VIA Metro traffic has succeeded in blocking any appeals of a court ruling regarding the fate of that controversial downtown streetcar plan, essentially giving the streetcar a clear road ahead to begin construction as scheduled in 2015, 1200 WOAI news reports.


  A judge in Austin has ordered anybody who wants to appeal a ruling allowing VIA to use 2003 Advanced Transportation District sales tax revenue to build three mass transit stations, including two that would eventually be connected into the streetcar line, to post a $3.855 million bond. 


  "VIA is hopeful that any party contemplating further legal action will recognize that the local taxpayers and transit riders will ultimately bear the inconvenience and costs that result from the filing of frivolous court challenges," VIA spokeswoman Priscilla Ingle said.


  The opposition to the streetcar is being driven by two grass roots groups, the San Antonio Tea Party and the local chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens, neither of whom have anywhere near that kind of money to put up for a bond.


  "This bond is intended to cover any costs borne by VIA due to the filing of a legally baseless appeal," Ingle said.


  The streetcar plan has become one of the most hotly contested issues in San Antonio.  Supporters say it would add to the community's transportation infrastructure and would be a major boost for downtown development.  Opponents say the streetcar is too expensive, financially unsustainable, and will drain money from but service for low income San Antonians to pay debt service on the streetcar.