How to Ride - VIA Metropolitan Transit

How to Ride

You will soon discover that riding the bus is simple. You can get started with our 5 easy steps below. Or, first-time riders with a mobile phone can skip the details and use our Quick Start Guide. Welcome aboard.

There are many ways to plan a bus trip.  Try a few different methods to see which one you prefer.

  • Google Maps – Go to google.com/maps and enter where you want to go. Then click “directions” by transit.
  • VIA goMobile – Download the free VIA goMobile app for Apple and Android devices to plan trips and purchase tickets. Select Trip Tools in the app for a link to plan trips using Google Maps.
  • VIAInfo.Net – In addition to Google Maps for trip planning, VIA provides individual bus schedules and other tools for riders to use on the Trip Planning page.
  • Other Mobile Apps – VIA partners with several third-party trip planning apps to make it more convenient for passengers. Visit the Mobile Apps page for a list of available apps.
  • VIA Innovation Lab – VIA’s Department of Technology and Innovation offers a variety of specialty transit and trip planning tools developed by our staff and participants in our GoCodeSA Codeathon competition. Check out the latest tools on the VIA Innovation Lab

VIA Customer Service representatives are available to help customers plan a trip from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Friday; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at (210) 362-2020. Schedule is subject to change during holidays.

VIA offers several options for paying your fare.

  • VIA goMobile – We recommend the using the free VIA goMobile app on your smartphone as your best option to purchase your ticket. Available for Apple and Android devices, check out our new payment options and updates that make VIA goMobile more convenient and easy.  You can purchase everything from a 2.5 Hour Pass to a 31-Day Pass. If you qualify for Reduced Fares, you can purchase those on goMobile as well.  For convenience, you can buy tickets anytime and activate them when you are ready to ride.  More about goMobile.
  • VIA goCard – A new, convenient alternative to a cash free payment is coming soon!
  • On the bus – Riders can purchase single-ride fares or a single Day Pass on the bus with cash. Day Passes must be requested before inserting cash into the farebox. Change will be issued if amount due exceeds $1 and will be in the form of an e-fare change card if requested.
  • VIA Online Store – Online orders of paper tickets are processed within three days and then mailed to customers. Visit the online store.
  • Retail Outlets, including VIA Customer Service Centers and most H-E-B stores.
  • Ticket Vending Machines – Available at Crossroads Park & Ride and Medical Center Transit Center.

Before buying your ticket, review the complete list of tickets, passes and discounts on the Fares page.

Follow the instructions on your trip planner to get to your bus stop.  Match the 5-digit stop ID at the stop with what’s on your instructions. You can also verify that the bus route number you plan to ride is listed on the sign.

As a bus approaches your stop, look for the 1- to 3-digit route number on the digital sign at the top and side of the bus and match it up with the route number on your instructions. Be sure the bus operator sees you, or wave your hand as the bus approaches so they know you want to board.

Activate your mobile ticket or have your paper ticket ready to show the operator.

Real-time arrivals – Several stops and transit centers have digital signs that provide next bus arrival times based on the real-time location.  You can also text the 5-digit Bus Stop Number on the bus stop sign to 52020 for real-time information. More about Real-time arrivals.

Sit back and relax until it’s time to get off the bus.

When your stop is next, alert the operator by pulling the yellow cord or pushing the yellow strip near the window. Operators may pass the stop if they are not alerted.

Do you have special needs? Or are you simply riding your bike to work? 
See our additional tips to enjoy your ride.

Accessible
bus info.

Learn More

Accessible Bus Service – Many of our bus routes and stops are accessible and the number is growing. Almost all buses offer ramps for easy boardings and audio announcements inside and outside of the bus provide helpful information.

VIA offers two types of positions for wheelchairs depending on the bus model.

Rear-facing Position – The rear-facing position does not require securement or assistance which can be more convenient and offers greater independence. It makes it easier and faster to get on and off the bus. When using this position, push yourself all the way back against the cushioned support, apply your parking brake, and fasten optional seat belts if desired.

Forward-facing Position – VIA operators are required to secure all riders using the forward-facing wheelchair positions using a four point securement system.

Customers with disabilities can also apply for VIAtrans service.  VIAtrans, curb-to-curb paratransit service, provides transportation for persons with disabilities who require additional assistance to board, ride, or disembark from a VIAtrans van.

Individuals must apply for this shared-ride program to determine eligibility.Download the application in PDF.

To promote access for customers who are disabled, VIA will consider exceptions to existing rules and procedures on an as-needed basis. Please contact us in advance by e-mail or phone at (210) 362-2020 if you believe you require a disability-related accommodation in order to use VIA buses or VIAtrans vans. A complaint process is available if an accommodation request is declined.

Accessible Services Resources

Accessible Transportation Customer Guide | Riding the Bus Using a Wheelchair

Riding with
bikes.

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All VIA buses are equipped with bicycle racks capable of carrying two or three bikes at a time. Space on the bike racks is available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have a bicycle and the rack is full, please wait for the next bus.

  • Be sure the bus operator sees you as you are loading and unloading your bicycle, and let the operator know when you are done.
  • Large or bulky items on your bicycle, may need to be removed if they interfere with the safe operation of the bus.
  • If there are no other bicycles on the rack, place yours in the slot nearest the bus with the handlebars toward the curb. The next bicycle should then be loaded with the handlebars facing away from the curb. Remember, the hook goes over the front tire, not the rear.
  • Load and unload bicycles quickly and safely. As a courtesy to your fellow riders, try not to hold up the bus when loading or removing your bicycle.
  • When exiting, use the front doors and remind the operator that you will be getting your bicycle.
  • If your bicycle is the only one on the rack when you unload, close the rack by lifting it up until it locks.
  • Bus operators are not allowed to assist with the loading or unloading of bicycles. Passengers are responsible for placing their bicycles on the rack and removing it. VIA is not responsible for injury or damage arising from the use of the bike racks.

Safety tips

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Board only at bus stops. VIA operators are not permitted to board passengers outside of designated stops.

Stand at a safe distance. Do not approach a moving bus and remain a safe distance from the curb until the bus comes to a complete stop. If you see a bus pull away from the stop, please do not chase after it. Operators are not allowed to board passengers once the bus is in motion, please wait on the next one to arrive.

Be ready to board. Verify the route number and final destination on the front of the bus prior to boarding.

Be patient. Don’t crowd. Please allow passengers to exit the bus before boarding to minimize crowding in the doorways.

Hold on. Have a seat. Use handrails to steady yourself as you find a seat on the bus.

Stay behind the yellow line. Stay seated whenever possible. In the event that a bus is full and you must stand, please remain behind the yellow line so that you do not obstruct the operator’s view.

Code of
conduct

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It is a violation to commit the following acts on a VIA vehicle, VIA facility or VIA property:

  • Smoke or expel the residue of any tobacco product including vapor (whether through an e-cigarette, vaporizing electronic delivery system or otherwise) and chewing tobacco.
  • Consume any alcoholic beverage or possess an open container of any alcoholic beverage on a VIA bus, other VIA vehicle, VIA facility or VIA property.
  • Eating on a VIA bus or other VIA vehicle unless medically necessary.
  • Drinking beverages on a VIA bus or other VIA vehicle without using a spill-proof or screw-top container.
  • Engage in disruptive, disturbing behavior such as loud conversation, profanity, rude insults or operating any electronic device used for sound without earphones (radio, MP3 player, etc.).
  • Take any animal onto a VIA bus or other VIA vehicle unless the animal’s purpose is to assist a person with a disability.
  • Carry or possess any illegal weapon.
  • Possess or transport any explosive, flammable liquid, combustible material or other dangerous substance.
  • Vandalize any VIA bus, other VIA vehicle, VIA facility or VIA property.
  • Beg, solicit or panhandle from another person.
  • Spit, urinate, defecate or expose one’s anus, breasts or genitals.
  • Illegally possess, use, distribute or sell any controlled substance.
  • Engage in any horseplay or fighting.
  • Transport a motorized scooter or similar device (non-mobility aid device) aboard any VIA vehicle.
  • Ride a VIA bus or other VIA vehicle without evidence that the proper fare has been paid.
  • Unauthorized presence on a VIA bus, other VIA vehicle, VIA facility, or VIA property.
  • Unauthorized use of a VIA bus, other VIA vehicle, VIA facility or VIA property.
  • Interfering with the operation of a VIA bus or other VIA vehicle to include but not limited to harassment, intimidation, distraction and/or interference with the VIA operator. VIA operators are public servants who help ensure passenger safety. Assaulting an operator is a crime that can be prosecuted as a felony.

A person who violates one or more of these regulations may be cautioned or asked to leave the VIA bus, other VIA vehicle, VIA facility, or VIA property immediately by a VIA Police Officer or a VIA Bus or Paratransit Supervisor.

 

Social Media Code of Conduct

VIA Metropolitan Transit utilizes various social media platforms to communicate with customers and to share daily information about the transit agency. We encourage customers to engage in conversation, but also to adhere to the Social Media Code of Conduct listed below.

Facebook® – VIA’s Facebook® page feed is intended to keep our customers up-to-date on the latest news and information about VIA programs and services. VIA will also share service alerts here. Because of new Facebook algorithms, not all content may be visible. You can also get service information at VIAinfo.net, by following VIA on Twitter® or Instagram®, or by calling Customer Service at (210) 362-2020.

Twitter® – VIA’s Twitter® feed is intended to keep our customers up-to-date on the latest news and information about VIA programs and services. VIA will also keep customers informed of service delays, bus detours, and other service information here. You can also get this information at VIAinfo.net, by following VIA on Facebook® or Instagram®, or by calling Customer Service at (210) 362-2020.

Instagram® – VIA’s Instagram® feed is intended to keep our customers up to date on activities, events and initiatives at VIA. You can find service information and alerts at VIAinfo.net, by following VIA on Facebook® or Twitter®, or by calling Customer Service at (210) 362-2020.

Code of Conduct for Accessing or Using VIA’s Social Media Sites

All users of VIA’s social media sites: must uphold this code of conduct; must adhere to all applicable local, state and national laws and regulations; are responsible for all activities and content you post, upload, display or comment upon; and are prohibited from posting, uploading, displaying or commenting on, any content:

  • containing or could be considered junk mail, spam, chain letters, pyramid schemes, marketing, commercial advertisement, or promotion of goods, sites or services.
  • inciting, advocating or expressing pornography, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity, hatred, bigotry, racism, violence or terrorism.
  • threatening, stalking, defaming, defrauding, abusing, degrading, victimizing or intimidating any individual, group of individuals, entity or organization for any reason, including age, gender, gender identity, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, national origin, race or disease.
  • promoting or encouraging suicide or self-harm.
  • promoting or encouraging sexual advances, sexual harassment or sexual exploitation.
  • containing misleading, confusing or infringing brand affiliation, trademark or copyright information, including business name or logo.
  • unrelated to the post or posting the same comment under more than one thread.
  • providing or creating links to external sites that are not affiliated with VIA or that violate this code of conduct.
  • interfering or disrupting VIA’s social media sites or network connectivity, including transmitting, any worms, viruses, spyware, malware or any other code of a destructive or disruptive nature.

VIA is not responsible for the content of any user-created, posting, listing or message. The decision to view content or engage with others is yours. We encourage you to periodically review these guidelines to ensure your compliance.

VIA reserves the right to amend or change the code of conduct or any service at any time without notice; as well as remove any content that violates this code of conduct. VIA reserves the right to refuse access or usage to anyone for violation of, or noncompliance with, the code of conduct or based upon legitimate business reasons.

STILL GOT QUESTIONS?

We are here to help along the way, if you are still having trouble with your trip, feel free to
call our customer service (210) 362-2020.