Final design and construction can proceed on ART North-South corridor with anticipated launch in 2027
VIA Metropolitan Transit has cleared a major environmental milestone on its Advanced Rapid Transit North/South Corridor Project, setting the stage for the agency to begin operating an important new service by 2027.
Federal approval under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) is a critical step in the project. Earning the approval means that VIA can proceed with the region’s first rapid transit corridor.
The project is part of VIA’s Keep San Antonio Moving Plan (KSAM) that voters overwhelmingly approved in 2020. The NEPA process began in 2021 and included significant technical analysis and public engagement.
“This is a major milestone in the journey to deliver on our commitment to this community, which said YES to investing in transit improvements,” VIA President/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said. “I’m proud of the team and the work done to ensure we proceed with a project designed to minimize environmental impact and provide new, modern options to connect more people to opportunity.”
The Federal Transit Administration has applied a Categorical Exclusion to the project, meaning that the construction and operation of the transit corridor would have minimal impact and no adverse effect on its surroundings. All NEPA documents for the project can be reviewed and downloaded from KeepSAmoving.com.
The ART North/South corridor, which will be known as the VIA Rapid Green Line, is a community-driven project that will connect two of the city’s three largest job centers and neighborhoods, improving public transportation through the heart of San Antonio. The 12-mile line will run from the area around the San Antonio International Airport, along San Pedro Avenue, through downtown and south to Steves Avenue near Mission Concepcion.
Key destinations along the route include San Antonio International Airport, North Star Mall, Park North Shopping Center, San Pedro Springs Park, San Antonio College, VIA Metro Center, Baptist Medical Center, Downtown San Antonio, G.W. Brackenridge High School, Roosevelt Park, Missions National Historic Park, several H-E-B grocery stores, and numerous high-density commercial and residential areas.
A key project under VIA’s KSAM initiative, Advanced Rapid Transit will usher in a new type of public transportation in San Antonio. It will offer high-frequency service operating in a combination of dedicated center-running transit lanes, curbside business-access transit lanes and mixed traffic. ART service will include off-board fare collection, stations with level boarding, and traffic-signal priority.
VIA’s ART project is the first of its kind in San Antonio and Bexar County and has allowed for access dedicated federal funding for the first time in the region.
VIA expects to begin operating the Green Line in 2027. A proposed second corridor would connect the East and West sides. VIA is currently in the process of identifying improvements and funding sources in order to complete the project.