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VIA Faces Future Of San Antonio Transit Head On, Despite Challenges

Courtesy VIA Metropolitan Transit

Despite the San Antonio City Council's decision to delay a vote for additional funding last November and a rapidly growing population to serve, VIA Metropolitan Transit continues to push forward with innovative developments and outreach efforts. 

The addition of more "green" buses fueled by compressed natural gas may eventually replace the current fleet of diesel vehicles.

An app released this summer called goMobile enables digital ticketing and allows riders to plan trips on a smartphone. Modernized transit centers and updates to existing shelters are in the works, along with plans to revitalize a vacant West side area to build the "VIA Villa."

As part of their Vision 2040 plan, VIA is looking at options for rapid transit in four main corridors in the San Antonio area. Residents are encouraged to provide input on this phase of the plan through August 5. 

There are still many improvements to be made, but funding is a consistent issue. VIA depends on revenues from a half cent sales tax, or $93 per area resident – significantly less than in cities like Austin, Houston and Dallas, where transit agencies receive a full cent sales tax. 

Would more funding help the city's bus service increase ride frequency and reduce ride times? How are ongoing efforts helping to create a more effective and accessible transit system in San Antonio?

Guest: Jeff Arndt, president & CEO of VIA Metropolitan Transit 

This is a community conversation and we want to hear from you. Leave a voicemail with your questions and comments in advance by calling 210-615-8982. During the live show (12 - 1 p.m.), call 210-614-8980, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet at @TPRSource.

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Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.
Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.