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Councilwoman Sandoval Advocates to Secretary Pete Buttigieg for Federal Transportation Dollars

Communications and Public Affairs: 207-7234
Published on Monday, March 8, 2021

Councilwoman Sandoval Advocates to Secretary Pete Buttigieg for Federal Transportation Dollars

CONTACT: Matteo Treviño


SAN ANTONIO (March 8, 2021) —  As part of the National League of Cities’ Congressional City Conference, Councilwoman Sandoval spoke to USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg about the need for federal investment in sidewalks and public transit in San Antonio. Councilwoman Sandoval is a member of the Transportation & Infrastructure Services (TIS) Federal Advocacy Committee with the National League of Cities. A recording is available here and her remarks follow:
“It’s an honor to be here with you, Secretary. You might know San Antonio as the home of the Alamo or the Spurs. What you might not know is that we’re a city of over a million and a half people with over two thirds of that population being Latino. We’re the home of the first Mexican American Civil Rights Institute.”
“You also may not know that the American Community Survey identified our city, of the largest 25 in the United States, as the one with the highest poverty rate. I don't see us overcoming that challenge without an equitable transportation system.”
“An equitable transportation system is one that meets people where they are — not just geographically, but in terms of their financial ability and their physical ability. Our city would need over $1 billion to complete — not to maintain, but just to complete — our sidewalk network. But that would allow everyone, whether you’re a mother with a stroller or someone in a wheelchair, to walk to the corner store or to the bus stop.”
“Our transit agency — VIA — is one of the leanest and most cost-efficient systems across the country.  And they have to be. They have no choice. We don't have state resources to fund public transportation and we run on a half cent sales tax, unlike other major cities in Texas that run on a full cent sales tax.”
“We are tremendously hopeful with the new administration and with you at the helm of the Department of Transportation that you can help us connect our community to opportunity — because ultimately that's what transportation is.”
“The most significant assistance the federal government could give us would be capital funding for an East-West Bus Rapid Transit line and the complementary pedestrian infrastructure. Fixed route service on this corridor carries a high percentage of our passengers and traverses our lowest income, highest Latino and African American census tracts.”
“With a former mayor at the helm of the Department of Transportation, we're confident that we can build a transportation system that connects people to opportunity, without requiring them to spend hours commuting on a bus, without requiring them to going into crushing debt to buy a car, and without requiring them to risk their lives crossing the street or walking on a street without a sidewalk.”
“We look forward to working with you and Congress on projects that help bring opportunity to San Antonio. Thank you.”