UTSA hosts lecture, panel discussion on San Antonio streetcars

By Jesus Chavez
Public Affairs Specialist

(September 18, 2014) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Center for Urban and Regional Planning Research, housed in the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning (CACP), will host a lecture and panel discussion about the history of streetcars in San Antonio’s city planning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 25 in the Frio Street Building Sam Riklin Auditorium (FS 1.406) at the UTSA Downtown Campus.

This event, “Moving People by Rail Within Cities,” is presented free and open to the public as part of the center’s inaugural Dialogues in Planning series. 

The evening’s lecture, “Streetcar and Light Rail: Mode of the Past or Mode of the Future,” will be given by Jason Rodriguez, a strategic planner for VIA Metropolitan Transit. A native of San Antonio, Rodriguez is in his seventh year with the Strategic Planning and Project Development Division at VIA.

Rodriguez will speak about the early San Antonio trolley and streetcar system that began in 1878 and ran until 1933. At the time, San Antonio became known as the first major city in the country to discontinue such a system. He will discuss the rationale and ramifications of the decision and its implications for San Antonio’s current intra-city transportation systems.

A panel discussion regarding the potential for a new streetcar system in San Antonio will immediately follow the presentation. Richard Tangum, director of the UTSA Center for Urban and Regional Planning Research, will moderate the discussion. 

Panelists include:

  • John Dugan, director of Planning and Community Development for the City of San Antonio
  • Bill Barker, imagineSanAntonio board member
  • Ed Cross, CEO of the San Antonio Commercial Advisors


The UTSA Center for Urban and Regional Planning Research’s Dialogues in Planning series fosters objective, academic conversations about urban and regional planning issues affecting Texas and the border region.

Free parking is available in UTSA Lot D-3 under Interstate 35. For more information, contact Richard Tangum at 210.458.2559 or richard.tangum@utsa.edu.