By Andrew Jimenez
Pulse Staff Reporter
The new VIA Reimagined plan for VIA Metropolitan Transit is to make bus rides faster and cheaper. The focus of the new plan is to encourage more people to take the bus rather than driving their own vehicles, leading to less congestion and less air pollution.
The three major factors that makes VIA Metropolitan Transit key for students is safe transportation, reliable transportation and free rides. Any student who attends any Alamo College can ride for free by showing their student ID to the bus driver. Students have free rides wherever they want to go.
“I’ve been riding the bus basically my whole life. Ever since I could remember, really. I normally get up to catch the VIA around 8 or 9 a.m,” said Jovanny Gonzalez, a sophomore Electrical Trades major.
Jan. 22, 2019, is when bus rides became free for Alamo College students, and it’s not just free for the ride home or one stop, but to go everywhere in town.
“The reason I ride the VIA bus is because I have no car. I used to have to pay $1.45 with a transfer. It doesn’t seem like much, but it stacks up on you at the end,” said Gonzales.
Angel Zamarripa, a Criminal Justice major, only has to wait 15-18 minutes to catch the VIA bus to wherever she has to go.
“It normally takes me two hours to get home when I ride the VIA bus, and when I ride it to get home from work, it takes three hours,” said Zamarripa.
The new ConnectSA plan should improve these travel times as they are working on new ways to decrease how long VIA bus routes take.
Peggy Cantu, a Media Communication major, said, “The reason I ride the VIA bus is because I have been having car troubles, but riding the bus has been very convenient for me because I am getting free transportation, which I am super happy about because it makes getting to school and having to run errands so much easier.”
One other factor that the VIA Metropolitan Transit hopes to carry out is that all of the citizens in San Antonio will be able to reach their employment opportunities reliably and effectively. If not, the average driver will spend an additional 40 minutes stuck in traffic by 2040.
VIA will be able to provide more choices with dedicated transit lanes, smart traffic signals and new sidewalks. All of these identified projects should enhance mobility for all residents, according to ConnectSA.
Another big thing of the ConnectSA plan of the VIA Metropolitan Transit is solutions and projects that provide an environmentally and financially sustainable transportation network.
“Based on the current trends, by the year 2040, road congestion will cause a decrease in average speed about 48%, and it will take longer to travel the same distance on the same roadway,” according to ConnectSA’s website.
Fewer cars on the road means placing less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which will make the environment healthier than it is now.
To ride the VIA for free, show your student I.D. If you don’t have an I.D., go to Student Life in the Student Center, Room 101, Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.