Women's History - VIA Metropolitan Transit

VIA is Celebrating Women’s History Month

Join us in recognizing women’s lasting contributions in San Antonio and beyond and honoring those who have been part of VIA’s history.

About Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month grew out of a weeklong celebration organized by the school district of Sonoma, California, in 1978. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8 as National Women’s History Week. Six years later, the National Women’s History Project successfully petitioned Congress to expand the event to the entire month of March.

Women You Should Know

Women are an important part of the VIA family, bringing expertise, experience, and professionalism to teams in all areas of our daily operation and at all levels of leadership. This Women’s History Month, get to know some of the women whose work on VIA’s front line—in operations, fleet and facilities maintenance, safety, and customer care — helps keep San Antonio moving.

Image: Women's History Month: Jerri Burkholder

Being a woman in a field historically dominated by men doesn’t faze Jerri Burkholder. In fact, she welcomes the challenge.
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Image: Women's History Month Esperanza Di Costanzo

Esperanza “Hope” Di Costanzo recalls a moment 20 years ago, when she said she knew a career in law enforcement was in her future.
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Image: Women's History Month: Dina Estrada

A chance hiring at the former VIA Child Daycare Center in 2001 provided some on-the-job training that Dinah Estrada says has been instrumental to her daily interactions in VIA’s Customer Information Department.
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Image: Women's History Month: Joy Franklin

Joy Franklin joined VIA as an operator in 2018 and chose VIAtrans because of her passion to serve persons in the disability community.
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Image: Women's History Month: Becky Garcia

Becky Garcia has mixed emotions about her plans for retirement in the fall of 2022. For 26 years, she has thrived at VIA, spending the past 15 years in the Passenger Amenities Department.
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Women on the VIA Board

Since the founding of VIA’s Board of Trustees, women have played an integral role in key programs, projects, and initiatives that helped shape the way we move in San Antonio and Bexar County.

From VIA’s founding Chair, Marilyn G. Jones, to it’s longest-serving Chair, Hope Andrade, the agency’s Board has been reflective of VIA’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Today, four Board seats are held by women: Board Secretary Athalie Malone, Bexar County appointee Ayda Gonzalez, Executive Committee Member Laura Cabanilla, and City of San Antonio appointee Melanie Tawil.

Their contributions and achievements in their professional and philanthropic work include advocating for persons in the disability community, working with veterans and their families, developing engineering and infrastructure plans, leading technology innovations, and serving the small business community. They bring valuable experience and perspective to the work of the Board, where they help guide VIA’s mission and vision to connect our community.

Image: VIA Board Members

Spotlight on Success

Get to know five amazing women whose life and legacy have helped shape public transit and VIA’s future. From VIA’s Founding Chair of the Board to our outstanding team of operators, women help make VIA work.


VIA celebrates and encourages the advancement of women in the transportation industry and is committed to supporting a diverse and inclusive environment. Women serve in every role on our team, including Operations and Maintenance, Safety and Security, Public Engagement, Administration, Management and more.

Image: Women at VIA

VIA’s administration staff includes 475 WOMEN who work in a wide range of areas from communications and marketing to planning and engineering, legal services, customer relations, accessibility services, and many more.

There are 24 WOMEN in leadership roles at VIA, including half of our Senior Executive Management Team.

226 WOMEN, including both bus and van operators, help keep San Antonio moving every day.

31 WOMEN are part of VIA’s maintenance crews, making sure VIA vehicles and facilities are safe and clean.

4 WOMEN serve on the VIA Board, and include the Board Secretary.

Image: VIA President and CEO Jeff Arndt


VIA President and CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt was the San Antonio Chapter’s inaugural recipient of the Secretary Ray LaHood Award, created by WTS International, and was recognized as an outstanding role model who has contributed to the advancement of women. He was also selected by the National Diversity Council as an Individual DiversityFIRST Leadership Award winner for his service as a lifetime champion for diversity and inclusion.