How to Ride

We want to make your experience with VIA to be efficient and friendly. You can reference some frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers, the Bike & Ride program, safe riding tips, code of conduct, and information about accessible bus service here.

Background
  • FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

    How much is regular bus fare?

    Regular bus fare is $1.30. Express bus fare is $2.60. Reduced rates are available for children ages 5-11, seniors age 62 or older, Medicare recipients, persons with certain disabilities, active-duty military, and students. Learn more about VIA’s Reduced Fare Program. However, the best value can be found with VIA’s Day Pass, 7-Day Pass and 31-Day Pass.

    How can I save by becoming a frequent rider?

    VIA offers a single Day Pass, 7-Day Pass and 31-Day Pass at a savings for frequent riders. A Day Pass is $2.75 and is good for unlimited regular bus service on the day of activation. A 7-Day Pass is $12. That’s about $1.72 per day. A 31-Day Pass is just $38, or about $1.23 per day. Customers who qualify for a reduced fare, can save even more. Learn more about reduced fare eligibility.

    View current VIA rates.

    How can I purchase my fare?

    Single-ride tickets, passes and special event tokens are available at the following locations:

    • Single-ride fares or a single Day Pass are available on the bus. Day Passes must be requested before inserting cash into the farebox.  Exact change is not required; Change will only be issued if amount exceeds $1 and will be in the form of an e-fare change card if requested.

    • VIA Online Store – Access our store.

    • VIA Information Centers – See locations.

    • VIA has Ticket Vending Machines at Crossroads Park & Ride and Medical Center Transit Center. Cash or credit cards are accepted.

    • Many retail outlets, including most H-E-B stores.

    Who can I call if I have a question?

    VIA Customer Service representatives are available from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Friday; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at (210) 362-2020. Schedule is subject to change during holidays.

    How do I plan my trip?

    The VIA Trip Planner is your first stop. The online tool allows you to enter your starting address and destination address to route your trip, with nearest stop locations and the time you will need to be at your stop.

    To use Google Maps, enter your destination address and choose the “Transit” option.

    Third-party apps such as Transit App, MoovIt and TripGo provide up-to-date bus service information. Download through the app store on your mobile device.

    How do I know when my bus is arriving?

    Several stops and transit centers have Next-Gen digital signs that provide Next Bus arrival times based on the real-time location.

    You can text the designated 5-digit Bus Stop Number on the bus stop sign to 52020 for real-time information.

    Using VIAtrans Service

    VIAtrans, curb-to-curb paratransit service provides transportation for persons with disabilities who require additional assistance to board, ride, or disembark from a VIAtrans van.

    Individuals must apply for this shared-ride program to determine eligibility. Download the application in PDF.

    Reasonable Accommodations:

    To promote access for customers who are disabled, VIA will consider exceptions to existing rules and procedures on an as-needed basis. Please contact us in advance by e-mail or phone at (210) 362-2020 if you believe you require a disability-related accommodation in order to use VIA buses or VIAtrans vans. A complaint process is available if an accommodation request is declined.

  • TRAVELING WITH A BICYCLE

    All VIA buses are equipped with bicycle racks capable of carrying two or three bikes at a time. The Bike & Ride Program creates new links to places not easily reached on your bike, quickly, safely, conveniently.

    Bikes, like buses, are environmentally responsible modes of transportation that help preserve our city’s air quality, relieve traffic congestion, and move people efficiently.

    Bike Rack Tips

    • Bike racks on VIA buses hold two or three bicycles at a time. Space on the bike racks is available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have a bicycle and the rack is full, please wait for the next bus.

    • Be careful when you step off the curb to use the rack. Be sure the bus operator sees you as you are loading and unloading your bicycle, and let the operator know when you are done.

    • Remove items that may interfere with the bus equipment or as directed by the bus operator. Large or bulky items on your bicycle, may need to be removed if they interfere with the safe operation of the bus. If so, carry the items on the bus with you.

    • If there are no other bicycles on the rack, place yours in the slot nearest the bus with the handlebars toward the curb. The next bicycle should then be loaded with the handlebars facing away from the curb. Remember, the hook goes over the front tire, not the rear.

    • Load closest to the bus first. If there are no other bicycles on the rack, place yours in the slot nearest the bus with the handlebars toward the curb. The next bicycle should then be loaded with the handlebars facing away from the curb. Remember, the hook goes over the front tire, not the rear.

    • Load and unload bicycles quickly and safely. As a courtesy to your fellow riders, try not to hold up the bus when loading or removing your bicycle.

    • When exiting, use the front doors and let the operator know you will be getting your bicycle. Be sure the bus operator sees you and knows you are removing your bicycle from the rack.

    • Close an empty rack. If your bicycle is the only one on the rack when you unload, close the rack by lifting it up until it locks.

    • Bus operators are not allowed to assist with the loading or unloading of bicycles. Passengers are responsible for placing their bicycles on the rack and removing it. Please keep track of your bike and other possessions.

    • VIA is not responsible for injury or damage arising from the use of the bike racks.

     

  • SAFE RIDING TIPS

    Remember these three to help make roadways and walkways safer for everyone: Stop, Look and Listen. Here’s how you can stay safe when waiting for the bus, exiting the bus, or preparing to cross the street.

    Stop

    Be aware of your surroundings when at a bus stop or crossing the street.

    Wait on the sidewalk, not at the curb or in the street.

    Don’t approach a moving bus and never chase a bus.

    Do not step in front of a bus or stand in between vehicles.

    Look

    Wait for the bus to pull away and the stop to be clear before approaching the curb.

    Find the designated crosswalk and only cross the street there.

    Look left, right, and left again before crossing the street.

    Watch for traffic and pedestrian signals and always follow the law.

    Listen

    Listen for approaching vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians.

    Always listen to the bus operator’s instructions.

    Remain alert to your surroundings at all times.

    Board only at bus stops.

    For passenger and pedestrian safety, VIA operators are not permitted to board passengers outside of designated stops.

    Tips: Arrive at your bus stop prior to the scheduled arrival time. Stand, raise your arm, or make eye contact as the bus approaches to signal the operator. Do not approach the bus until it is at a full stop and the doors are open.

    Be ready to board.

    As the bus approaches, verify the route number and final destination on the front of the bus. In the downtown area, the second bus in line at a stop may not make a second stop, unless a rider with a disability is at the second stop location.

    Hold on. Have a seat.

    • Use handrails to steady yourself on the way to your seat.

    • Choose your seat quickly and sit.

    • Secure your belongings.

    • Avoid changing seats while the bus is in motion.

    Stand at a safe distance.

    Do not approach a moving bus. Remain at a safe distance from the curb until the bus comes to a complete stop. Never chase the bus.

    If you miss your intended pick-up time, please wait for the next bus. Do not approach or follow a moving bus. Do not touch the bus or reach for the door if it is pulling away from the stop. Operators are not allowed to board passengers once the bus is in motion.

    Be patient. Don’t crowd.

    Allow passengers to exit the bus before boarding to minimize crowding in the doorways. Allow passengers using wheelchairs to board and exit first. And allow elderly or disabled passengers to use the priority seating at the front of the vehicle.

    Stay behind the yellow line.

    • Stay seated whenever possible.

    • In the event the bus is full and you must stand, federal law requires passengers to remain behind the yellow line located near the front of the bus aisle.

    • Standing in front of the yellow line can obstruct the operator’s view.

    • Always hold on to the handrails when standing.

    More Safe Travel Resources
    Vision Zero San Antonio | Texas Department of Transportation

  • DON'T CHASE THE BUS

    Stay Safe. Don’t Chase.

    You wouldn’t dare forget the Alamo, skimp on Fiesta medals, or deny your Spurs pride. VIA Metropolitan Transit wants you to add chasing the bus to that list of things you would never-do. VIA remains committed to ensuring the safety of our community and continuing the conversation about safe travel, including the potential dangers associated with chasing a bus.

    The safety of our customers, operators and the traveling public remains VIA’s top priority and an active focus of our services, programs and initiatives. Part of our ongoing commitment to safe travel in the region includes providing helpful information to emphasize the importance of safety guidelines.

    VIA’s “Don’t Chase the Bus” campaign provides a simple, effective way to communicate a life-saving message: “Stay Safe. Don’t Chase.” It incorporates the heart of the region’s cherished heritage and most-beloved traditions, as part of its core messaging.

    Ensuring the safety of the traveling public requires a community effort. VIA asks its customers and the community to share the life-saving message.

    • Tell your friends, your neighbors, your family: “There’s always another bus. There’s only one you.”

    • Follow VIA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for rider alerts and service information. Use #DontChaseTheBus and share helpful safety information.

    • Help spread the message so that chasing the bus becomes something that we, as a community, just don’t do.

    Get next-bus arrival information by texting your 5-digit stop number to 52020. Call VIA Customer Service at 210-362-2020 for information about VIA programs and services.

    More Safe Travel Resources
    Vision Zero San Antonio | Texas Department of Transportation

  • CODE OF CONDUCT

    It is a violation to commit the following acts on a VIA vehicle, VIA facility or VIA property (Spanish version):

    • Smoke or expel the residue of any tobacco product including vapor (whether through an e-cigarette, vaporizing electronic delivery system or otherwise) and chewing tobacco, on a VIA bus or other VIA vehicle, VIA facility or on VIA property, except as allowed in designated areas.

    • Consume any alcoholic beverage or possess an open container of any alcoholic beverage on a VIA bus or other VIA vehicle or at a VIA facility or on VIA property.

    • Eat on a VIA bus or other VIA vehicle unless medically necessary.

    • Drink beverages on a VIA bus or other VIA vehicle without using a spill-proof or screw-top container.

    • Engage in disruptive, disturbing behavior including: loud conversation, profanity, rude insults or operating any electronic device used for sound (radio, MP3 player, etc.) without an earphone(s).

    • Take any animal onto a VIA bus or other VIA vehicle unless the animal’s purpose is to assist a person with a disability, or unless the animal is in training to assist a person with a disability, or unless the animal is secured in a container sufficient to contain the animal.

    • Carry or possess any illegal weapon.

    • Possess or transport any explosive, flammable liquid, combustible material or other dangerous substance such as gasoline, kerosene or propane.

    • Litter.

    • Vandalize any VIA bus or other VIA vehicle, VIA facility or VIA property by writing, marking, scribbling, defacing or causing destruction to the bus, vehicle, facility or property in any manner.

    • Beg, solicit or panhandle from another person.

    • Spit, urinate, defecate or expose one’s anus, breasts, or genitals.

    • Illegally possess, use, distribute or sell any controlled substance.

    • Engage in any horseplay or fighting.

    • Ride a VIA bus or other VIA vehicle without evidence that the proper fare has been paid.

    • Unauthorized use of a VIA bus or other VIA vehicle, VIA facility or VIA property.

    • Interfering with the operation of a VIA bus or other VIA vehicle to include but not limited to harassment, intimidation, distraction and/or interference with the VIA operator.

    A person who violates one or more of these regulations may be cautioned or asked to leave the VIA bus or other VIA vehicle, VIA facility, or VIA property immediately by a VIA Police Officer or a VIA Bus or Paratransit Supervisor. Situations where a person refuses to leave a VIA bus or other VIA vehicle, VIA facility or VIA property after being ordered to do so may be handled by VIA Police or other appropriate law enforcement agencies. In the case of a violation of Section 2.02 (a)(15), riding a VIA vehicle without evidence of having paid the proper fare, such situations may be handled in accordance with Texas Transportation Code, Section 451.0611.

    This section does not seek to limit or conflict with any federal, state, or local law or ordinance; or to prevent any law enforcement agency or entity from taking any lawful action against any person on a VIA bus or other VIA vehicle, VIA facility, or VIA property.

    If you have a question regarding VIA’s Code of Conduct, please
    contact VIA Customer Service at (210)362-2020.

  • ACCESSIBLE BUS SERVICE

    Many of our bus routes and stops are accessible and the number is growing. Almost all buses offer ramps for easy boardings and audio announcements inside and outside of the bus provide helpful information.

    The Prímo vehicles offer space for two wheelchairs, one new self-restraining, rear-facing wheelchair space and the standard forward facing wheelchair positions.

    Rear-facing Position

    The rear-facing position does not require securement or assistance which can be more convenient and offers greater independence. It makes it easier and faster to get on and off the bus. When using this position, push yourself all the way back against the cushioned support, apply your parking brake, and fasten optional seat belts if desired.

    Forward-facing Position

    VIA operators are required to secure all riders using the forward-facing wheelchair positions using a four point securement system.

    When boarding the bus, please let the operator know if you plan on using the forward-facing position.

    Accessible Services Resources
    Accessible Transportation Customer Guide | Riding the Bus Using a Wheelchair