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San Antonio bus riders ask VIA to increase frequency of service

VIA bus rolling out of downtown
VIA bus rolling out of downtown

VIA President and CEO Jeffrey Arndt delivered his State of Transit Presentation to local government and business leaders during a Friday gathering at the Witte Museum that focused on using new funding sources to develop Advanced Rapid Transit.

Arndt said funding approved by voters last year will go towards the Keep San Antonio Moving program. He also said the transit service has become eligible for some new federal funds for the first time.

According to a presentation Arndt made, riders are looking for buses to increase the frequency of service. He said an increase in frequency means an increase in ridership.

Respondents to a VIA customer service satisfaction survey done in February of this year mentioned frequency as a top concern along with the number of hours of service provided and the length of travel times.

The presentation also had some statistics on exactly who is using VIA in San Antonio.

About 80% are people of color, and 48% earn less than $25,000 a year. About 57% said they use VIA to get to work, and 42% said they take the bus to save on gasoline costs.

VIA officials said residents are invited to public meetings on its planned 12-mile Advanced Rapid Transit corridor from San Antonio International Airport through downtown and to near Mission Concepcion on the South Side.

The meetings are:

  • Saturday, June 25 at 9:30 a.m. at Blessed Sacrament at 600 Oblate
  • Wednesday, June 29 at 5:30 p.m. at Norris Conference Center at 618 N.W. Loop 410
  • Tuesday, July 12 at 5:30 p.m. at Hermann Sons at 525 S. St. Mary's St.

VIA also saluted 81-year-old Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff during the Witte gathering. Wolff has announced plans to retire after his current term ends. He was called an advocate of public transit during his decades in public office.

The presentation labeled his many years in office like bus routes, starting with 01, as in 2001, when he became county judge. Then there was 91, the year he took office as San Antonio Mayor, 87 when he served as a San Antonio City Councilman, and 73 in the Texas Senate and 71 in the Texas House.

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