This story has been updated.
Fares will not rise with the approval of VIA Metropolitan Transit’s $406.6 million budget for fiscal year 2023.
The transit agency said the new budget will allow it to focus on mobility improvements, service adjustments, renovations and completing projects.
VIA’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved VIA’s FY23 operating budget and Five-Year Capital Plan on Tuesday. For its new fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1, the budget includes $274 million in operating expenses and $132.6 million in capital.
Key projects in the budget include two Advanced Rapid Transit corridors and two new VIA Link zones, which are the north and south corridor from the San Antonio Airport, along San Pedro Avenue, through downtown and south to the Missions area, along with a second corridor connecting east to west. The goal of these projects is to move more people faster and farther.
The company’s $748.4 million five-year capital plan for fiscal years 2023-2027 allocates 67% of funds to the $38.5 million Keep San Antonio Moving project, which includes plans for an Advanced Rapid Transit north and south line, a second operations and a maintenance facility. Also included in the five-year plan are mobility support facilities, a new passenger mobility hub, group ride-share services and launching a transit app for smartphones.
The five-year capital plan will allow for the purchase of 17 Prímo buses, 50 compressed natural gas buses and 15 vans in 2023. Over five years, VIA will add an additional 103 natural gas-powered buses and 139 vans.
The transit agency also recently announced free parking at its $28.3 million, four-story Stone Oak Park & Ride for those commuting to the San Antonio International Airport.
On Thursday, VIA celebrated the opening of its first new maintenance and operations facility in 75 years. Located at 4902 Fredericksburg Road, the facility will free up space at VIA’s main bus yard at San Pedro and North Flores. Approximately 700 vehicles a day were previously housed and serviced there.
The new facility “will be the backbone of a growing system that is designed with more frequent, reliable bus and van service, expanded VIA Link service zones, and an Advanced Rapid System network of corridors that’s already underway,” VIA President and CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said.
The project received $6 million from the Federal Transit Administration’s Grant for Buses and Bus Facilities Program.
This story has been updated to clarify which projects will be covered by Keep San Antonio Moving.