Organization VIA Stripes

Facts & Figures

Bus Service

VIA buses operate seven days a week from 4 a.m. to 1 a.m. There are 7,193 bus stops along 90 bus lines, which are divided into five service categories: frequent, metro, express, skip, and downtown circulator. VIA also provides paratransit, special event, vanpool, and VIA Primo bus rapid transit service.

Three times a year service revisions are made to adjust for changes in ridership demand patterns and cost-effectiveness. The revisions are promoted to the public through bus flyers, farebox cards, news releases, and updated pocket schedules.

Service Area

In total, VIA’s service area is 1,226.07 square miles, which is 98 percent of Bexar County. The service area is made up of the unincorporated parts of Bexar County and the following municipalities:

  • Alamo Heights
  • Balcones Heights
  • Castle Hills
  • China Grove
  • Converse
  • Elmendorf
  • Kirby
  • Leon Valley
  • Olmos Park
  • San Antonio
  • Shavano Park
  • Sandy Oaks
  • St. Hedwig
  • Terrell Hills

Also included in VIA’s service area is the Bexar County portion of Cibolo.

The Advanced Transportation District operates within the City of San Antonio.

Board of Trustees

VIA is governed by an eleven-member board of trustees. Board members are appointed to staggered two-year terms by the following entities: San Antonio City Council (appoints five), Bexar County Commissioners Court (appoints three), and the Greater Bexar County Council of Cities (appoints two). The chair of the board is elected by the Board members and serves a two-year term.

The VIA Board of Trustees meets regularly on the fourth Tuesday of every month at 5:00 p.m. Special meetings may be called at the discretion of the Board chair. The VIA Board is dedicated to responding to the community’s transportation needs and prides itself on working with individuals and groups to plan and implement the best transit service possible.

The members of the VIA Board of Trustees also compose the governing board of the Advanced Transportation District.

Fiscal Management

The approved operating budget for fiscal year 2017 is $219.9 million. The metropolitan transit authority portion of the budget is $182.7 million, and the Advanced Transportation District portion is $37.2 million.

Revenue for VIA is generated from the half-cent transit sales tax in VIA’s service area, the one-eighth-cent sales tax under the Advanced Transportation District, farebox revenues, bus advertising, and grant money from the Federal Transit Administration. VIA’s fiscal year begins October 1 and runs through the last day of September.

FY2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
FY2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
FY2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
FY2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

Ridership

VIA measures ridership based on numbers of boardings, also known as unlinked passenger trips. All of VIA’s services carried 39.6 million passenger trips during fiscal year 2016.

Ridership for FY16
Type of Service Total Ridership Weekday Average
Scheduled Line 38,334,650 119,675
VIATrans 1,174,104 N/A

Monthly Ridership Summary

January 2017

Fleet

VIA’s active fleet consists of 474 buses, comprising diesel buses, compressed natural gas buses, diesel-electric hybrid buses, electric buses, and propane replica trolleys.

The 40-foot vehicles and the 60-foot Primo articulated vehicles have a low-floor design and a retractable ramp for wheelchair access.

The active VIAtrans fleet consists of 144 (model year 2013) paratransit vehicles, all of which are equipped with wheelchair lifts. Each vehicle has the capacity to carry 6 ambulatory and 2 wheelchair patrons or 4 ambulatory and 3 wheelchair patrons.

All of VIA’s service vehicles are equipped with an automated vehicle location and secure voice communication system, allowing VIA to provide the best service possible by making adjustments for delays, overloading, or unforeseen occurrences.

Transit Police

VIA’s transit police officers are assigned to patrol all parts of the agency’s service area and to oversee the security at VIA headquarters. Between service calls, police officers are expected to maintain a high level of visibility, and they are assigned to conduct pro-active checks of buses, transit facilities, bus routes, and various “hot spots” (areas that receive many calls for security) as needed.

VIA uses a bicycle patrol in the downtown area to monitor activity at and around bus stops. VIA also has a Problem Oriented Policing bicycle team that is deployed to areas outside of downtown in which there are security concerns around bus stops.

VIA participates in the "See Something Say Something" safety awareness campaign. This campaign was designed to encourage agency employees and members of the public to be aware of their surroundings and to report suspicious activity to the proper law enforcement personnel. Partnering with VIA in this campaign are the emergency management offices of San Antonio and Bexar County and the members of City Year of San Antonio.

Environmental Commitment

Taking public transportation is inherently green, and VIA furthers its commitment to environmental sustainability through reductions in pollution, waste, and energy demands.

As an operator of a fleet of buses and vans, VIA’s primary environmental efforts are focused on the reduction of vehicle emissions. VIA’s maintenance personnel have performed retrofits of older buses to install reduced emissions engines, and idle limit controls are employed along with dry-break refueling. The VIA Board of Trustees recently voted to replace the agency’s entire fleet of clean-diesel-powered buses with vehicles that are fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG). VIA has diversified its fleet further by integrating new, alternative power sources such as propane, electricity, and hybrid technology. VIA will continue to monitor any fuel and propulsion technologies that help reduce local air pollution.

VIA employs rigorous recycling efforts, focusing on waste oil and lubricants, batteries, paint solvents, office paper, cardboard, scrap metals, refrigerant, and plastics.

VIA has implemented an Environmental and Sustainability Management System (ESMS) using the ISO 14001:2004 standard as a guideline. The ESMS and its rigorous standards demonstrate the commitment that VIA has in working to mitigate environmental impacts on our community as a whole and the environment we live in.

Conservation is also a high priority. VIA has retrofitted its facilities with energy efficient lighting, installed upgrades to the HVAC systems and windows, and reduced the energy requirements for the climate control system of the maintenance garage.

VIA is also exploring the use of renewable energy where feasible. The agency gets 100 percent of its electricity from CPS Energy’s Windtricity program. Solar panels will power the lighting at new bus shelters, and solar-panel systems have been installed to reduce power needs at five transit facilities, nearly 700 bus shelters, and the recently completed Centro Plaza.

VIA is also working to reduce water pollution through the use of an on-site industrial wastewater treatment facility and the installation of stormwater interceptors to prevent contaminated bus yard runoff from reaching the local watershed. Water use is also conserved through the use of native, drought-tolerant landscaping at all properties and recycled water for bus washing.

Employment

VIA is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. VIA supports equal opportunities for all without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, disability, sex, or age.

Total VIA Workforce 2,108
Full-time Employees 1,879
Bus and Van Operators 1,226
Vehicle Maintenance Employees 267
Facilities Maintenance Employees 101
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