Every five years VIA Metropolitan Transit updates its long-range Comprehensive Transportation Plan for the city. VIA plans ahead for 25 years into the future, so this year’s plan, under the banner “Vision 2040” is making way for the more than 1 million people coming to the city by 2040, and is asking for community members to share their opinions by taking an online survey.
Take the survey here.
VIA is working in conjunction with the city’s SA Tomorrow Multimodal Transportation plan to shape the future of transportation in San Antonio which will coordinate with the comprehensive and sustainability plans currently underway. SA Tomorrow recently hosted an online survey that closed on June 1, but organizer say there will many more public meetings and opportunities to give input in the future. Sign up for the email notification list here.
VIA Board of Trustees Chair Hope Andrade said part of VIA’s role as a transportation provider is to offer options for people as they move about the region, while simultaneously maintaining their quality of life.
“Together we will focus on the potential impacts of population estimates and projections, trends in regional development, community preferences regarding transportation improvements, and of course available funding and feasibility,” Andrade said.
VIA President and CEO Jeff Arndt said the public transportation company began planning for the future of the city in 2010 when the 2035 plan was adopted. Five years later, the transportation agency is moving forward to plan for 2040. Arndt said in those five years VIA introduced their Primo service, increased bus service along several routes, added shelters at bus stops, and has begun work on new transit facilities. This year, Arndt said, VIA will provide wifi throughout their entire fleet.
Arndt said VIA will plan for the year 2040 in four stages. The first stage involves understanding the transportation needs of the region; the second stage identifies a range of potential solutions; the third stage chooses a preferred network of routes and services; and the fourth stage defines priority projects and plans.
“The plan must be a community-driven process,” he said. “(The survey) will provide VIA with valuable insight into how members of our community view public transportation, what their priorities are, and what improvements they would like to see in the future.”
Ramiro Cavazos, president and CEO of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce said this plan needs for San Antonio, as a community, to find solutions together.
“Mark Twain had a saying, ‘A vision without a plan is a hallucination,'” Cavazos said. “We need to make sure our community understands that we are listening to the future of transportation needs and our small business owners need to be connected to their residential areas, to places of work and to places of play.”
Along with transportation, the City is tackling the future of sustainability as more people move into the city and use resources. On June 23, SA Tomorrow will host its first Sustainability Forum from 5-8 p.m. at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center.
*Featured/top image: VIA Board of Trustees Chair Hope Andrade spoke about the future of transportation in San Antonio. Photo by Joan Vinson.