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Work Underway On First HOV Lanes In Bexar County

Courtesy VIA Metropolitan Transit
VIA Metropolitan Transit
A VIA bus rolls out from the new Stone Oak Park & Ride. The facility, which opened in late June, offers Express and Crosstown route services to downtown and the Medical Center.

Work is underway on the first high-occupancy lanes in Bexar County to encourage car pooling and bus riding, while easing traffic congestion.

Officials at VIA Metro Transit said the high-occupancy — or HOV — lanes will run along the north and southbound sides of U.S. 281, from near the Comal County line to Loop 1604 on the far Northside.

VIA reports the lanes should be completed in late 2020 or early 2021.

VIA President and CEO Jeffrey Arndt said bus riders or commuters who gather up a carload of friends and co-workers will have access to the HOV lanes and can easily pass drivers who travel alone through the heavily congested Stone Oak area.

“The HOV lane provides the incentive because the number of vehicles in that lane are such that you maintain, you know, your 65 mile an hour speed at times while the adjacent main lanes may be at 25 miles per hour,” he said.

The recently opened VIA Park & Ride location at 281 and Stone Oak Boulevard will run buses on the HOV lanes too, but will residents hop on board?

Arndt, a former vice president of operations at Houston Metro transit, believes they will.

“In Houston, the number of people from a lot like Stone Oak, who would end up using that HOV on buses, would typically number in the thousands,” he said.

Arndt says to lure HOV bus riders to the Stone Oak Park & Ride, the facility is offering 400 free parking spaces, an air conditioned waiting area, smart transit technology, and four electric car charging stations powered by CPS Energy.

The Stone Oak Park park and ride is already attracting riders with express and crosstown services to the Medical Center and downtown.

Bus fares vary, but according to VIA spokeswoman Lorraine Pulido, a one day round trip pass is $2.75. A seven day round trip pass is $12, she said.

For more information on bus fares visit VIAinfo.net.

Brian Kirkparick can be reached at brian@tpr.org

Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at brian@tpr.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian