VIA Sees You Ditching Your Car and Taking Mass Transit to Work

Now that VIA Metro Transit has celebrated its 40th birthday, the bus line is looking ahead, and it sees you ditching your car and taking mass transit to work, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

VIA President and CEO Jeff Arndt says two plans are in the works, which are based on surveys of commuters about why they don't use mass transit, that will convince more people to take the bus.

The first, he says is the planned creation of 'Mass Transit Corridors' on major arterial streets across the city. These would involve the designation of 'mass transit only' lanes which would be free from congestion and traffic back-ups, and would be able to skirt many red lights and other delays.

Arndt says the types of transit that will use the Corridors varies.

"Whether it would be Bus Rapid Transit, using something like Primo, a trackless train like China is debuting right now, or light rail like Houston and Dallas offer."

The Corridors have not been determined yet, but are expected to be major streets which connect workplaces, including San Pedro, Fredericksburg, and Babcock Road through the Medical Center to UTSA.

Any construction of tracked transportation systems like light rail would require a vote of the people under a 2015 City Charter amendment.

he second advance is designed to deal with something that many commuters say is the biggest reason they don't take the bus---the long distance they have to travel on foot between where the bus stop is located and their work place.

Arndt says the idea to overcome that is to set up car or van service, much like Uber, that could take bus passengers from the closest bus stop to their office, back to the bus stop, and conceivably from their home to the bus stop. The fare for the car/van service would be included in the bus fare. 

"In suburban areas, where it is very difficult to get buses in and serve the community, instead of providing service that way, we would have vans or sedans that would provide trips within that area," Arndt said.

He says he hopes to have the van/car service in place on a trial basis by the end of this year.

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