Houston’s METRO mass transit service gets a full cent from its main sales tax, with a quarter of that going to local general mobility projects. Still, METRO collected $542 million in fiscal year 2015.

San Antonio’s VIA Metropolitan Transit gets a half cent of the local sales tax from its original Metropolitan Transit Authority tax, and a 1/8-cent allocation through the Advanced Transportation District (ATD). That added up to $166.6 million total in sales tax revenue for VIA in FY 2015.

San Antonio and Houston’s transit agencies cover roughly the same size of service areas — more than 1,200 miles. But Houston’s METRO operates nearly 2,200 vehicles and tallies more than 69 million in “revenue miles,” that is the amount of service on the streets. VIA’s current 739-vehicle fleet tallies 33 million revenue miles.

(Words by Edmond Ortiz. Read more: San Antonio’s Mass Transit Funding Lags Far Behind Other Texas Cities)

Image ©John Branch for the Rivard Report, 2016.



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John Branch

Cartoonist John Branch has commented on San Antonio and Texas politics for decades; his work is syndicated nationally by King Features.