SAN ANTONIO (Sept. 27, 2016) – The VIA Metropolitan Transit Board of Trustees approved the agency’s fiscal year 2017 operating budget this evening at their September Board meeting. The newly adopted $219.9 million budget maintains fares at current levels and reflects a one-percent increase in expenses over the previous year. VIA’s new fiscal year begins Oct. 1, 2016.
VIA’s primary objective in the new fiscal year is to improve transit services and amenities throughout its more than 1,200 square-mile service area. The Board of Trustees also approved a five-year capital budget, which includes several SmartMove Program initiatives, such as the Stone Oak Park & Ride, Zarzamora and S.W. Military Primo Routes, Brooks Transit Center, and Robert Thompson Transit Center.
In FY2017, VIA will replace aging diesel buses with 135 new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses, reflecting the agency’s environmental stewardship while lowering fuel costs. The agency remains committed to the increased use of technology, and will incorporate next generation fare collection technologies, including smartcards and mobile ticketing over the coming year.
“The new budget reflects VIA’s commitment to connecting the community through enhancing customer convenience, using technology and innovation, and applying our limited financial resources to do more with less,” said VIA President/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt. “As the only large metropolitan transit authority in Texas to operate on a half-cent sales tax, VIA works hard to serve our growing region while remaining actively engaged in an ongoing community conversation that examines shifting our region’s transportation focus from moving cars to moving people.”
VIA Metropolitan Transit serves 14 member cities in the Greater San Antonio Region and the unincorporated areas of Bexar County. VIA operates seven days a week on 90 routes and provided 42.2 million rides across the region in 2015. VIA’s mission is to enhance the community’s quality of life by providing public transportation that is dependable, cost-effective and enticing to more riders. VIA’s AAA bond rating reflects the organization’s sound management and financial practices.