Focusing on Frequency: A Key Component in VIA’s ‘Reimagined’ Vision

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The VIA Reimagined Plan outlines options for a Better Bus System with Smart Transit solutions while building an Advanced Rapid Transit Network.

Courtesy / VIA Metropolitan Transit

The VIA Reimagined Plan outlines options for a Better Bus System with Smart Transit solutions while building an Advanced Rapid Transit Network.

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VIA Metropolitan Transit is reimagining transportation in San Antonio with a focus on frequency and a plan to move more people, faster.

As the region sees growth and experiences traffic that resembles the congested roadways of our neighboring Texas cities more each year, the VIA Reimagined Plan outlines options for a Better Bus System with Smart Transit solutions while designing an Advanced Rapid Transit Network to help keep vehicles moving on our streets and highways.

VIA built upon its Vision 2040 Plan that was developed through years of community input and outlines strategies in action today that have increased ridership and set the foundation for continued improvements. Strategic partnerships have made it possible to begin delivering on the plan’s promises.

Frequency. Frequency. Frequency.

Riders have identified a “sweet spot” when it comes to choosing public transit. Buses that arrive every 12 minutes or better are most attractive to riders. Adding high-frequency routes and buses to serve them required additional investments from VIA and its City and County partners. These investments have proven that increasing frequency increases ridership.

VIA’s planning and funding partnership with the City of San Antonio and Bexar County, for example, has allowed for more frequent and reliable bus service throughout the area. The improved routes have shown significant increases in ridership—up 30 percent or better from the same time last year.

VIA’s first and, until recently, only high-frequency route, the Prímo 100 launched in 2012 and quickly became one of the most-utilized routes in the system.

Prímo service introduced bigger, more comfortable buses making fewer stops with more frequent service. Earlier this year, VIA added Prímo 103 along Zarzamora Street and Fredericksburg Road, connecting Madla Transit Center on the Southwest Side to Crossroads Park & Ride on the Northwest Side.

The Prímo 102 route will begin service in late summer along Military Drive, connecting Kel-Lac Transit Center to the new Brooks Transit Center.

Better Bus

VIA Reimagined also includes a “Better Bus System.” VIA will be realigning many regular bus routes to provide more efficient, frequent, and reliable transit service that will provide improved connectivity to employment centers and neighborhoods.

Better Bus plans also include expanded late-night and weekend service – features that the community has identified as priorities for their transportation system.

Advanced Rapid Transit

Looking ahead, the heart of the VIA Reimagined Plan will be the future planned Advanced Rapid Transit Network, or ART.

ART will be San Antonio’s premier, high-frequency service, operating on seven key routes that will cut through traffic thanks to dedicated lanes, innovative station designs, and technology to allow modern, comfortable buses to act more like trains at a fraction of the cost of rail.

Smart Transit

Faster trips begin with more efficient boarding. In May, VIA upgraded its VIA goMobile app designed to streamline boarding with off-bus fare collection and online trip planning

New payment options and functional updates were recently pushed out through the app that has been downloaded over 150,000 times since it launched. VIA goMobile is part of the tech-based Smart Transit solutions outlined in VIA Reimagined and designed to reduce boarding times to improve reliability.

With the VIA Reimagined Plan, VIA is building an improved transit network as the backbone of our community’s transportation system. It anticipates and finds solutions to address an anticipated population boom. An additional million people are expected to call San Antonio home by 2040 and with them come surging traffic jams

A reimagined VIA will play a key role to keep our region moving forward.
VIA wants to hear from you. Find out more, join the conversation, or request a presentation from the VIA Speaker’s Bureau at VIAinfo.net/Reimagined.

5 thoughts on “Focusing on Frequency: A Key Component in VIA’s ‘Reimagined’ Vision

  1. I live on Hwy 16 south of San Antonio and we only get two routes per day. Six-thirty a.m. and p.m. a middle of the day route would significantly improve convenience with many patrons, as this will allow individuals, who for example need to attend a medical or any other appointment, which may only take an hour or so. Many families would have the opportunity to take care of errands that they would otherwise could not tend to because of the limited bus service, a middle day route could make it more convenient to grocery shop due to refrigerated items. From a personal perspective I enjoy spending weekends in downtown, unfortunately there is NO bus service on the weekends. Many youngsters who would like to spend a Saturday or Sunday in town are unable, they and myself included, could really use service on the weekends. Many folks in our area are economically disadvantaged with limited resources. VIA has a unique opportunity to improve the lives of many residents of this distressed community. I would be interested in some feedback of this proposal and would be happy to assist VIA with any questions they may have in reference to projected ridership.

  2. When VIA makes bus stop and route changes it would be nice to give passengers ample notice.
    Bus drivers on the 301 route need to remember they are transporting people not freight. Some are very rough in stopping and taking off.

  3. Mass transit will never be a transportation of choice for even a quarter of the population. It is a waste of taxpayers’ money. Give citizens discounts/reimbursements to take uber or lyft. Way more convenient for riders and cost effective for the taxpayers.

  4. Seriously—they just figured out that frequent stops and on time routes are the key to success?? There really is no way to make bus service enticing to most above 410 bc the work centers are too spread out in this city. The city should have been planning for this 20 years ago. Of course we understand that all of this is to set up more taxes!! No more new taxes!

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