Texas, Sinclair Black

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