The opening of Centro Plaza at VIA Villa, a state-of-the-art transportation hub, marks a pivotal moment for public transportation in the Greater San Antonio Region.
VIA’s newest and most unique transit center opened on Nov. 2, 2015—an exciting development that is among many Capital Improvement Projects underway from VIA SmartMove, a set of important initiatives developed from VIA’s Long Range Comprehensive Transportation Plan.
The Plaza provides a comfortable area for transferring, free 4G LTE WiFi, digital next-bus arrival signs, air-conditioned waiting areas, Ticket Vending Machines, and a full Customer Service Center.
Public art elements enhance the customer experience. The Centro Chroma Tower, by internationally renowned artist Bill FitzGibbons, stands 85 feet tall at Frio and Travis streets, and glows with multi-colored LED lighting. It’s a beacon for travelers, and a new VIA landmark in San Antonio.
The area, formerly known as Cattleman’s Square, was once the home of the International & Great Northern Railroad depot—now The Grand, which serves as VIA headquarters. VIA’s restoration of the historic depot and construction of Centro Plaza returns the grounds to their original purpose, as a transportation hub.
VIA Metropolitan Transit purchased the landmark property in 2010, completed a renovation and relocated its headquarters to the property in 2014. Centro Plaza will serve as a transit center and is equipped to be a hub for future growth with advanced, customer-focused transportation services.
In addition to the expanded transportation options at Centro Plaza, VIA Metropolitan Transit is creating a larger environmentally conscious footprint. Centro Plaza incorporates several components which reduce the use of natural resources. In addition to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses which access the plaza, a comprehensive underground water storage system is designed to utilize storm water and irrigate the plaza’s tree grove, or bosque.
The plaza is shaded by a canopy system which supports an energy-generating, solar panel collection. The shade reduces the amount of conditioned space that is needed, which lessens the amount of total energy consumption for the area.
A Community Celebration to mark the Plaza’s opening is happening Saturday, Nov. 21, at Centro Plaza. The public is invited to explore their new plaza from 10 a.m. to noon, learn about VIA’s many services and amenities, enjoy refreshments and performances.