VIA Board Votes To Explore Partnership With B-Cycle
The VIA Metropolitan Transit Board of Trustees voted to play a bigger role in San Antonio’s bike share program known as B-Cycle Tuesday night.
With the unanimous decision, VIA is not taking over the management of B-Cycle, which is scrambling for funding and hoping to expand. But the transit company that operates the city’s public bus system says it wants contribute more to the bike share program. The VIA board voted 7-0 to look at services and funding it can provide.
“VIA is now saying: ‘yes, we want to have a role,’” VIA board chair Hope Andrade said. “We think B-Cycle complements VIA and let’s take the next step to see how we move forward.”
The next step is for VIA to talk with the City of San Antonio and the non-profit San Antonio Bike Share which oversees B-Cycle’s operations. VIA currently contributes $7,500 to the program’s $789,000 annual operating budget. VIA CEO Jeffrey Arndt said the agency could be a public steward of the program.
“We believe that we can be a valued partner and that our combined B-Cycle/VIA program would benefit mobility throughout the region,” Arndt said.
The action by VIA comes about two months after Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff asked the agency to consider taking over B-Cycle management.
Recently, the City of San Antonio earmarked $120,000 for B-Cycle operational costs and an executive director position that will be filled this year.
B-Cycle is a system of kiosk rental stations with bikes available for 30 minute rides in and around downtown, along the Mission Reach, and at UTSA’s campus at Loop 1604. The program currently breaks even with funding from members, sponsors and other supporters, but supporters would like the program to grow and be more financially sound.