Centro San Antonio names agency Best Public Partner

VIA Metropolitan Transit was named Best Public Partner by Centro San Antonio for continued efforts to support economic vitality and enhance the quality of life throughout our region.

Free service for Hurricane Harvey evacuees and providing transportation to students and staff during a day care facility fire in August were among the criteria used by Centro San Antonio to recognize VIA at the annual Centropolitan Awards on Sept. 21, 2017.

VIA Deputy CEO Keith Hom accepted the prized medallion for Best Public Partner during the ceremony that included honoring three downtown San Antonio Pioneers – Tom Frost Sr., Jim Hayne and David Straus – with Lifetime Achievement Awards.

“VIA is honored to receive Centro San Antonio’s Centropolitan Best Public Partner Award, refelcting VIA’s ongoing efforts to work with its public and private partners to build a better transit system for our community,” VIA President and CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said.

VIA also was nominated in the Best Place, Event or Placemaking category for Centro Plaza at VIA Villa and in the Best Wild Card category for the goMobile Launch Day in June. VIA received a 2015 Centropolitan Award in the Best of Greater Downtown category for VIA Villa, the near West Side complex that includes The Grand Building and Centro Plaza.

This year’s winning entry included multiple efforts during the last 12 months that displayed VIA’s service to the community. VIA most recently offered free rides throughout its service area to Hurricane Harvey evacuees staying in local shelters and the emergency staff assisting in the recovery efforts. This gave shelter guests, many of whom arrived in San Antonio without a personal vehicle, independence and an opportunity to be mobile while in the city.

In August 2017, VIA operators and Transit Police Officers responded to a call for help at an area day care facility where 50 children and staff were evacuated ahead of a fast-moving fire. First responders carried children from the building, boarded on VIA buses, and transported to a safe location to be reunited with teachers and parents.

Other VIA initiatives that helped earn the award included free rides on Election Day in November 2016 and May 2017; free rides for Bexar County jurors throughout the year; and free rides to the Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner and HEB’s Feast of Sharing in December.

Winners in other categories included The restaurants along South Alamo Street for Best Culinary Experience; The San Antonio Light Building for Best Wild Card; 1221 Broadway Lofts for Best Place to Live; Advance Learning Academy and CAST Tech High School for Best Innovation; Art Pace Chalk It Up for Best Event; and Bill Shown for Downtowner of the Year.