||By a 5-to-3 margin, residents in San Antonio and five suburban areas vote to establish VIA Metropolitan Transit.
||VIA begins operations.
||Residents in unincorporated areas of Bexar County and suburban cities of China Grove and Grey Forest vote in VIA service by a margin of 10 to 1.
||The 25-foot Chance bus is introduced. VIA’s Maintenance department unveils a newly designed air-conditioning system aboard buses that sparks national interest.
||VIA announces plans for downtown streetcar service. The San Antonio Streetcar is the result of years of design work by VIA, the San Antonio Conservation Society, and the Historic Review Board. VIA mascots, the Buppets, including Buster the Bus, are introduced and begin appearing at area schools and community events as part of VIA’s educational and community outreach initiatives.
||Streetcar service begins.
||TriParty Plan to improve downtown transportation and pedestrian traffic is approved.
||For the third consecutive year, VIA receives the American Public Transit Association’s first place “Silver Award” for safety. Additionally, VIA is the official transportation coordinator for the 1987 Papal Visit.
||VIA introduces the Automated Vehicle Monitoring System, an innovative bus management and communication system capable of monitoring the activity of VIA’s fleet.
||VIA is named Best Transit System in North America by the American Public Transit Association. VIA opens an on-site Child Development Center, the first of its kind in the transit industry.
||The TriParty project is completed. VIA receives its first award from the Government Finance Officers Association for Excellence in Financial Reporting.
||VIA launches lift-equipped bus service with the introduction of wheelchair-accessible buses.
||The Robert Thompson Transit Station opens, and VIA transports record numbers of passengers to Alamodome events.
||VIA ranks second in the nation for cost-effectiveness by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. VIA becomes charter member of CLEAR, a statewide environmental alliance.
||VIA receives Achievement Award for bus safety from the American Public Transit Association for the third consecutive year.
||VIA introduces Transit Bike Patrol to provide a safer transit environment for bus patrons in the downtown area.
||VIA introduces the Ozone Season Pass. VIA installs bicycle racks on buses as part of a pilot program, allowing bus patrons to take their bikes with them on bus trips.
||The Federal Transit Administration names VIA “Moving Kids Safely Champion” for its “Classroom on Wheels” program.
||The River Walk Streetcar Station opens, a result of a partnership between VIA, the City of San Antonio, and the San Antonio Water System; the Streetcar Station provides the first public connection to the River Walk that is wheelchair-accessible. VIA’s first low-floor buses (40-foot) from North American Bus Industries are introduced.
||VIA begins taking delivery of the agency’s first propane-powered buses (30-foot) manufactured by Champion.
||Work begins on the Comprehensive Service Plan, a system-wide assessment of VIA’s bus services that will result in increased productivity and efficiency; new bus routes, schedules, and services planned. Bicycle racks are installed on all VIA buses (excluding streetcars). New Automatic Vehicle Location system replaces previous monitoring system; AVL system uses global positioning technology to better track the activity of VIA’s fleet.
||The Customer Information Center at the Ellis Alley Park & Ride facility opens, a result of combined conservation efforts with S.A. Conservation Society and neighborhood groups; the facility was fashioned out of two historic homes on the near East Side. VIA begins hiring officers for its Transit Police force.
||VIA implements a new system of bus routes as a result of the Comprehensive Service Plan. VIA begins using ultra-low-sulfur diesel in new buses (40-foot) manufactured by New Flyer of America. The first of 400 new advertising shelters are installed. The Child Development Center is recognized by the City of San Antonio as a “Texas Rising Star Provider”. Construction begins on a new transit facility to replace the Kel-Lac Park & Ride facility.
||The Kel-Lac Transit Center opens. The Propane Education and Research Council recognizes VIA for its use of propane with the Propane Exceptional Energy Fleet Award. VIA is recognized as the Outstanding Metropolitan Transit Agency for 2003 by the Texas Transit Association. The National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve recognizes VIA as a Five Star Employer. Voters in San Antonio approve the Advanced Transportation District by 58 percent.
||VIA’s aging streetcar fleet is replaced by new vehicles that are enclosed, air-conditioned, powered by propane engines, and accessible in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
||Installation begins on 700 new bus shelters. Starlight service begins, effectively providing public transportation 24 hours a day. Vanpool service is introduced. The aging VIAtrans van fleet is replaced by new vehicles.
||VIA begins selling passes and tickets online through the agency's website. VIA's website wins the AdWheel award from the American Public Transportation Association for "Best Internet Homepage."
||Solar panels are installed on the Madla Transit Center to provide power for the facility.
||VIA enters into an agreement with CPS Energy to receive wind-generated electricity for all of the agency’s power needs. High-speed wireless internet connections are tested on VIA buses.
||The agency’s first Compressed Natural Gas-fueled (CNG) buses and diesel-electric hybrid buses are introduced. Free, high-speed wireless internet connections are installed at VIA’s information centers.
||VIA begins projects under the Long Range Comprehensive Transportation Plan.
||VIA Prímo bus rapid transit service begins.
||VIA’s first all-electric, battery-powered buses enter service. VIA Prímo service is extended into Leon Valley.
||• VIA becomes the first major transit agency in the nation to offer free, system-wide 4G LTE WiFi.
• VIA opens Centro Plaza at VIA Villa, a state-of-the-art transit hub, just west of Downtown San Antonio.
||• VIA is recognized as the 2016 Outstanding Metropolitan Transit System by the Texas Transit Association for its efforts to enhance the region’s public transportation system.
• VIA launches new VIVA service line with three distinct routes connecting cultural, historic, and entertainment corridors in the city center.
• VIA introduces its first new mascots in 35 years, adding Prímo and Safety Sofie as Buster’s partners.
||• VIA begins a total fleet conversion to replace diesel buses with compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, which reduce NOx emissions by 97 percent.
• VIA launches the goMobile App designed to streamline planning, ticketing, and boarding process by providing real-time information and eliminating the need for cash payments and card swipes.
• VIA begins operating the largest CNG fueling station in North America, with 10 lanes and a 10,980-square foot compressor compound, which provides an estimated $8.5 million in annual fuel cost savings.
• VIA completes 1,000 bus stop improvements with new shelters installed throughout the service area to provide sheltered locations for 95 percent of boardings in the region.
||• VIA launches VIAtrans Online System that allows paratransit riders to Book new trips, save favorite trips for future bookings, view or cancel reservations, and see the current location of a scheduled vehicle in real time.
• VIA Metropolitan Transit is recognized by the Texas Transit Association (TTA) as the Outstanding Metropolitan Transit System in Texas for 2018 and receives the TTA’s Transit Innovation Award for its advancements in technology.
• VIA opens the Stone Oak Park & Ride, state-of-the-art facility at the corner of U.S. 281 N. and Stone Oak Parkway that features a full-service Customer Service Center, and 400 parking spaces on the three parking levels.
||• VIA introduces VIA Link, an on-demand pilot project that offers riders the option to travel in a shared van from specific locations within a Northeast corridor of San Antonio, as an alternative to riding a fixed bus route.
• VIA adds two Prímo Routes - 102 Military and 103 Zarzamora - with fewer stops and faster service to destinations.
• The new Brooks Transit Center opens for service with new Prímo and Express routes that expand convenient, high-frequency service to one of the fastest-growing communities in the region.