On Tuesday, Leroy Alloway, Director of Government & Community Relations for VIA Metropolitan Transit presented the VIA Reimagined Plan to the Chamber’s Infrastructure Committee. Alloway highlighted VIA’s commitment to building a more frequent, reliable, and attractive transit system for all. Our region will be home to 1.6 million new residents by 2040, making a sustainable public transit system even more vital to job growth, economic development, environmental quality, and quality of life.
VIA Reimagined is a 10-year plan that has three key components aimed at delivering a BETTER, FASTER, SMARTER transit system.
- The first component is a better bus system, where buses are more frequent and reliable across the region. Since 2018, VIA has successfully increased frequency and improved the rider experience along nine routes and travel time capacity along nine major corridors, thanks to an increase in funding from the City of San Antonio. The boost in funding brings the City’s total annual investment to $10 million, but there is more to be done.
- Second, advanced rapid transit, a network of high-capacity vehicles running in dedicated lanes to bypass traffic. Dedicated lanes will make transit commute times shorter, making it easier for riders to get to their destination.
- Third is smart transit, solutions that use technology to create partnerships to improve the customer experience. Smart transit includes but is not limited to real-time bus arrival information, VIA Link and other on-demand, app-based ride-share services, connecting options such as bikes, scooters and ride-share services, and easy options to buy fares before boarding. Technology makes transit more accessible and helps create a modern transit system.
VIA Reimagined is also the transit component of ConnectSA, the non-profit formed by Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff last spring to help push forward the city’s first comprehensive mobility plan. The plan is geared toward addressing the challenges and wide-ranging effects of our increasing population – 100 new people each day – on everything from business productivity and efficient use of time to equitable access to work and schools and safety on our roadways.
Right now, there is the potential to move the 1/8 percent sales tax to bolster mass transportation and other transportation projects. We know that Aquifer protection funding is still a priority, and it will continue through another funding source. There are a variety of options being evaluated.
Currently, VIA only receives a half a cent in funding while other transit systems in Texas receive a full one cent.
Count on your Chamber to keep you updated. For more information about VIA Reimagined, ConnectSA or the Chamber’s Infrastructure Committee please contact Stephanie Reyes, VP of Public Policy at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 210-229-2162.