Leadership San Antonio Class 45 experienced its first multi-stop, chartered bus class day of 2021, as they explored the history and future of the city’s transportation and infrastructure. Challenged with the sudden rise of the COVID-19 delta variant, the Be Mobile team, adjusted certain elements of the day’s structure to accommodate and strengthen safety protocols.
The day kicked off at the new Credit Human headquarters on Broadway, where CEO Steve Hennigan shared the solar, geothermal, and rainwater recapture systems that allow for the use of 96% less electricity and water, making it one of the greenest buildings in America.
Dr. Michelle Everidge from the Witte Museum dove into the history of San Antonio’s infrastructure, noting how vital the acequia system was for life and its impact on future development.
Continuing the discussion of San Antonio’s past, Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert joined the class to analyze some missed development opportunities in the city.
The class transitioned to Southwest Research Institute, and specifically Building 290, home of automated vehicle research. Dr. Steve Dellenback, Vice President of the Intelligent Systems Division at SwRI, welcomed the class members, who took turns touring the research facility and its autonomous vehicles and worked in teams to design an ideal multimodal street section, choosing how much space to dedicate between sidewalks, landscaping, bus lanes, and more, and rode in one of SwRI’s fully autonomous vehicles.
For the final leg of the day’s journey, the class loaded up on two VIA Metro buses and heard more about ridership and operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
LSA 45 then arrived at the newly opened Red Berry Estate, meeting in the new conference center overlooking the lake. The class enjoyed a seated, plated lunch provided by the RK Group.
Toward the end of lunch, Tiffany Chu, Founder and CEO of Remix, and Kammy Horne, SVP of Planning and Development at VIA Metro, had a fireside chat about the future of transit and mobility and how public and private entities are working together toward that future.
The next panel of the day featured Ed Cross (SA Commercial Advisors), Jay Johnson (Cohen-Esry), and Nick Skuteris (DC Partners) discussing future development, gentrification, affordable housing, and transit-oriented communities.
Texas Transportation Commission Chairman Bruce Bugg also joined to discuss future Texas highway projects and specifically San Antonio road improvements to come.
LSA’s then heard from new City Airport Director Jesus Saenz, who discussed the Airport Master Plan and what it will take to improve the overall experience at the airport and achieve flight destination growth.
As the class was being handed astronaut ice cream, Team Be Mobile played a CGI video sent by SpaceX showing the potential future of space travel, all starting in the South Texas region.
One of the themes of Class 45 is legacy, and to cap off the tremendous day, RK Group founder Rosemary Kowalski, at the spry age of 97, gave an endearing speech that encouraged the class to leave a legacy in San Antonio.
LSA 45 then enjoyed the newly renovated Red Berry Estate, in particular the downstairs casino, in a social hour which featured rides on the lake in an electric boat.
Team Be Mobile’s Day would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors: RK Group, SwRI, Credit Human, The Red Berry Estate, Red McCombs Automotive, Imperium Wealth Management, Tru Branding, Pape-Dawson Engineers, CanOpener Labs, Players Union, Dykema, Sweat Equity, JSAV, DOCUmation, The Kinder Influence, and Katie’s Midnight Bakery.