VIA helping riders beat the heat at bus stops

Transit company handing out free water to passengers waiting for bus to arrive


SAN ANTONIO – VIA is helping its riders beat the heat this summer.

On Thursday, supervisors with the transit companies drove across San Antonio, giving out free water to passengers waiting for their bus to arrive.

"We're doing it on all the routes at random," said supervisor Mark Spaulding. "When we see hot people, we give them cold water."

VIA officials said the company will give out water on some of the hotter days during the summer.

Bus stops with one-hour service or greater are given a higher priority, but Spaulding said if he sees someone who looks like they need water, he'll give it to them.

VIA has approximately 7,000 bus stops in San Antonio, but they're not all the same.

Some have a bench to sit on, some do not.

Some are shaded while others are out in the open.

Jennifer Johnson, who uses VIA buses daily, said planning ahead is the best way to stay out of the sun.

"We know the 509 (bus) runs every hour, so we're like, ‘Ok, we know when it comes, we won't be standing out there very long,'" she said.

Her mother said she'll do whatever it takes to stay cool while waiting for the bus.

"There's no shade here, but we kind of ditch and dodge into the trees then come out and look and then go back," Stephanie Johnson said. "That's how we get it done."

VIA is scheduled to hand out free water on Friday Aug. 2 from noon to 5 p.m.

For a list of recent stories Cory Smith has done, click here.