VIA ReadAlong – February 2019

Give VIA the keys to your heart this Valentine’s Day and fall in love with our faster, friendlier transit options.

Dump your car for a day, a week or for the rest of your life! You’ll see there’s a lot to love about affordable fares, convenient apps, and the latest high-frequency route service on our new Primo 103 Zarzamora.

New and improved Primo stations all along the corridor now feature original artwork installations by artists from across the nation.

Enjoy a sweet deal on February 14 and ride Primo 103 fare-free! Primo 103 is VIA’s latest high-frequency route, connecting Crossroads Park & Ride to Madla Transit Center with faster trips and fewer stops along Fredericksburg Road and Zarzamora Street.

Get to know VIA. We could be the ride of your life.

VIA announced it will operate fare-free service on the Prímo 103 all day Thursday, February 14. As part of its “Fall in Love with Transit” promotion, VIA is also offering riders a chance to win $50 and $100 gift cards, plus a 31-Day Pass for sharing why they love riding Prímo. The #LovePrimo contest is open until March 31. Rules are available on VIA’s Love Primo page.

NEW SERVICE

PRÍMO POPS ON ZARZAMORA

The new Prímo 103 Zarzamora connects the bustling corridor with faster service and fewer stops. But that’s not all. Twenty-six new stops along the route feature new art panels that pop with color and meaning.

 

As part of VIA’s Art in Transit program, each of the enhanced stops feature laser-cut metal windscreens with designs created by local and national artists. Each piece depicts a slice of San Antonio culture, from waterways and childhood games to military history and Hispanic heritage.

 

“We hope that the spirit of each transit patron and surrounding community residents, will be lifted by the beauty and message that each of the artists’ contributions offer,” VIA Project Manager of Urban Design/Public Art Christine Vina said.

 

Each Prímo stop contains a nameplate with the title of the art piece and the artist.

 

‘Tres Mariachi’ (top right) by Luis Valderas and Kim Bishop, and ‘Día de los Muertos Lotería’ (bottom right) by Leigh Darilek and are two pieces of artwork installed at stops for the new Prímo 103 Zarzamora route.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Remembering Rosa

VIA operator recalls historic visit by civil rights leader

Ken Davison had been a bus operator for a little less than three years in the winter of 1987, when he got a call he’s never forgotten.

Davison, a lead dispatch supervisor who celebrates his 35th year with VIA this month, was chosen to drive the bus that would carry civil rights icon Rosa Parks during the City of San Antonio’s Martin Luther King, Jr. March.

In 1955, Parks’ arrest for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger helped spark the modern civil rights movement. She continued to champion justice and equality issues throughout her life, working alongside Dr. King and others.

“I was really excited and nervous, but aware of the significance of her visit,” Davison recalls. “I wanted to drive a perfect bus. I was enamored with everything about her visit; she was living history and I was going to get to be a part of it.”

Davison, now 58, said his family was thrilled and proud of him and he gained some popularity among friends and coworkers, he added with a chuckle.

He was 26 when he drove the 1950s-era vintage bus with Parks aboard, through the march that culminated with a ceremony in the shadows of the Martin Luther King Jr. statue at the corner of E. Houston St. and New Braunfels Ave.

Ken Davison was a 26-year-old VIA bus operator in 1987, when he was chosen to drive a 1950s vintage bus with civil right leader Rosa Parks aboard.

“[Parks] was a very quiet person,” Davison recalled. “I sat with her and we talked a little. I took a picture with her and I thanked her for taking a stand. I hugged her, too.”

He reflects on his role during Parks’ historic visit, and emphasizes the impact she had on his life. That chance encounter encouraged him to make the most of every opportunity. It also factored in Davison planting New Life Church on the city’s Northeast side, where serves as its senior pastor.

“Her accomplishments and her drive really did change my life,” Davison said. “It inspired me to live without fear. I want to continue spreading her messages of equality, doing what’s right and not mistreating anyone.”

Davison said Parks’ message resonates today more than ever, but requires peace and civility.

“We’ve made great strides,” he said. “There is work to be done, and to remain silent about any injustice is the greatest threat.”

Freedom Rider Barbara Collins Bowie and VIA Dispatch Supervisor Ken Davison helped VIA celebrate Rosa Park’s 106th birthday.

VIA Commemorates Parks’ Birthday

VIA honored Rosa Parks’ life and contributions to the cause for freedom on February 4, what would have been her 106th birthday. The event on the St. Philip’s College campus highlighted the role of transit in the Civil Rights Movement and was part of VIA’s Black History Month observance. The celebration continues throughout February with special bus decals commemorating Rosa Parks’ contributions to the movement and the struggle for equality.

VIA SERVICES

Ride Cool With Vanpool

VIAworks offers commute options

VIAWorks offers convenient and affordable choices for employers and employees to enjoy the benefits of public transportation.

How does vanpooling work?
VIAWorks Vanpool vehicles may travel almost anywhere, as long as trips start or end within VIA’s bus service area. Vanpool makes it possible for groups of five to 15 persons to share a ride to work, while splitting the cost of van rental and fuel.

Employees of participating workplaces may receive up to $255 per month for Vanpool expense reimbursements. VIA also provides a subsidy discount ($20 per person, per month), insurance, 24-hour roadside assistance, and van maintenance.

Why use VIAWorks Vanpool?
Eliminates driving a personal vehicle and reduces gasoline and emissions.
Saves parking costs and traffic hassles.
Vanpool drivers may keep the van during evenings and weekends
Offers an attractive benefit package on behalf of employers.
There’s always a guaranteed ride home in case of emergency

Find a Vanpool
For questions about VIAWorks Vanpool, call (210) 362-2555 or visit VIAinfo.net/vanpool-service.

VIA on Demand Coming Soon

Introducing transit service when you need it VIA will launch its “VIA on Demand” pilot project in April for riders in a 17-square-mile zone in the Northeast San Antonio area. The on-demand service is designed to shorten wait times and give customers new trip options to connect to their destination or with the larger VIA service area.

Here’s what you need to know about VIA on Demand:

VIA on Demand will be introduced in April
Sevice will be in the Naco Pass area where bus routes 640, 641 and 642 currently operate
Book trips and pay using the VIA on Demand mobile app
Trips may also be booked on the web and via telephone
Pickups can be scheduled from 30 minutes up to 24 hours in advance
Available seven days a week from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Vehicles will be five-passenger mini-vans, branded with a VIA on Demand signage
Accessible vans can be provided upon request
Price for a trip is the same as VIA bus fares
A typical rider will share his or her ride with up to three other riders in the van
The Naco Pass bus stop provides frequent connections to VIA bus routes 10, 14 and 502

Visit VIAinfo.net/VOD for more information.

Park & Ride

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Use convenient Park & Ride service to these events:

STOCK SHOW AND RODEO
6 p.m. to Midnight, Every Friday and Saturday in February

Enjoy direct service to the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo at the AT&T Center and Freeman Coliseum when you Park & Ride with VIA! The first bus departs the Crossroads Park & Ride location at 6 p.m. every Friday and Saturday for the duration of the rodeo. Return service will run until midnight each day of service. Visit VIAinfo.net/SARodeo

FIESTA
April 18-28, 2019

TEXAS FOLKLIFE FESTIVAL
June 7-9, 2019

Technology

Take a Quick
Trip with VIA

New Quick Trips app finds your favorite eats The new VIA Quick Trips app is a travel tool that allows users to search for nearby food, drinks and attractions and provides transit directs to the resulting locations.

 

It’s ideal guide for discovering new places in the city or helping settle the age-old problem of trying to decide where to go for lunch. Rather than using your typical day-to-day route, it allows users to explore areas of the city and gives them the confidence to use transit because it plans the trip and provides step-by-step instructions to locations that are easily accessible by transit.

 

VIA Quick Trips was the winning project at the 2018 VIA Codeathon event and is available free from the Apple app store.

ABOUT VIA METROPOLITAN TRANSIT

VIA connects our community to opportunity, supports economic vitality, and enhances quality of life throughout our region. VIA, recognized by the Texas Transit Association in 2018 as the
Outstanding Metro Transit Authority of the year, serves 14 member cities and the unincorporated areas of Bexar County, operating seven days a week on 92 routes. Last year, VIA provided nearly 40 million rides across the region. VIA’s AAA bond rating reflects the organization’s sound management and financial practices. Visit VIAinfo.net for more information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

HOW TO REACH US

VIA METROPOLITAN TRANSIT
800 W. Myrtle,
San Antonio, TX 78212
Customer Service: (210) 362-2020
VIAtrans Scheduling: (210) 362-5050

STAY CONNECTED WITH VIA

Online: VIAinfo.net
Facebook: /VIATransit
Twitter: @VIA_transit
Instagram: VIAtransit