VIA Metropolitan Transit unveiled a new Nova bus designed to honor San Antonio’s Sister City, Darmstadt, Germany, in an official ceremony Monday, Feb. 25, 2019 with San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Darmstadt Lord Mayor Jochen Partsch, and VIA Board of Trustees Chair Hope Andrade.

Darmstadt officials recently named a tram for San Antonio and includes the city’s official coat of arms. The VIA bus recognizes Darmstadt as a San Antonio Sister City and includes the Darmstadt name, coat of arms, and official colors. The Darmstadt bus dedication was held in front of the Tobin Center for Performing Arts, with VIA President and CEO Jeff Arndt, VIA Board Vice Chair Bob Comeaux, and VIA Board Member A. David Marne, following by a ceremonial first ride by dignitaries from Darmstadt.

In October 2017, Mayor Nirenberg signed a Sister City Agreement with Darmstadt, Germany, marking the first sister city relationship between San Antonio and Germany. To commemorate the occasion, a Darmstadt tram was named “San Antonio” in a formal naming ceremony in Germany.

Andrade said despite an ocean separating San Antonio and Darmstadt, the two cities are much alike with deep ties to their respective history and heritage, while always looking toward a better future, including advancements in public transportation.

“It brings us joy to know that today, in Darmstadt, a tram baring the name “San Antonio” is on its route, connecting people to the places where they live, work, play and learn; connecting them to opportunity,” Andrade said. “And this VIA bus will begin its service to do the same.”

Darmstadt, Germany is San Antonio’s 11th Sister City through Sister Cities International. San Antonio’s 10 other Sister Cities are Monterrey, Mexico; Guadalajara, Mexico; Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain; Gwangju, South Korea; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain; Kumamoto, Japan; Chennai, India; Wuxi, China; and Windhoek, Namibia, as well as two additional Friendship Cities, Suzhou, China and Tel Aviv, Israel.

TOP PHOTO: VIA Board Chair Hope Andrade provided opening remarks as VIA unveiled a Nova CNG bus to recognize its sister city Darmstadt, Germany.
BOTTOM PHOTO: VIA President and CEO Jeff Arndt and Darmstadt Lord Mayor Jochen Partsch were aboard the bus to honor Darmstadt during its ceremonial first ride.