VIA Metropolitan Transit
|Slogan||"We're Going Places"|
|Headquarters||1021 San Pedro Avenue
San Antonio, Texas
|Service area||San Antonio and Bexar County|
|Service type||Local, Express, Bus Rapid Transit (2012)|
|Hubs||Park & Ride: 6
Transit Center: 4
|Daily ridership||148,500 (Q3 2012)|
|Fuel type||Diesel, Diesel-electric hybrid, CNG|
|Board of Trustees||Alex Breseño, Chair|
In addition to the entire city of San Antonio, VIA serves many other Bexar County municipalities, including Alamo Heights, Balcones Heights, Castle Hills, China Grove, Converse, Elmendorf, Kirby, Leon Valley, Olmos Park, Shavano Park, St. Hedwig and Terrell Hills. It also serves unincorporated portions of the county, including Kings Point and Losoya. While VIA does not directly serve some Bexar County municipalities such as Hill Country Village, Hollywood Park, Live Oak, Selma, Schertz, Universal City and Windcrest, many of these suburbs are within driving proximity of outlying park and ride facilities.
VIA was created in 1977 when the citizens of Bexar County voted in favor of a one-half cent sales tax to fund the service. Subsequently, VIA purchased transit assets from the City of San Antonio and began operations in March 1978, taking its name from the Latin word for "road". In 2004, city voters in San Antonio approved the formation of the Advanced Transportation District. This quarter-cent sales tax expanded and improved VIA operations.
VIA has received several accolades from the American Public Transportation Association, most notably the award for Best Transit System in North America in 1990, as well as several of APTA's safety awards in multiple years.
VIA operates more than 500 buses (all are wheelchair accessible) on 91 bus lines ranging from routes 2 to 660, serving the entire city of San Antonio and the majority of Bexar County. About 36 million trips are made on VIA every year. The bus lines are separated into Metro, Frequent service routes, Skip (limited stop routes), and Express routes, as well as Streetcar routes (serving Downtown and Southtown only) and the VIA Primo bus rapid transit line. VIA provides special event service from its Park & Ride locations to events such as San Antonio Spurs basketball games at the AT&T Center, selected annual Fiesta San Antonio activities, and the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. VIA also offers "VIATrans" paratransit services for disabled travelers.
Fares for VIA have remained relatively modest during its existence. At its inception in 1978, fares were 25 cents for most routes. Fares for most fixed routes during 2006 were 80 cents and a monthly bus pass was $20, much lower than most transit systems in the country. On January 1, 2007, basic fares were raised to $1 and monthly pass prices were raised to $25. Basic fares increased to $1.10 and monthly pass prices were raised to $30 on January 1, 2009. As of March 1, 2014[update], the basic bus fare is $1.20 and a 31-day pass is $35.
Bus rapid transit
VIA added a bus rapid transit (BRT) service known as VIA Primo to the Fredericksburg Road corridor on December 17, 2012. Designated as Route 100, it connects the South Texas Medical Center to Downtown San Antonio. It also connects the main campus of the University of Texas at San Antonio to its downtown campus using an extension from the Medical Center to UTSA Main Campus. A second extension runs from the Medical Center to the nearby independent city of Leon Valley. VIA Primo opened on December 17, 2012 and became VIA Metropolitan Transit's first non-conventional bus offering. VIA is looking into other corridors to which to add bus rapid transit in the coming decades.
While the new 100 route replaced two busy routes on the heavily utilized Fredericksburg corrdior – the 91 (skip-stop) and the 92 (frequent), it did not affect multiple stop service from other routes that also run along their portions of Fredericksburg (metro route 96 and 97 and frequent route 520). Unlike the 91 or the 92, which continued down lower Fredericksburg (still served by 96 and 97) to downtown along the Navarro/St. Mary's one-way couplet, the 100 opts for nonstop service on I-10 between Fredericksburg and Downtown, then uses the Market/Commerce couplet.
Ten of the trustees are appointed by the various governmental entities in Bexar County—the City of San Antonio appoints five members, the Bexar County Commissioners Court appoints three, and the mayors of the suburban cities acting in concert appoint two. The appointed trustees then elect a chairperson as the Board's eleventh member. The current President and CEO is Jeffrey C. Arndt.
Types of routes
|Type of Route||Map/Schedule Color||Service||Examples||One-Way Fare|
|Metro||Purple||Bus Service from Downtown San Antonio to specific suburban areas or projects, or from specific Transit Centers and Park & Rides to specific suburban areas or projects. This is also the designation for a "normal" route. Buses run either every 30 minutes or every 60 minutes. Some routes have peak sections where the frequency may be increased.||8 – North St. Mary's
90 – Woodlawn
603 – Medical Center/UTSA
|Frequent||Red||Similar to Metro Service, but runs more frequently. Frequent routes have buses that run every 15 minutes or 20 minutes during most of the day.||14 – Perrin-Beitel Frequent
524 – General McMullen Frequent
|Skip||Green||Skip routes are Metro routes that cover frequently traveled roads in San Antonio, and are modified to have fewer stops along the way to improve travel times.||76 – Old Highway 90 Skip
550/551 – Looper (Loop 410) Skip
|Express||Orange||Express Routes are routes that cover major highway arteries in San Antonio. Express Routes are designed for quick travel from Downtown to suburban areas or Park & Rides (and vice versa) down these highways with very few stops. Some Express Routes are also dedicated specifically for transport from military bases to the Downtown USO club. These buses feature onboard WiFi for extra connectivity.||17 – I-35 North Express
48 – I-35 South Express
93 – I-10 Express/UTSA
|Primo (BRT)||Blue||VIA Primo runs along the Fredericksburg Road corridor, connecting UTSA, Leon Valley and the South Texas Medical Center to Downtown. Like the Express buses, Primo also features onboard WiFi for extra connectivity.||100 – Primo||$1.20|
|Sightseer||Turquoise||The Sightseer Special is a specially designed Skip Route that specifically stops at several landmarks and tourist attractions in Brackenridge Park and Downtown San Antonio.||7 – Sightseer Special||$1.20|
|Streetcar||Red and Blue||Streetcar Routes are designed for Downtown and Southtown sightseeing in retrofitted historic streetcars. Each streetcar has a route sign with a symbol and a color to signal what route it is on.||Red Streetcar Route
Blue Streetcar Route
The following is a list of VIA's numbered routes as of June 10, 2013. Many routes that travel through Downtown San Antonio or change directions at a major transfer point continue with a different number; this route pair is also indicated.
|#||Route Name||Major Destination Points||Route Pair|
|2||Blanco||US 281/Loop 1604, Parliament Square, North Star Transit Center, Downtown||34|
|3||San Pedro Skip||Blossom Park & Ride, North Star Mall, North Star Transit Center, Downtown||46|
|4||San Pedro Frequent||North Star Transit Center, North Star Mall, Downtown||20|
|5||McCullough||San Antonio International Airport, Olmos Park, North Star Mall, North Star Transit Center, Downtown||30|
|6||US 281 Express||US 281/Loop 1604, Parkhills Park & Ride, Downtown|
|7||Sightseer Special||Botanical Garden, Witte Museum, San Antonio Zoo, San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio Children's Museum, Downtown||70|
|8||North Saint Mary's||Randolph Park & Ride, Alamo Heights, University of the Incarnate Word, Trinity University, Downtown||67|
|9||Broadway||Nacogdoches Road Business Park, Alamo Heights, Downtown||43|
|10||Nacogdoches/Broadway||Naco Pass, Alamo Heights, Downtown||44|
|14||Perrin-Beitel Frequent||Naco Pass, Terrell Hills, Alamo Heights, University of the Incarnate Word, Downtown||79|
|16||Fort Sam Houston/USO Express||Fort Sam Houston, USO||65|
|17||IH-35 North Express||Randolph Park & Ride, Downtown||93, 94|
|20||New Braunfels Frequent||Brookside, City Base Landing, San Antonio State Hospital, McCreless Marketplace, San Antonio College, Downtown||4|
|21||Kirby/Converse||Randolph Park & Ride, Converse, Kirby, Downtown||77|
|22||Hays Frequent||Sutton Homes, Rivercenter Mall, Downtown|
|24||East Houston Frequent||Eastwood Industrial Park, AT&T Center, Wheatley Courts, Ellis Alley Park & Ride, Downtown||66|
|25||East Commerce Frequent||Royal View, Huntleigh Park, Honey, Ellis Alley Park & Ride, Downtown||75|
|26||Martin Luther King||Eastwood Village, St. Philip's College, Alamodome, Downtown||68|
|28||Porter||Dellcrest, Southeast Baptist Hospital, Alamodome, Downtown||76|
|30||Rigsby||St. Hedwig, Lone Oak, China Grove, Dellcrest, Comanche Park, Alamodome, Downtown||5|
|32||Steves||Highland Hills, Texas Department of Human Services, Downtown||96|
|34||South Saint Mary's||Brooks City Base, McCreless Marketplace, Juvenile Detention Center, Downtown||2|
|36||South Presa||Elmendorf, Brooks City Base, New Braunfels State Hospital, Downtown||90|
|42||Roosevelt||Villa Coronado, Losoya, Mission Road Development Center, Downtown||88|
|43||South Flores||Kingsborough, Bellaire, Downtown||9|
|44||Pleasanton||Moursund/Loop 410, Downtown||10|
|46||Commercial||Kingsborough, Commercial, Downtown||3|
|48||IH-35 South Express||Kings Point, Madla Transit Center, Downtown|
|51||Nogalitos||Madla Transit Center, Southwest General Hospital, Downtown||82|
|54||South Alamo||Palm Heights, Zarzamora Public Health Clinic, Downtown||97|
|62||Kirk||Port San Antonio, Downtown||89|
|64||US 90 Express||Northwest Vista College, SeaWorld, Kel-Lac Transit Center, Downtown|
|65||Lackland AFB/USO Express||Lackland AFB BMT Reception Center, USO Downtown||16|
|66||Ceralvo Frequent||University Southwest Family Health Center, Downtown||24|
|67||Laredo||Las Palmas Shopping Center, Downtown||8|
|68||Guadalupe Frequent||University Southwest Family Health Center, Las Palmas Shopping Center, Downtown||26|
|70||Cesar Chavez||Las Palmas Shopping Center, Downtown||7|
|75||West Commerce Frequent||University Southwest Family Health Center, Acme Park, Our Lady of the Lake University, Downtown||25|
|76||Old Highway 90 West Skip||Kel-Lac Transit Center, Our Lady of the Lake University, Downtown||28|
|77||Martin||Loma Terrace, Downtown||21|
|79||Ruiz Frequent||Rosedale Park, University Downtown Health Center, Downtown||14|
|82||Culebra||Ingram Transit Center, Ingram Mall, Northside Athletic Complex, SW Research Center, St. Mary's University, Downtown||51|
|88||Bandera||Mainland, Leon Valley, Downtown||42|
|89||Poplar||Ingram Transit Center, University Downtown Health Center, Downtown||62|
|90||Woodlawn||Ingram Transit Center, Ingram Mall, St. Mary's University, San Antonio College, Downtown||36|
|93||IH-10 Crossroads/UTSA Express||UTSA, Valero, University Park & Ride, Crossroads Park & Ride, UTSA Downtown, Downtown||17|
|94||IH-10 Fiesta Texas Express||The Rim, Fiesta Texas, The Shops at La Cantera, UTSA, University Park & Ride, Crossroads Park & Ride (weekends), Downtown||17|
|95||Fredericksburg||Crossroads Park & Ride, Deco District, Downtown|
|96||Vance Jackson||University Heights Business Park, Deco District, Downtown||32|
|97||West Avenue||The Rim, University Heights Business Park, Castle Hills, Deco District, Downtown||54|
|100||Primo (Fredericksburg)||Ellis Alley Park & Ride, Downtown, Westside Multimodal Transit Center, South Texas Medical Center, Medical Center Transit Center, UTSA|
|502||Thousand Oaks||Randolph Park & Ride, Morgan's Wonderland, Naco Pass, North Star Transit Center|
|505||Basse||Randolph Park & Ride, Alamo Heights, Crossroads Park & Ride||509, 632|
|509||Hildebrand||Randolph Park & Ride, Northeast Baptist Hospital, Alamo Heights, Deco District, Crossroads Park & Ride||505, 630|
|515||Southcross||Southcross Ranch, Southeast Baptist Hospital, McCreless Marketplace, South San|
|520||Zarzamora Frequent||Crossroads Park & Ride, Deco District, Texas Diabetes Institute, Madla Transit Center, Palo Alto College, Texas A&M University San Antonio|
|522||Babcock||Woodway Park, Medical Center Transit Center, Las Palmas Shopping Center|
|524||General McMullen Frequent||Crossroads Park & Ride, Balcones Heights, Las Palmas Shopping Center, Port San Antonio, Southwest General Hospital, Palo Alto College|
|534||Wurzbach||Ingram Transit Center, Medical Transit Center, North Star Transit Center, Ingram Park Mall, North Star Mall|
|550||Looper (Clockwise) Skip||Randolph Park & Ride, Madla Transit Center, Kel-Lac Transit Center, Ingram Transit Center, Crossroads Park & Ride, North Star Transit Center|
|551||Looper (Counterclockwise) Skip||Randolph Park & Ride, North Star Transit Center, Crossroads Park & Ride, Ingram Transit Center, Kel-Lac Transit Center, Madla Transit Center|
|602||North Star/Medical Center||North Star Transit Center, Castle Hills, Medical Center Transit Center||604|
|603||Medical Center/UTSA||UTSA, University Park & Ride, University Business Park, USAA, Medical Center Transit Center||605|
|604||Medical Center/University Park||University Business Park, Medical Center Transit Center||602|
|605||UTSA/Mainland||UTSA, Braun Station, Mainland||603|
|606||Medical Center/Alamo Ranch||Medical Center Transit Center, Mainland, Braun Station, Alamo Ranch||607|
|607||Medical Center/Ingram||Ingram Transit Center, Medical Center Transit Center||606|
|609||Ingram/Mainland||Ingram Transit Center, Mainland||618|
|610||Ingram/Northwest Crossing||Northwest Crossing, Ingram Transit Center|
|611||Valley-Hi/Kel-Lac||Valley Hi, Kel-Lac Transit Center||612|
|612||Kel-Lac/Westlakes||Westlakes, Kel-Lac Transit Center||611|
|613||Heritage Northwest/Kel-Lac||Heritage Northwest, Westlakes, Kel-Lac Transit Center||619|
|614||Hidden Cove/Kel-Lac||Hidden Cove, Lackland AFB, Kel-Lac Transit Center||615|
|615||Kel-Lac/Heritage Park||Heritage Park, Westlakes, Kel-Lac Transit Center||614|
|616||Sky Harbour/Kel-Lac||Sky Harbour, Kel-Lac Transit Center||617|
|617||Kel-Lac/Rainbow Hills||Rainbow Hills, Westlakes, Kel-Lac Transit Center||616|
|618||Ingram/Westlakes||Westlakes, Ingram Transit Center||609|
|619||Kel-Lac/Indian Creek||Indian Creek, Lackland AFB, Kel-Lac Transit Center||613|
|620||Northwest Vista College/Ingram||Northwest Vista College, Ingram Transit Center||660|
|630||Randolph/Sunrise||Sunrise, Industry Park, Randolph Park & Ride||505, 632|
|632||Randolph/Ventura||Ventura, The Glen, Randolph Park & Ride||509, 630|
|640||Valley Forge||Rolling Oaks Mall, Valley Forge, Naco Pass||14|
|641||Knollcreek||Rolling Oaks Mall, Knollcreek, Naco Pass||642|
|642||Nacogdoches||Rolling Oaks Mall, Naco Pass||641|
|647||North Star/Harry Wurzbach||The Towers, Alamo Heights, Terrell Hills, North Star Transit Center||648|
|648||North Star/Stone Oak||North Star Transit Center, Arion Business Park, Blossom Park & Ride, North Central Baptist Hospital||647|
|651||Deco District/Castle Hills||Castle Hills, Deco District|
|660||Northwest Vista College/University Park & Ride||University Park & Ride, UTSA, Bandera Pointe, Alamo Ranch, Westover Hills, Northwest Vista College||620|
VIA's fleet consists primarily of diesel, compressed natural gas, and diesel-electric hybrid vehicles. In addition, VIA acquired its first all-electric vehicles, manufactured by Proterra, in February 2013. The vehicles operate on the Red and Blue Streetcar Routes and charge using solar or wind power at the Robert Thompson Transit Station.
|Year||Manufacturer||Model||Length (ft.)||Fuel Propulsion||Fleet Series (Qty.)||Notes|
|1999–01||NABI||LFW||40||Diesel||730-946 (217)||First low-floor buses in fleet; currently[when?] being repainted in new color schemes|
|2000||Champion||Solo||30||Propane||663-729 (67)||Retired from service in 2008|
|2003, 2004-05, 2006, 2008||NFI||D40LF||40||Diesel||200-375 (176)|
|2010||NABI||LFW||40||CNG||947-950 (4)||Local service; first CNG buses in fleet|
|2010||NFI||DE40LFR||40||Hybrid||376-405 (30)||Express service; first hybrid buses in fleet|
|2012-13||NABI||60-BRT||60||CNG||951-969 (19)||VIA Primo BRT (Fredericksburg Road) service; 16 buses in series|
|2012||Proterra||BE35 EcoRide||35||Electric||115-117 (3)||Downtown circulator service; first all electric buses in fleet|
|2005||Optima||Trolley Replica||30||Propane||96-114 (19)||Downtown circulator service|
- "Ridership Report Archives". American Public Transportation Association. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
- "VIA System Map". VIA Metropolitan Transit. March 4, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
- "History". VIA Metropolitan Transit. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- "Expressly for Commuters". VIA Metropolitan Transit. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
- "Downtown Transit". VIA Metropolitan Transit. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
- "Special Event Service". VIA Metropolitan Transit. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
- "New fares in effect January 1". VIA Metropolitan Transit. December 15, 2008. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
- "Fares & Passes". VIA Metropolitan Transit. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
- VIA Reforms http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/traffic/VIA_well_along_road_to_change.html[dead link]
- "VIA Primo". VIA Metropolitan Transit. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
- VIA Metropolitan Transit Destination 2012. Fredericksburg BRT Route. Retrieved on 2009-03-07.[dead link]
- "Board of Trustees". VIA Metropolitan Transit. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
- "Bus Schedules". VIA Metropolitan Transit. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
- "Via Major Downtown Bus Stops". VIA Metropolitan Transit. December 17, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
- Davila, Vianna (February 26, 2013). "VIA rolls out electric buses". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved March 14, 2013.