06/05/2020: VIA Link Safe Capacity Limit Goes Into Effect June 8
Beginning Monday, June 8, VIA Link trips will have a “safe capacity” limit of two (2) riders per trip. This helps maintain social distancing and provides a safer space for everyone traveling.
Up to three (3) passengers may be allowed for passengers traveling with a companion, such as parents traveling with a child or VIAtrans customers with someone to assist them.
Once a VIA Link van has reached the limit, it can no longer accept new fares. A separate vehicle will be sent to pick up additional passengers in the area.
Face coverings are still required for all VIA customers and employees while on board a VIA vehicle or at a VIA facility, where proper social distancing may not be possible.
VIA Link is an on-demand transit service available in VIA’s Northeast Zone. For more information about VIA Link, visit VIAinfo.net/Link or call (210) 362-2020. Check back on this page to learn about the steps VIA is taking to keep our passengers and employees safe.
06/01/2020: VIA Offers Workforce Assistance Pass for Unemployed Riders
While our community recovers from the social and economic effects of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, VIA Metropolitan Transit is providing safe, reliable transit options to help people get back on their feet, including a new fare assistance program for unemployed customers.
When fare collection resumes on Monday, June 1—after a 10-week fare-relief period—persons who are unemployed can request VIA’s new Workforce Assistance Pass. The complimentary pass is good for 31 days from activation and is available for any VIA customer who presents a copy of their unemployment benefit statement (dated May 15 or after) and a current photo ID at a VIA ticket window during normal business hours.
The program will continue through August 2020. Customers are required to follow social distancing and safety guidelines in place at all VIA facilities and Code of Conduct guidelines while riding, including requirements for non-exempt passengers wearing face coverings and rules against joyriding.
Upon review of the customer’s statement of benefits and ID card, a pass will be issued using the free VIA goMobile app or on a VIA goCard. One per customer. Customers with extended unemployment benefits can request a subsequent 31-day pass by following the same process: presenting their updated statement of unemployment benefits and ID card with photo at a VIA ticket window.
VIAtrans customers requesting Workforce Assistance Passes can contact VIA’s goLine at (210) 362-2020 for more information and instructions on how to apply for a pass via email.
“VIA’s Workforce Assistance Pass helps put opportunity within reach for people who rely on us to provide safe, reliable transportation to get to training and look for work” VIA President/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said. “The services VIA provides are a lifeline for many in our community—every day and perhaps especially during a crisis. We are in this together.”
05/17/2020: VIA Letter to the Community from President and CEO Jeff Arndt
May, 17, 2020
Moving people. That’s what we do.
For over 40 years, VIA Metropolitan Transit has kept San Antonio moving when it matters most.
Today, as our community rallies to support each other through the COVID-19 crisis, VIA is providing essential service for people who need to get to work, to get groceries and supplies, and get back home again safely. We’re here for you.
During this time of change and uncertainty, we’re staying focused on what matters most: your health and safety. When COVID-19 hit, we acted quickly to put important measures in place for our customers and employees.
We’ll continue doing all we can, including keeping the following procedures in place:
- Cleaning and disinfecting buses, vans and facilities throughout the day, in addition to our regular nightly cleaning
- Extending fare-relief period through May 31, for faster, safer boarding
- Requiring employees and customers wear face coverings and providing one to passengers if needed
- Promoting a safe capacity limit on buses and vans to help with social distancing
- Putting more buses on busiest routes and adjusting schedules to maintain essential service
- Protecting operators and other frontline employees with additional safety measures and protective equipment
In the days and months ahead, VIA will continue to connect workers to jobs, students to training and consumers to goods and services to help speed our economic and social recovery. And while this crisis has magnified the challenges we faced before COVID-19, it has also put into sharper focus how VIA service is a lifeline for thousands of San Antonians, now more than ever.
As we all adjust to a “new normal,” we still believe putting opportunity within everyone’s reach is the key to uplifting a community. That’s why we’ll keep fighting for the support and funding to deliver the service you want, need and deserve. And while we plan for tomorrow, we’re taking account of the many things we can be grateful for today.
We’re thankful to all frontline workers, including our own VIA team — the bus and van operators, maintenance crews, police officers, customer care representatives and many others whose dedication throughout this COVID-19 season shows the true heart of public service. You have always been essential.
Thanks also to our customers who have helped slow the spread of COVID-19 by limiting travel and following safety guidelines. You’re doing your part to help protect VIA customers and employees. Let’s keep it going.
Thank you, San Antonio, for being a city that rallies for its neighbors. You are our inspiration and it is our privilege to serve you.
Jeffrey C. Arndt
President and Chief Executive Officer
VIA Metropolitan Transit
05/17/2020: Mensaje a la comunidad del Presidente y Gerente General de VIA Jeff Arndt
17 de Mayo, 2020
El transporte de pasajeros. Eso es lo que hacemos.
Durante más de 40 años, VIA Metropolitan Transit ha mantenido a San Antonio en movimiento cuando más importa.
Hoy, mientras que nuestra comunidad se ha unido para apoyarnos el una al otro durante la crisis de COVID-19, VIA sigue proporcionando servicio esencial para esas personas que necesitan ir a sus lugares de empleo, al súper mercado, y regresar a casa con seguridad.
Durante este tiempo de cambio e incertidumbre, nos mantenemos enfocados en lo que más importa: su salud y seguridad. Cuando llegó COVID-19, actuamos rápidamente para implementar medidas importantes para nuestros clientes y empleados.
Continuaremos haciendo todo lo posible, incluyendo las siguientes medidas:
- Limpieza y desinfección de autobuses, camionetas e instalaciones durante todo el día, además de nuestra limpieza nocturna regular
- Extender el período tarifas gratuitas hasta el 31 de mayo, para un abordaje más rápido y seguro
- Requerir que los empleados y clientes usen cuberturas faciales y proporcionar uno a los pasajeros si es necesario
- Promover un límite de capacidad segura en autobuses y camionetas para ayudar con el distanciamiento social.
- Poner más autobuses en las rutas más concurridas y ajustar los horarios para mantener el servicio esencial.
- Proteger a los operadores y otros empleados de primera línea con medidas de seguridad adicionales y equipos de protección.
En los días y meses adelante, VIA continuará conectando a los trabajadores con empleos, estudiantes con sus estudios, y consumidores con bienes y servicios para ayudar a acelerar nuestra recuperación económica y social. Y mientras que esta crisis ha magnificado los desafíos que enfrentamos antes de COVID-19, también ha puesto un enfoque más directo en cómo el servicio VIA es importante para miles de habitantes de San Antonio, ahora más que nunca.
En tanto que nos adaptamos a una “nueva normalidad,” todavía creemos que poner la oportunidad al alcance de todos es la clave para elevar una comunidad. Es por eso que seguiremos luchando por el apoyo y la financiación para brindar el servicio que desea, necesita y merece. Y mientras planeamos para mañana, tomamos en cuenta las muchas cosas por las que podemos estar agradecidos hoy.
Agradecemos a todos los trabajadores de primera línea, incluido nuestro propio equipo de VIA: los operadores de autobuses y camionetas, los equipos de mantenimiento, los oficiales de policía, los representantes de servicio al cliente y muchos otros cuya dedicación durante esta temporada de COVID-19 muestra el verdadero corazón del servicio público. Siempre ha sido esencial.
Gracias también a nuestros clientes que han ayudado a frenar la propagación de COVID-19 al limitar los viajes y seguir las reglas generales de seguridad. Usted está haciendo su parte para ayudar a proteger a los clientes y empleados de VIA. Sigamos así.
Gracias, San Antonio, por ser una ciudad que apoya a sus vecinos. Ustedes son nuestra inspiración y es nuestro privilegio servirle.
Jeffrey C. Arndt
President y Gerente General
VIA Metropolitan Transit
05/15/2020: VIA Will Resume Fare Collection June 1
VIA Metropolitan Transit will extend its fare-relief period through Sunday, May 31, 2020. Fare collection will begin again on Monday, June 1.
Online sales will resume through the free VIA goMobile ticketing app and at VIAinfo.net/purchase-passes. Customer information and ticket windows will reopen on Wednesday, May 20, for pass and ticket sales. Click on the Customer Service Centers tab on VIA’s Contact page.
The following health and safety measures will remain in place until further notice:
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures will continue for VIA buses, vans and facilities, including mid-day and overnight cleaning to ensure a safe space for customers and operators.
- VIA will continue to maintain a “safe capacity” maximum load of 16 passengers at a time to promote social distancing and protect everyone on board. All passengers must be seated and exit through the rear door.
- VIA will continue to operate its Essential Service Schedule that went into effect April 27, which adjusts bus routes and hours, moving several routes to a “Sunday” schedule and adding frequency to others that continue to see high ridership. For a detailed schedule list, please visit VIAinfo.net/routes.
- VIA will continue to require all non-exempt passengers age 10 and older to wear a face covering to board a vehicle or access a VIA facility, where proper social distancing (6 feet apart) may not be possible. While supplies last, a face covering will be made available on vehicles for customers who do not have one. Staff and operators must also continue to wear a face covering while working or while at a VIA facility.
- Temperature checks for all VIA employees entering a VIA facility will continue to ensure that staff members are healthy when interacting with the public.
VIA will continue to take these extra steps and monitor developments, along with recommendations from local, state and federal health officials, to determine if additional measures are needed. Keep checking back on this page to see updates and learn more about what VIA is doing to keep customers and employees safe.
04/17/2020: VIA Customers Required to Wear Face Covering Beginning Wednesday, April 22
The City of San Antonio and Bexar County are now requiring everyone age 10 and older to wear masks/face coverings when in public places, particularly when proper social distancing is not possible. This includes public transit vehicles.
While no local coronavirus cases have been linked to public transit use, VIA is requiring customers and employees to take the extra precaution in accordance with the local orders, for their safety and the safety of everyone who continues to make essential trips with VIA.
Anyone not observing the City/County order may not be allowed to board or may be asked to exit the vehicle or facility, beginning Wednesday, April 22.
Operators will remind any customer not wearing a face covering of the new requirement and signs are being placed on all buses, vans and facilities.
Masks must cover the nose and mouth and be worn whenever a person cannot maintain appropriate distance, such as when aboard a bus. These can include face masks that are purchased or one of these acceptable options:
Homemade cloth masks
Customers should wear their face coverings while waiting at the bus stop, when inside a transit center or Park & Ride facility, and while aboard a VIA bus or van. The new order does not replace the need to maintain physical distance—at least 6 feet between you and the person next to you—whenever possible.
VIA provides masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes to operators and maintenance staff who are supporting VIA’s expanded cleaning protocols, including mid-day and overnight cleaning of vehicles and facilities.
04/07/2020: VIA Sets ‘Safe Capacity’ Limits on Buses Starting Wednesday
Customers reminded to wear masks, skip a seat when riding
VIA will implement a “safe capacity” maximum-passenger load of 16 riders at a time, beginning Wednesday, April 8. It’s the next of several steps VIA has taken to help protect passengers and operators while continuing to provide essential trips.
VIA set a goal of decreasing passenger loads to allow for social distancing aboard buses when routes began running on a modified “Saturday” schedule this week. Drivers were asked to keep an informal count and called in to Dispatch for a “spacer” bus to be sent out on the route. On Wednesday, VIA will begin enforcing the 16-passenger limit and continue to send out additional buses throughout the day to relieve overages.
Once a bus reaches 16 passengers, operators will display a message in the bus destination sign that reads “At Safe Capacity.” This will let customers know that the bus is at its maximum load for that trip and they should board the next bus. This helps maintain social distancing and provides a safer space for everyone traveling.
Maintaining a safe capacity limit will further promote social distancing and protect everyone on board. A VIA bus typically carries 35-40 seated passengers. The 16-person limit would represent less than half of the seating capacity. Passengers will not be allowed to stand. Riders using walkers or wheelchairs can continue to ask for assistance when boarding.
Local health and government officials, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), now recommend that everyone cover their nose and mouth while outside their homes, including when taking public transportation. San Antonians are asked to wear a face covering while out in public.
While no local coronavirus cases have been linked to public transit use, VIA is asking customers and employees to take the extra precaution for their safety and the safety of everyone who continues to make essential trips. Other measures in place, include:
- Gloves, masks, hand sanitizer and wipes for operators.
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting program for vehicles and facilities, including overnight and mid-day cleanings of high-traffic, high-touch surfaces like doors, handles, rails, straps, stop buttons and seats.
- Hand-sanitizing stations for customers and employees to use between hand washing.
- Audio and visual safety messaging in English and Spanish for passengers.
- Fares suspended through April 30 so customers don’t have to touch the fare box or crowd the door when boarding, to further protect operators and customers.
- Removal of or restricted access to seats nearest to the driver.
- Seat covers or signs reminding passengers to practice social distancing by skipping a seat.
- Reduced routes and hours to maintain service for essential trips only.
- Additional “spacer” buses on routes to help avoid crowding.
VIA began implementing temporary service adjustments Monday, April 6, in response to lower demand for service, while maintaining essential service for those who must continue to travel. Riders should only make essential trips during this time, and observe the city’s “Stay Home, Work Safe” order that requires residents in the area to shelter in place and practice social distancing in public.
A detailed list of changes is available at VIAinfo.net. Customers can plan bus trips on the VIA goMobile app or on Google by entering a trip date starting April 6. For assistance planning trips, call our VIA Go Line at (210) 362-2020.
For updates and information about VIA’s response to COVID-19, visit VIAinfo.net/covid-19.
04/04/2020: VIA Service Changes Start Monday, April 6 – Here’s What Riders Can Expect
Temporary service adjustments begin Monday, April 6 when VIA routes move to “Saturday” schedules, with some reduced hours and routes. Riders should only make essential trips during this time, and observe the city’s “Stay Home, Work Safe” order that requires residents in the area to shelter in place and help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and practice social distancing in public.
VIA will continue to run essential service for those who must travel for work at an exempted business or operation, obtain food and supplies, or help care for others. Maintain space aboard the bus whenever possible. See below for ways VIA is helping with social distancing.
Here’s a detailed list of changes that go into effect Monday, April 6, and will continue until further notice. Note that VIAtrans and VIA Link will continue to operate normally.
All routes will be on “Saturday” schedules Monday-Friday. Exceptions are noted below.
- Route 616 will not serve the Trader’s Village extension.
- Route 16 will not operate due to Joint Base San Antonio restrictions.
- Route 65 will not operate due to Joint Base San Antonio restrictions.
- VIVA routes 11, 40 and 301 will not operate.
- Please note key route information below:
- Route 4 will not serve the extension to Blossom.*
- Route 30 will not serve the China Grove, St. Hedwig extension.*
- Route 36 will not serve the Elmendorf extension.*
- Route 42 will not serve the TJ Maxx and Losoya extensions.*
- Route 97 will not serve the Talavera Ridge extension.*
- Route 515 will not travel along Walters Street to serve St. Philips College and Fort Sam Houston.*
Routes will run on their usual weekend schedules, Saturdays and Sundays.
* Some stops may be served by other routes. See the list of affected stops and routes is available at VIAinfo.net/stop-closures or view MAPS of the route extensions that will not served temporarily.
Customers can plan bus trips on the VIA goMobile app or on VIA’s Trip Planner powered by Google by entering a trip date starting April 6. For assistance planning trips, call our VIA Go Line at (210) 362-2020.
TIPS FOR PLANNING YOUR TRIP, BEGINNING MONDAY, APRIL 6
- CHECK YOUR STOP. Riders who travel on routes 4, 30, 36, 42, 97, 515, and 616, should check if their usual Monday-Friday stop is in the “extension” portion of the route (listed above). Route maps will indicate which area is part of the extension that will not be served after April 6. Some stops in these areas will continue to be served by other routes. SEE SEARCHABLE LIST HERE. If you have a question or need help planning your trip, call the VIA Go Line at (210) 362-2020.
- POCKET SCHEDULES ARE HELPFUL. Accurate information about Saturday service is included in your pocket schedules, often on the back of the brochure. Printed pocket schedules are available at transit centers, customer service centers, and Park & Ride facilities. You can also visit VIAinfo.net to use our online trip planner, download the free VIA goMobile app, or call our VIA Go Line for help planning your trip.
- USE VIA’S NEXT-BUS INFORMATION. Text your Bus Stop ID Number to 52020 to get up-to-date bus information. The Next-Bus information will let you know if your bus will service that specific bus stop.
- NO FARES NEEDED. No fares will be collected through April 30 for VIA bus, VIAtrans and VIA Link services. This is one of the ways we’re helping with social distancing. Customers don’t have to stop or touch the fare box or crowd the door when boarding. After boarding, passengers should quickly and safely take an available seat.
- SKIP A SEAT. Seats near the front of the bus have been removed or restricted by locking them in their closed positions or marking them with a sign to help create a safer distance for passengers and operators. Most buses are already carrying fewer passengers as more people stay home. To help with social distancing, seats throughout the bus have been removed, covered or marked with signs asking passengers to leave some space by finding the next available seat. Persons with disabilities, or riding with a walker or wheelchair, can ask the operator for assistance finding a seat.
- STAY INFORMED. Updates on VIA’s response to COVID-19 and related service alerts are posted regularly to VIAinfo.net/covid-19.