Community leaders commemorate four decades of transportation and transformation
SAN ANTONIO (April 4, 2018) – Forty years since VIA Metropolitan Transit buses first rolled out, the public transportation agency is celebrating its service to the community and looking ahead to mobility solutions for our growing region.
Three San Antonio Mayors joined VIA President/CEO Jeff Arndt Wednesday in a Fiesta-style salute to four decades on the road. Mayor Ron Nirenberg, former Mayor and now-County Judge Nelson Wolff, and former Mayor and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros encouraged the crowd to keep pushing for more and better public transportation as key to future prosperity.
The milestone in VIA’s journey also marks the next chapter for public transportation in our region, one powered by technology, clean energy, and innovation. Moving forward, VIA and its partners are focused on building a public transportation system that includes a better bus system, rapid transit corridors, innovative services as well as improved sidewalks, infrastructure, roads, and passenger and pedestrian amenities.
As it began its 40th year in March 2018, VIA was named the Outstanding Metropolitan Transit System in the state by the Texas Transit Association, and recognized with a Transit Innovation Award for its smart transit solutions. It’s a benchmark for the agency as it shifts focus from its past to “Driving the Future” of mobility, economic development, education, and engagement in San Antonio and Bexar County.
“From ‘going places’ to ‘connecting our region,’ VIA has helped prove the motto: Where public transportation goes, community grows. We are proud of the positive impact we have had by opening up opportunities for education, employment and enjoyment across the greater San Antonio area,” VIA President/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said. “With a history of success to build upon, VIA is positioning for transformative days ahead. We are more than a bus agency, or a public transportation provider. We connect people to opportunities that enhance their quality of life. I’m looking forward to what the future holds.”
In March 1978, VIA Metropolitan Transit purchased transit system assets from the City of San Antonio and began operations. The agency has been a part of the city’s rich history, serving as the official transportation coordinator for the visit by Pope John Paul II in 1987. VIA’s focus on innovation and the advancement of passenger amenities has led the organization to introduce Prímo service, become the first transit agency to offer free systemwide WiFi, and introduce the first transit center in San Antonio to be powered by solar energy. For a complete timeline, visit VIAinfo.net.
The agency is commemorating its 40th birthday with a collectible Fiesta medal, a lineup of vintage buses, a timeline exhibit, day pass giveaways, and other events throughout the year. Arndt was joined in the celebration by VIA Chair Hope Andrade, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, San Antonio Mayor Emeritus Henry G. Cisneros, Miss San Antonio 2018 Ashley Sneed, and VIA mascots Buster, Prímo, and Safety Sofie.
About VIA Metropolitan Transit
VIA provides regional multimodal transportation options that connect our community to opportunity, support economic vitality, and enhance quality of life throughout our region. VIA, recognized by the Texas Transit Association in 2016 as the outstanding Metro Transit Authority of the year, serves 14 member cities and the unincorporated areas of Bexar County, operating seven days a week on 92 routes. Last year, VIA provided nearly 40 million rides across the region. VIA’s AAA bond rating reflects the organization’s sound management and financial practices. Visit VIAinfo.net for more information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
CONTACT: Lorraine Pulido, Ph.D.