VIA prepares for first ART line, but lacks funding for a second corridor
Advanced Rapid Transit (ART) is essentially large buses, typically running in designated lanes. With a new bus arriving every 10 to 15 minutes, and riders paying before they get on, VIA officials say it offers the benefits of a rail line at a lower cost.
Public can weigh in on whether to fund dozens of proposed San Antonio transportation projects
More than $300 million in funding is available for projects aimed at reducing congestion and improving air quality, and the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization wants to know where the public thinks the money should be spent.
VIA still offering free transportation to COVID-19 vaccination sites
VIA Metropolitan Transit continues to offer free transportation for anyone traveling to or from an appointment at a city or county-sponsored COVID-19 vaccination site, including the Alamodome and the Wonderland of the Americas mall.
VIA to host virtual job fair for bus operator, mechanic positions
SAN ANTONIO – VIA Metropolitan Transit will host a virtual job fair from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, March 4, to recruit bus operators and mechanics. The virtual job fair can be accessed by phone or on Zoom. AdTo participate in the job fair, interested persons should do the following:Submit an application online . Interested persons may apply after the job fair and their applications will still be reviewed and considered. Go online between 9 a.m. and noon on March 4 to join the job fair online, on Zoom or by phone.
VIA suspends service through Thursday due to dangerous road conditions
SAN ANTONIO – Updated: 4:30 p.m. WednesdayVIA Metropolitan Transit has suspended all service through Thursday due to unsafe roads and highways, the transportation agency announced. VIA plans to resume service on Friday, if weather and road conditions improve. Customer Information lines are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., while service is suspended. Stay InformedAs always, Your Weather Authority team will keep you updated. You can get the very latest forecast anytime by bookmarking our weather page and downloading the KSAT Weather Authority App - available for both Apple and Android devices.
Passengers have longer wait times at VIA Transit bus stops due to icy roads, wintry conditions
SAN ANTONIO – Passengers relying on public transportation experienced longer wait times Sunday morning due to icy roads that forced some VIA Metropolitan Transit drivers to pull over. Charles Davidson usually rides route 97 from the Mary Louise bus stop on Fredericksburg Road toward downtown on weekends. Davidson is willing to wait for the bus as that’s his only means of transportation to get to his hotel Sunday afternoon. “Now, it went back (up) to 13 minutes.”The company announced late Saturday that transit service will be unavailable through 12 p.m., Monday Feb. 15. VIA Metro Transit passengers experienced longer wait times at bus stops Sunday Morning due to icy roads.
VIA Transit will run on modified schedule Monday through Wednesday due to inclement weather
SAN ANTONIO – VIA Metropolitan Transit bus routes will follow a Sunday schedule on Monday through Wednesday, due to the worsening winter weather conditions in the San Antonio region. All VIA transit services will not be operating, beginning at 6 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 14, through 12 p.m., Monday, Feb. 15. This is during the most severe part of the winter weather. However, all service modes are being effected by the hazardous winter weather, according to VIA officials. AdBelow are the route schedule changes for this week:VIA schedule changes for Sunday, Feb. 14, through Thursday, Feb. 18.
San Antonio closures due to wintry weather
Monday, Feb. 15 at 1:14 p.m.San Antonio Airport: Citing the safety of passengers, the San Antonio Airport has canceled all flights. Sunday, Feb. 14, 5:02 p.m.:WellMed is closing all its clinics in San Antonio because of the severe winter weather conditions. Sunday, Feb. 14, 4:58 p.m.:Goodwill San Antonio closed all facilities Sunday and reported they will remain closed through Monday. Sunday, February 14, 9:38 a.m.:San Antonio Zoo: The San Antonio Zoo has announced they will be closed Feb. 14 - Feb. 15. Sunday, February 14, 9:03 a.m.:San Antonio Botanical Garden: The San Antonio Botanical Garden will be closed February 14 and 15.mysanantonio.com
San Antonio companies like VIA hosting virtual job fairs
3 1 of 3 William Luther /Staff Show More Show Less 2 of 3 File photo Show More Show Less 3 of 3San Antonio companies are looking for folks to fill up several positions. Most recently, VIA Metropolitan Transit announced in a news release Friday that it will host its second virtual career fair on Thursday, Feb. 18 to recruit bus operators in preparation for an increase in service later this year. It will be held from 9 a.m. to noon and can be accessed by phone (346) 248-7799 or on Zoom (No. 979 0558 6252). Applications are being accepted online now at VIAinfo.net/employment.mysanantonio.com
VIA to host virtual public meetings for proposed service changes
SAN ANTONIO – VIA Metropolitan Transit will host two virtual public hearings to seek the community’s input regarding service improvements proposed for implementation on May 3. VIA officials said the enhancements will increase frequency to meet ridership demand and maintain social distancing. Verbal comments will be accepted during the online public meeting. Comments submitted will be reviewed by VIA. Public comments can be submitted in the following ways:Ad
VIA Metropolitan Transit to offer complimentary transportation to vaccination sites
Starting on Monday, VIA Metropolitan Transit will offer complimentary transportation for any person traveling to or from an appointment at a city/county-sponsored COVID-19 vaccination site. This includes regular bus service, VIA Link, and VIAtrans paratransit service. Registered VIAtrans customers must schedule their trip in accordance with VIAtrans policies and procedures by phone or online. “VIA offers this fare-assistance program as part of our mission to ‘connect our community’ and ensure people can reach critical destinations and services, using safe, reliable public transportation options,” VIA President/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said. RELATED: Two COVID-19 vaccination sites coming to San Antonio’s South Side, West Side
Stimulus plan provides billions for transportation, could help San Antonio airport recover
SAN ANTONIO – Congress has approved a new stimulus plan. Along with direct payments to individuals and more unemployment assistance, it provides billions in spending to help the transportation sector deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. San Antonio International Airport has not been immune to the effects of the pandemic on air travel. Under the CARES ACT passed in the spring, San Antonio International Airport was allocated close to $40 million in the first stimulus package, with lesser amounts for Kelly Field and Stimson Airport. Read more transportation reporting from KSAT:Car crashes in San Antonio plummet during pandemic, data showsEnvironmental concerns linger while trying to expand Loop 1604 to 10 lanes on North SideKSAT Explains: What is the future of transportation in San Antonio?
VIA Board of Trustees elect new chair
The VIA Metropolitan Transit Board of Trustees on Tuesday unanimously elected Fernando Reyes as its new chair to lead the group through December 2022, according to a news release. Reyes will succeed Hope Andrade, who was first elected to the board in the 1990s and has served as chair twice. Reyes, a native of San Antonio, has also served as the chairman of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, President of the San Antonio Fiesta Commission and has served on several boards across the city, including the San Antonio Parks Foundation, the Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation and World Affairs Council of San Antonio. "My goal is to ensure that VIA and public transit continue to be part of our city’s success story.”The VIA board members are appointed for two-years and select a chair every two years. The chair could be a member of the board or a member of the community.mysanantonio.com
VIA buses free on Friday to honor Rosa Parks
In observance of “Rosa Parks Day” throughout the country and to pay tribute to the NAACP activist whose refusal to surrender her bus seat to a white man in December 1955 sparked the modern civil rights era, VIA Metropolitan Transit will offer free rides all day Friday. VIAtrans will also be free Friday, but riders still will have to make reservations in advance. VIA began offering the free rides on “Rosa Parks Day” last year, joining scores of transit agencies that honor the woman “who took a stand by sitting down.” Since 2005, VIA has displayed a special seat dedicated to the legacy of Rosa Parks in each of its vehicles. “People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true,” Parks later wrote. “I was not tired physically … No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”email@example.com
SA mayor, Bexar County judge’s recommendation for new VIA board chairman plans to keep the course
SAN ANTONIO – The man the Bexar County judge and San Antonio mayor have recommended to lead VIA Metropolitan Transit indicated he would plan to push ahead with plans to expand mobility options and improve service. With current chairwoman Hope Andrade reaching a collective eight years on the VIA board of trustees and leaving her role on Nov. 30, the board is expected to elect a new chairman in December. Though the decision is up to the board, Judge Nelson Wolff and Mayor Ron Nirenberg have recommended local businessman Fernando Reyes to get the job. “I think that’s what the citizens of San Antonio passed. Thank you.”A VIA spokeswoman said Andrade is expected to be asked to holdover and preside over the meeting in December when the trustees elect their new chairman.
In early voting, San Antonio supports job training, transportation and pre-K ballot measures
click to enlarge Courtesy Photo / VIA Metropolitan TransitAdditional funding for VIA was one of the issues on Tuesday's ballot. Some political experts questioned how much support the initiatives would garner during a high-stakes presidential race when the focus was on the top of the ticket. Others questioned voters' appetite for funding the training initiative and VIA by shifting money away from a popular aquifer protection program. However, the numbers suggest many were willing to trust city leaders that the aquifer would be protected under the aegis of the San Antonio Water System, which is now expected to take over the groundwater program. "They understand that when you create a well-trained workforce it attracts jobs," Barberena said.sacurrent.com
San Antonians should reject VIA’s vague, open-ended ballot proposal
It has, unfortunately, educated a great many people about the fragile economic circumstances faced by a large portion of the local populace. It’s also revealed vast inequalities in computer and internet access across large swaths of San Antonio. With travel sharply down from historic levels and restaurants and bars still not fully open, the local visitor economy is a fraction of what it once was. We don’t really know what the San Antonio economy will look like in 2026, the year the VIA tax boost would begin. VIA’s pitch for the “Keep SA Moving” proposition on the ballot keeps talking about the 1.6 million new residents living here by 2040.sacurrent.com
San Antonio's second HOV lane opens on North Side
The HOV lane opened from La Cantera Parkway to FM 3351 on the westbound side on Interstate 10. The eastbound HOV lane opened earlier this month. FIND OUT FIRST: Get San Antonio breaking news directly to your inboxThe I-10 HOV lanes are the first of three VIA-managed HOV-lane projects in San Antonio. “The opening of HOV lanes is a culmination of several years of community engagement, planning and construction and just one of many projects we are delivering to prepare for the future growth of our region.”Use of the HOV lanes does not require any special permits or stickers. They will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and the passenger regulations will be enforced by San Antonio police.mysanantonio.com
VIA offers public comment sessions for upcoming service changes
VIA Metropolitan Transit will host two virtual public meetings on Thursday and Tuesday, both at 6 p.m., to invite comment about various service changes that might take effect in January. As with virtually every public transit agency in the country, VIA’s ridership has declined during the pandemic, sometimes as much as 50 percent or more on some of its 90 routes. The proposed service changes include the following:Route 552 (Loop 410/W.W. The following routes are currently not operating:Joint Base San Antonio Routes 16 and 65VIVA Routes 11, 40, and 301Routes 7, 48, 54, 70, and 631Details on these and other proposed service changes are at VIAinfo.net/2021changes. Verbal public comments will be queued during the online public meeting.mysanantonio.com
Poll: San Antonians' support for workforce plan drops if it's funded by shifting aquifer protection money
click to enlarge Flickr / Erik (HASH) HersmanSan Antonio voters strongly support local initiatives headed to the November ballot that would use sales tax revenue to fund Pre-K 4 SA, VIA Metropolitan Transit and workforce development, according to a poll released Tuesday.However, respondents' support for the Ready to Work workforce retraining plan plummeted when they were given additional information about the source of its funding, according to a new Bexar Facts/KSAT/San Antonio Report poll The share of voters who said they'd support Ready to Work declined from 67% to 47% when they were told that implementing it would require moving the popular Edwards Aquifer Protection Plan under the city's general budget. In contrast, 66% of voters in the new poll support continued use of a 1/8-cent sales tax to fund Pre-K 4 SA, while 59% support using a separate 1/8-cent sales tax to provide additional funding to VIA. City council voted in August to free up yet another 1/8 cent of sales tax collections to fund Ready for Work, which seeks to retrain San Antonians for better job opportunities in the post-pandemic economy.But to allocate that money, council agreed to move aquifer protection under the general budget — a move opposed by some environmentalists, who caution that the new funding source won't be as robust or reliable.The Bexar Facts poll suggests Mayor Ron Nirenberg and supporters of Ready for Work may have a tough sales job on their hands ahead of November 3. At least for voters who read the fine print.Stay tuned.sacurrent.com
One dead after crashing head-on with a VIA bus on far East Side
One dead after crashing head-on with a VIA bus on far East SideA man who crossed into oncoming traffic while driving on an East Side street died Monday died after a head-on collision with a VIA Metropolitan Transit bus, according to San Antonio police. The map shows the approximate location of the incident.. less A man who crossed into oncoming traffic while driving on an East Side street died Monday died after a head-on collision with a VIA Metropolitan Transit bus, according to San Antonio police. The map shows the ... more Photo: Google Maps Photo: Google Maps Image 1 of / 1 Caption Close One dead after crashing head-on with a VIA bus on far East Side 1 / 1 Back to GalleryA man who crossed into oncoming traffic while driving on a far East Side street died Monday died after a head-on collision with a VIA Metropolitan Transit bus, according to San Antonio police. FIND OUT FIRST: Get San Antonio breaking news directly to your inboxAccording to police, Richardson was traveling south near the 5700 block of Foster Road around 6 a.m., when for an unknown reason, he crossed into oncoming traffic and struck the VIA bus head-on. Taylor Pettaway is a breaking news and general assignment reporter for MySA.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | @TaylorPettawaymysanantonio.com
Area's first HOV lanes set to open on the North Side next week
Tom Reel /San Antonio Express-NewsBexar County's first high-occupancy vehicle lanes are set to open on the North Side next week, allowing multi-passenger vehicles to bypass traffic, according to a news release from the Texas Department of Transportation and VIA Metropolitan Transit. The new HOV lanes will open between Ralph Fair Road and La Cantera Parkway eastbound on Interstate 10. The westbound HOV lanes are set to open later this fall. VIA teamed with TxDOT for the new lanes in an effort to reduce traffic congestion, the release said.mysanantonio.com
Former councilman, Mayor Nirenberg rival intends to rally opposition against sales tax proposals
SAN ANTONIO – A former rival of Mayor Ron Nirenberg says he is stepping up to rally opposition against two San Antonio sales tax proposals on the November ballot. He also denied that wading into the sales tax fight is a way to set up another campaign to challenge Nirenberg in 2021, though he believes his mayoral campaign resonated with voters. The proposals he’s opposing, championed by Nirenberg and VIA Metropolitan Transit officials, revolve around new uses for a 1/8 cent portion sales tax. Since the proposals would use the same portion of the sales tax at different times, there would be no change to the 8.25% sales tax rate San Antonio shoppers currently pay -- something to which Nirenberg and VIA officials have repeatedly pointed. The campaigns supporting both sales tax measures provided reactions to Brockhouse’s plans to rally opposition.
VIA bus driver dies after battle with COVID-19
SAN ANTONIO – VIA Metropolitan Transit announced Monday that a bus driver with the company has died after a battle COVID-19. VIA said bus operator Harvey A. Fauria died Thursday. Help honor frontline/essential workers,... Posted by VIA Metropolitan Transit on Monday, September 14, 2020“Mr. Fauria is being remembered as a well-liked and respected employee of five years,” Arndt said in the Facebook post. Related: VIA bus operator shares experience behind the wheel amid coronavirus pandemic
VIA extends Workforce Assistance Pass Program until end of 2020
SAN ANTONIO – VIA Metropolitan Transit is extending its Workforce Assistance Pass Program as the coronavirus pandemic continues. The program allows VIA customers who receive unemployment to get a complimentary pass for 31 days. It was first introduced in June to help customers looking for work during the pandemic. VIA bus operator shares experience behind the wheel amid coronavirus pandemicThe program was originally set to end Aug. 31, but now it's extended until the end of the year. Anyone who has been receiving benefits from May 15 on can continue to use the program.
VIA changes essential services bus schedule
SAN ANTONIO – VIA Metropolitan Transit is adjusting the bus schedule in San Antonio to adapt to changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The route’s frequencies were adjusted to meet the demands of riders. Below are the service changes VIA announced Monday:76 , Routes 3 100 , and 102 weekday frequencies will increase to every 12 min. NOTE: Real-time information will not be available for bus stops 82916 Goliad & Indian Forge, 66539 City Base Landing & Goliad and 66533 City Base Landing & Goliad. Route 672 weekday frequency will be reduced to every 60 min.
COVID-19 latest information for San Antonio, Texas
SAN ANTONIO – PublisherKSAT.comLocationSan Antonio, TexasLast reviewed9/29/2020 6:30 p.m.OverviewHospitalizations due to COVID-19 in Bexar County have plateaued as social distancing guidelines and mask mandates remain in place for residents. Social distancingA majority of social distancing guidelines remain in place in San Antonio. EventsNearly every large gathering in San Antonio, like Fiesta, Mala Luna Music Festival and Diwali SA have announced their 2020 events will be canceled due to the pandemic. Greg Abbott has mandated that Texans in counties with 20 or more COVID-19 cases must wear face coverings in public. Theme parksSix Flags Fiesta Texas, SeaWorld San Antonio and the San Antonio Zoo are open at a 50% capacity limit, as allowed by Abbott.
VIA maintenance employee tests positive for COVID-19, officials say
SAN ANTONIO – A maintenance employee at VIA Metropolitan Transit has tested positive for COVID-19, according to VIA Metropolitan Transit officials. The employee was last at work on April 9 and had little to no contact with the public, according to VIA officials. Currently, two administrative employees, one maintenance worker and seven VIA operators have tested positive for the virus so far. VIA administrative employee tests positive for COVID-19, officials saySix employees have returned to work, two are hospitalized and two are recovering at home, according to VIA officials. VIA Metropolitan Transit said its last positive test for the virus, before Thursday, was reported May 20.
VIA will resume collecting fares on June 1
VIA will resume collecting fares on June 1Riders don masks and gloves as they wait for a VIA Metropolitan Transit bus. Riders don masks and gloves as they wait for a VIA Metropolitan Transit bus. Photo: Kin Man Hui /Staff Photographer Photo: Kin Man Hui /Staff Photographer Image 1 of / 5 Caption Close VIA will resume collecting fares on June 1 1 / 5 Back to GalleryVIA Metropolitan Transit will resume collecting fares on Monday, June 1. All passengers age 10 or older must wear a face covering to board a VIA vehicle. VIA will continue operating on its 'Essential Service' schedule, which moved several routes to a Sunday schedule.mysanantonio.com
Community briefs - Northeast Herald
Mills lays out how to execute the plan: Stay home, wash you hands and uphold social distancing. The new schedule, which went into effect Monday, hopes to preserve bus service on 14 of its busiest routes, a news release states. VIA has been adding buses to routes when drivers notify dispatchers that a passenger limit of 16 has been reached. Updates on VIAs response to COVID-19 and related service alerts are posted regularly to VIAinfo.net/covid-19. It will be hosted by country singer Garrett T. Capps live from The Lonesome Rose from noon to midnight May 9.mysanantonio.com
VIA- Join us for a Tele-Town Hall at 7 p.m. May 5th
Join VIA Metropolitan Transit for a timely conversation about the agency's operations during the global coronavirus pandemic. Agency officials will discuss that and other issues - and take questions from the community during a Telephone Townhall at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5th. You can register to receive a call from VIA when the event begins by registering at this link: www.VIAreimagined.com/get-involved. You can also watch the live stream from that page without registering. And you can ask questions from either platform.saobserver.com
VIA cuts San Antonio bus service again on all but its busiest routes
VIA cuts San Antonio bus service again on all but its busiest routesA man wears a face mask as he waits for a bus in San Antonio on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) less A man wears a face mask as he waits for a bus in San Antonio on Wednesday. (AP ... more Photo: Eric Gay /Associated Press Photo: Eric Gay /Associated Press Image 1 of / 3 Caption Close VIA cuts San Antonio bus service again on all but its busiest routes 1 / 3 Back to GalleryHaving lost nearly half its ridership in two months, VIA Metropolitan Transit has reduced bus routes and frequency again, planning an essential service schedule to start Monday. The new schedule hopes to preserve bus service on 14 of its busiest routes, according to a VIA press release. Bruce Selcraig is a staff writer in the San Antonio and Bexar County area.mysanantonio.com
Transit Union Wants Hazard Pay for VIA Drivers, Maintenance Workers
It takes two people to do a number of jobs in maintenance.Trevio and other members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 694 are requesting hazard pay from the agency as they continue to report to their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. The union represents most of the bus and van drivers at VIA and a little over 50 percent of maintenance workers, Amaya said. But the request for hazard pay applies to all employees drivers, maintenance, transit police, and safety supervisors, Amaya said. The conversation around hazard pay is still new, and VIA management and the union are discussing it, Amaya said. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard ReportThough Amaya said the conversation around hazard pay is still in its preliminary stages, he thinks it should apply until things return to normal.therivardreport.com
VIA unveils 'Essential Service’ schedule
SAN ANTONIO – VIA Metropolitan Transit will begin operating what it calls an “Essential Service” schedule starting Monday. The schedule is designed to preserve essential service for people who must travel for work at an exempted business or operation, obtain food and supplies or help care for others. The new service changes account for these two and other factors. Monday’s changes represent an additional 4% reduction to current service levels to adjust for available staff. VIA Essential Bus Service Routes (KSAT)
VIA bus riders over 10 years old required to wear face masks
SAN ANTONIO – Before you try and catch your next ride on a VIA Metropolitan Transit bus, make sure to bring your face covering along with you. Starting Wednesday, you'll need to have a face covering to get in a VIA vehicle, according to the transit agency. VIA says it requires the face coverings in accordance with city and county rules. COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The first case confirmed in the U.S. was in mid-January and the first case confirmed in San Antonio was in mid-February.
VIA partners with San Antonio Food Bank delivering meals to those in need during pandemic
VIA partners with San Antonio Food Bank delivering meals to those in need during pandemicSince March 31, VIA Metropolitan Transit has delivered meals and supplies prepared by the San Antonio Food Bank to homes and distribution points in the city to lend a helping hand during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a news release. The Food Bank has experienced high demand in recent weeks because of the coronavirus-triggered recession. The Food Bank gave away groceries to about 10,000 families in one day at a South Side flea market. VIA said it will continue to deliver Food Bank supplies as long as resources are available. If you require a food delivery, call the Food Bank at 210-431-8326 or register online at SAFoodBank.org.mysanantonio.com
VIA will enforce limit of 16 passengers per bus.
VIA will enforce limit of 16 passengers per bus. A VIA bus driver wears a protective mask and gloves as he drives through downtown San Antonio last week. Starting Wednesday, VIA will allow no more than 16 passsengers per bus so they can space themselves with empty seats between them. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) less A VIA bus driver wears a protective mask and gloves as he drives through downtown San Antonio last week. Starting Wednesday, VIA will allow no more than 16 passsengers per bus so they can space themselves with ... more Photo: Eric Gay /Associated Press Photo: Eric Gay /Associated Press Image 1 of / 1 Caption Close VIA will enforce limit of 16 passengers per bus.mysanantonio.com
San Antonio Wins $93 Million in Federal Funds to Sustain Public Transit Through Coronavirus Crisis
San Antonio has landed $93.3 million in federal funding to keep public transportation running during the COVID-19 pandemic.The funds come through a $25 billion package approved for the Federal Transit Administration to aid cities' transit systems during the crisis. This funding will allow the public transportation systems in San Antonio to continue covering expenses for operation, as well as personnel." From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, San Antonio Current has been keeping San Antonio informed for years. Its never been more important to support local news sources. If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to San Antonio Current.sacurrent.com
San Antonio's City Staff Outlines $82 Million in Service Cuts to Avoid Shortfalls Caused by Coronavirus
click to enlarge VIA Metropolitan TransitVIA faces $3 million less in funding as San Antonio looks to cut its budget. Also on the chopping block are economic development incentives, a new strategic plan for serving homeless residents and some after-school programs, KSAT reports. The city also expects to slash $3 million in funding to VIA Metropolitan Transit. Collectively, those programs make up about 18% of the budget, City Manager Erik Walsh said. Last week, city staff told Mayor Ron Nirenberg and council that the city stands to lose nearly $160 million in revenue due to the crisis.sacurrent.com
VIA Reduces Bus Schedule to Saturday Routes, Extends Free Ride Period
Despite this, San Antonios public transit provider had been committed to keeping buses running at full capacity. Just as important, VIA officials said, was the need for social distancing. Making rides free allows for less interaction between bus drivers and riders, and reduces crowding as people board the bus. He said he was still concerned about the safety of drivers on more popular bus routes because of increased ridership since those routes became free. And [free bus rides are] to have less interaction between the operator and the rider; they dont want them to touch the farebox.therivardreport.com
VIA Metropolitan Transit employee tests positive for COVID-19, company official says
SAN ANTONIO – A VIA Metropolitan Transit employee has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a VIA representative. The employee last reported to work March 23 and started experiencing symptoms the next day, but did not go in to work, the company said. Other employees have been notified and VIA has cleaned and disinfected the employee’s work space. “We continue to aggressively expanded agency-wide cleaning and safety protocols in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019.
VIA Suspends Fares in Midst of Coronavirus Pandemic
The move to stop accepting fares also applies to VIAs service for disabled riders, VIAtrans, and its on-demand service. Arndt said the move attempts to give riders and bus operators a safe environment and practice social distancing to avoid spreading the novel coronavirus. VIA gets only about 8 percent to 10 percent of its revenue from fares; 75 percent comes from sales tax revenue. VIA receives a half-cent of sales tax revenue, a sticking point for the agency as other major metropolitan cities in Texas give a full cent to their transit agencies. Houstons bus transit system also decided to waive fares starting Monday, according to the Houston Chronicle.therivardreport.com
VIA Weighs Service Reduction Options During Coronavirus Outbreak
The people that typically ride the bus are people in the service industry, in jobs without benefits that will help them through. Capital Metro is still running all its bus lines, but eliminated late Friday night service and all Saturday service on MetroRail. First we have to see what happens with sales tax [revenue], but every organization is in that boat.VIA gets about 75 percent of its revenue from sales tax. The agency gets a half-cent of sales tax revenue and about 8 to 10 percent of its revenue from fares. At the point we are directed to shut down our service entirely, aside from medical trips, people wont be making trips, Arndt said.therivardreport.com
Environmentalists Plan Keeps Aquifer, Trails Funding at Current Levels
However, their plan would reduce the period of sales tax collection to two years from the current five. Last month, City officials proposed using debt to continue funding the aquifer program at roughly half the current pace, something many environmentalists oppose. In a February poll by Bexar Facts, KSAT, and the Rivard Report, 42 percent of respondents said aquifer protection tops their list of beneficiaries of sales tax funding. Another $28.5 million in aquifer funding and $23.2 million in trail funding remains to be collected through February 2021 under the most recent five-year sales tax that voters approved in 2015. Romero told the Rivard Report on Wednesday that she doesnt see the GEAA/Sierra Club proposal as inherently flawed.therivardreport.com
VIA offers free bus and van rides on Primary Election Day
VIA Metropolitan Transit is offering free bus and van rides on the March 3 Primary Election Day. Passengers just need to show a valid voter registration card to the bus or van operator to ride. What you need to know about voting in the Texas Primary Elections on March 3The free rides will be available for regular bus service and for VIAtrans paratransit service. Bus passengers can plan their trip to vote through the VIA goMobile app. VIAtrans customers need to be registered and must schedule their trip in advance by phone or online.
VIA Providing Free Rides to San Antonio Voters on Super Tuesday and So Is Lyft
Last Wednesday, a man was arrested for assaulting a VIA driver while riding the bus, making "ride-with-caution to vote" a more suitable public exercise this year. When the driver asked what was wrong, 25-year-old Mattison allegedly shoved the bus driver down, punched him repeatedly and stomped on the driver before taking off. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, San Antonio Current has been keeping San Antonio informed for years. If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to San Antonio Current. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture.sacurrent.com
Investing In Frequent, Reliable Transit Today Can Help Change Our Communitys Future
The Texas Legislature authorized dedicating up to a full penny of sales tax for use by MTAs. MTAs in Houston, Dallas and Austin, all of which were created after VIA, have a full penny of sales tax dedicated to their communitys transit systems. Over the last 20 years, Dallas and Houston each generated more than $5 billion more than San Antonio for transportation investments. The portion of the one-cent sales tax authorized for transit but not used for such in San Antonio has its own history. These have all been laudable projects and programs, and San Antonio is a better place because of them, Saldaa said.therivardreport.com
Former San Antonio Councilman Rey Saldaa Heading to DC to Run Education Nonprofit
His departure comes as voters prepare to decide in November whether to approve additional funding for the transit system. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, San Antonio Current has been keeping San Antonio informed for years. A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come. If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to San Antonio Current. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture.sacurrent.com
New Poll: Voters Prioritize Aquifer Protection, Pre-K Funding Over VIA
Fewer voters approved of the overall performance of City Council (48 percent) and Bexar County Commissioners (46 percent). The need to solve aquifer protection is just clear as a bell if the mayor doesnt solve the aquifer [funding question], transit comes in last, said Christian Archer, Bexar Facts founder and a longtime political consultant. If aquifer protection [funding] is solved in a way that satisfies environmental groups, then transit is teed up in a very strong position, Archer said. Aquifer protection is popular across the board but disproportionately favored by older, Republican, and more conservative voters, while transit holds more appeal for younger, white, male, and lower-income voters. The next poll, conducted in three months, will likely drill deeper into funding strategies for aquifer protection and transportation issues, Archer said.therivardreport.com
Poll: Bexar County Voters Put Funding for Aquifer and Pre-K 4 SA Ahead of More Money for VIA
"This isn't an either-or choice," he said of funding both VIA and aquifer protection. We will be protecting the aquifer and funding transportation needs at a higher level. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, San Antonio Current has been keeping San Antonio informed for years. Its never been more important to support local news sources. If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to San Antonio Current.sacurrent.com
VIA wants input from residents about bold, new transit plan
SAN ANTONIO – VIA Metropolitan Transit will host a telephone town hall at 7 p.m. on Wednesday to discuss a 10-year road map designed to make public transit in our region better, faster, smarter and easier to use. VIA will host a series of tele-town halls throughout the year to engage and inform the community about the benefits of the VIA Reimagined Plan, which includes projects designed to create a better bus system, build an advanced rapid transit network and develop smart transit solutions. The monthly call-ins are part of VIA’s ongoing outreach efforts that include events, group meetings, strategic partnerships, interactive online tools and social media activity. VIA’s 10-year action plan to deliver a better, faster, smarter transit systemFormer San Antonio City Councilman and current VIA Board Chair Rey Saldaña will host the call with VIA President and CEO Jeff Arndt. The VIA Transit Community Council acts both in an advisory capacity to the board and as an engaged liaison with the public.