VIA is committed to promoting positive relations and outreach in the community. A number of programs are offered to engage the community in public transportation and create partnerships with those we serve:
- Class Pass – The Class Pass program works with local school teachers to help them arrange student field trips using VIA’s mainline bus service.
- Classroom on Wheels – VIA’s Classroom on Wheels is a full-sized transit bus that visits local schools and community events to help children understand the benefits of public transportation. In 2010 the program was improved when the new Classroom on Wheels was developed using a diesel-electric hybrid bus. The mobile classroom visits over 30,000 students each year.
- Youth Art Contest – VIA’s popular Youth Art Contest generates nearly 9,000 entries each year, encouraging local artists in grades pre-K through 12 to illustrate various transit-related themes.
- Poetry on the Move– VIA holds an annual poetry contest called “Poetry on the Move.” This contest is open to all poets in South and Central Texas, and the ten winning entries are printed on interior cards and distributed throughout VIA’s fleet.
- Adopt-A-Shelter – This program helps promote civic involvement by adopting out the agency’s bus shelters. Adopting organizations and individuals help keep the shelters clean and report any concerns with maintenance, graffiti, repairs, or security issues. They are recognized on plaques on their adopted shelters.
- Buster– VIA’s mascot, Buster, makes appearances at schools, neighborhood fairs, children’s functions, ribbon cuttings, and other community events to promote the fun face of VIA.
- National Arts Program – The National Arts Program works with VIA to organize an annual VIA Employee Art Contest and Exhibit. This exhibit showcases the artistic talents of VIA’s employees and their family members. The artwork is displayed in a local art gallery for one month before being put on display at VIA headquarters.
- United Way – VIA employees participate in the annual United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County Community Campaign drive. In 2011, VIA employees raised over $114,000 (the highest amount to date) to support more than 160 programs at 60 agencies.