VIA Link - VIA Metropolitan Transit

VIA Link

What is VIA Link?

VIA Link is a new on-demand ride-sharing program that offers affordable public transit options to neighborhoods and cities in the VIA service area where traditional bus routes are not feasible.

VIA Link

VIA Link Service

Similar to Uber or Lyft ridesharing services, customers in the Northeast and Northwest (coming soon) Zones may use a convenient app or make a phone call to request a VIA Link passenger van to come to their location for a trip that can begin and end anywhere within the zone. Customers may also connect to regular VIA bus service to continue their trip to bus stops across the VIA service area. As many as three people may be picked up during a VIA Link trip.

VIA Link Express Service

In the new Sandy Oaks Zone, launching in September 2021, VIA Link Express customers may call, go online or use a mobile app to book a VIA Link passenger van to pick them up at their location for a ride to VIA’s Brooks Transit Center in Southeast San Antonio. From there, they may transfer to a VIA bus or VIAtrans vehicle to continue their trips. Depending on the vehicle, as many as five people can be picked up. Unlike regular VIA Link service, trips within the VIA Link Express Sandy Oaks Zone are not available. The Sandy Oaks Zone is a pilot program that may be adjusted after the initial service starts.

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VIA Link

Services

VIA Link Northeast

Hours of Operation
Seven days a week
5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Bus Transfer Points
Naco Pass

Connecting Bus Routes
14 and 502

VIA Link Northwest

Hours of Operation
Seven days a week
5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Bus Transfer Points
UTSA, Northwest Vista College, Mainland

Connecting Bus Routes
64, 88, 93, 501, 603, 606, 609, 620

VIA Link Express Sandy Oaks

Hours of Operation
Monday – Friday
6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Bus Transfer Points
Brooks Transit Center

Connecting Bus Routes
7, 20, 32, 34, 36, 102, 552

What Riders are Saying

How Does it Work?

Find Your Route

VIA Link will expand your travel options from static bus routes to personalized drivers that will be able to take you all over the zone!

Benefits For You

link-comfortable

COMFORTABLE

When you book a ride, your seat is guaranteed. Sit down and relax.

link-faster

FASTER

Cut down your travel time with more frequent service and shorter wait times.

link-easy

EASY

You can tap, call or click to get going faster with service closer to you.

link-savings

SAVINGS

Same low fares and discounts as regular VIA services.

Trip Reminders

clock

BE ON TIME

Arrive at your pick-up point at least five minutes before the pick-up window. Upon arriving, your VIA Link will wait for one minute.

VIA Link

ACCESSIBILITY 

Just like the bus, VIAtrans customers are eligible for VIA Link service. You may choose to book a seat for your companion at no additional fare.

bicycle

RIDE WITH A BIKE

Vehicles with bike racks are available upon request at booking, except in the Sandy Oaks Zone.

VIA Link

BOOK ADDITIONAL SEATS

Book additional seats for small children or up to four other passengers traveling with you.

FAQs

General Information

VIA Link is transit service when you need it. It’s a pilot program designed to provide on-demand transit in the Northeast San Antonio area. VIA Link is a ride-sharing program where people may share a ride with as many as four other people. Like Uber or Lyft service, customers can request a trip through a convenient app and can begin and end a trip anywhere within the pilot zone or connect with the regular VIA bus service to continue their trip.

It’s not a door-to-door service, rather operates in a network of designated stops within the pilot service area. Stops could include existing VIA stops or shelters, as well as other locations set up for VIA Link.

A VIA Link vehicle will pick up customers at their chosen pickup point, which often may be an existing bus stop and take them anywhere within the zone, or to the Naco Pass transfer point where they can transfer to VIA bus routes 14 and 502.

The vehicles will be operated by Yellow Cab a local Taxi operator; however, they will be branded with VIA Link markings as well.

Fares are the same as regular VIA bus service, but frequency and reliability will improve.

VIA Link is available from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., seven days a week.

The VIA Link fare is the same as regular VIA bus fares and reduced fares. That’s $1.30 per trip, with free transfers. Reduce fares for seniors, students and military apply.

If you have a VIA bus pass it will work with all modes of transportation, if you have a single ride and buy a transfer then you will be able to transfer between bus service and VIA Link service.

Additional Information

VIA Link service will offer shorter wait times and better reliability in the service area. VIA anticipates wait times no longer than 30 mins. from time of reservation to time of pickup from your requested location.

On-demand trips mean you can access service when you need it, instead of having to plan your trip around a bus route schedule.

Service is provided in a van that will make short trips within the service area. Riders can’t hail a VIA Link vehicle from the curb, like they would a bus. Trips must be scheduled in advance. Riders must plan a separate bus trip to complete any trip outside the pilot zone.

Fares are the same as VIA’s current fares and the same VIA code of conduct, service policies and regulations will apply.

Your ride booking will specify a time window of 10 minutes for pick-up. We advise you to reach your pick-up point 5 minutes before your pick-up window. As it gets closer to the time of your ride, we will send you an updated ETA. You will also receive a notification when your vehicle has arrived. Updates are sent via SMS and the VIA Link app. Furthermore, you have the option to use the mobile app to track your vehicle’s location in real-time as it comes to pick you up.

You will receive a notification when your vehicle has arrived to pick you up. As a courtesy to your co-riders, the driver will only wait for up to 1 minute. In order to stay on schedule, the vehicle will depart if you do not show up within the 1 minute waiting period.

When you book a ride with VIA Link you are making a commitment to the system and the driver as a schedule is created to accommodate your trip. If due to some reason you are not able to take the ride, we advise you to cancel as soon as possible.

Excessive last-minute cancellations or no-shows can result in the suspension of your user account.

You cannot change your existing ride-booking. However, you can cancel your ride and book a new ride that suits your pick-up location or destination.

If you are passenger with bike, you can book a seat with Regular(bike) option.

If you are Accessible needs passenger, you can book a seat with Accessible option. You also have the option to add up to 3 seats for any companions traveling with you.

Other passengers can book up to 5 seats with Regular option.

Do note that all passengers in 1 booking need to travel at the same time and get picked up and dropped off at the same stops.

Yes. At the end of a trip, mobile app customers will be invited to rate their ride and submit comments about VIA Link.

Drivers & Safety Information

VIA has partnered with RideCo for its VIA Link pilot. RideCo is working with Yellow Cab to provide trained drivers for quality on-demand service.

As with all VIA operators and contracted operators, all drivers must pass a background check and complete appropriate training. Additional screenings, such as drug and alcohol testing, will also be performed.

VIA Link drivers are employed or contracted by RideCo and Yellow Cab.

As with all VIA operators and contracted operators, all drivers must pass a background check and complete appropriate training. Additional screenings, such as drug and alcohol testing, will also be performed.

No. In fact, VIA is increasing service system-wide by about 4 percent in 2019. Operators who previously served routes in the on-demand zone will be assigned to other routes.

Yes. Vehicles are operated by a contractor who performs background checks on their drivers, provides training, and does drug and alcohol testing.

All vehicles must comply with safety and accessibility requirements.

How to Use VIA Link

Book trips with the VIA Link mobile app (Apple App Store or Google Play), on the web, or by phone. Pay cash upon boarding the vehicle, or pre-pay through VIA’s goMobile App.

You can book a trip on VIA Link website page, however you will not receive automatic alerts about the status of your trip as you would when using the mobile app.

When you make reservation, you will be able to choose from a list of options for the pick-up and drop off times that bests suits your schedule.

Trips may be scheduled as little as 30 minutes and up to 7 days in advance.

Trip can be cancelled with the VIA Link app, online, or by phone.

Choose a date or time in advance. Bookings can be made on-demand up to 7 days in advance.

You have the option to book for multiple days with the same pick-up and drop off schedule.

For patrons without a computer, smart phone or ability to use the app, you can call (210) 655-Link [5465] to schedule your trip through a reservation center. The reservation center will be able to give you a vehicle arrival time, along with confirming your pickup and drop off location. You may also visit the VIA Link website to book a trip.

The service can also get you to a transfer point where you will have access to a regular VIA bus route that will get to your destination. You may also ride a regular VIA bus to the Naco Pass transfer point and transfer to VIA Link to complete your trip.

Riders must be 12 years old and up to ride alone. Riders 11 and younger must be accompanied by a responsible person 12 and older. VIA’s reduced fares for children will apply.

VIA Link will begin pilot service in the spring of 2019 in the VIA Northeast transit zone, where bus routes 640, 641 and 642 currently operate.

Pick-up and drop-off will be available at designated locations within the 17-square-mile pilot zone.

Naco Pass is the designated transfer point for VIA Link. From Naco pass you will have direct access to Routes 14 and 502, and from these routes you can access to the whole system.

Riders in the on-demand service zone (see map) can use the Link app to book a ride for pick up at designated locations, which may be at a current stop within the VIA Northeast transit zone.

Most riders within the zone will be within a 4- to 8-minute walk from a stop. In some cases, particularly for approved VIAtrans customers, door-to-door service may be provided.

VIA Link can provide service to destinations within the service zone (see map).

If your destination is outside its designated VIA Link zone, you may schedule a trip to the Naco Pass transfer point to transfer to other VIA bus routes.

VIA Link service is designed to adjust to service needs in the area to keep wait times low.

Special Requests

Some VIA Link vans are equipped with bike racks that would be available by request when you book your trip.

Car seats are not required under Texas law on VIA Transit vehicles; however, you may bring your own car seat to use on a VIA Link vehicle. Please let us know you’re bringing a car seat in the special instructions area when booking your trip on the mobile app.

If you are bringing a car seat, make sure you reserve an extra seat in the vehicle so it can be secured, so your space is reserved, etc.

VIAtrans will continue to operate within the zone for the duration of the pilot project. For VIAtrans customers, boarding a VIA Link vehicle will be treated like boarding the bus.

VIA Link will have accessible vehicles for patrons who need them. You will need to request on the app or on the phone that you need an accessible trip.

Service animals and pets allowed on VIA vehicles will also be allowed on VIA Link trips. See VIA’s Code of Conduct for details.

Items allowed on VIA vehicles will also be allowed on VIA Link trips. See VIA’s Code of Conduct for details.

If you are carrying a particularly large package or object, you may want to book an extra seat to ensure you will have room to take it on the VIA Link vehicle.

Although you can hold smaller objects in your lap or put them on the floor, they must not interfere with the safe and speedy on-boarding and off-boarding of fellow passengers or block access and prevent use of seats you have not booked and paid for.

To talk to someone about a concern or ask a general question about VIA Link, call our Customer Service GO Line at (210) 362-2020 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Customers can submit concerns to VIA 24 hours a day, 7 days per week through the VIA Comments Form. If you have question about the status of your current VIA Link ride, call the VIA Link dispatch line at (210) 655-LINK.