Castro Welcomes $6 Million U.S. Department of Transportation Grant to VIA
SAN ANTONIO—Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and First Vice Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, today joined other leaders of the San Antonio community in welcoming a $6 million U.S. Department of Transportation Buses and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program grant for VIA Metropolitan Transit. The grant will be used to help construct a standalone operating and maintenance facility to house VIA’s paratransit vehicles. Currently, VIA’s bus and van operating and maintenance facility is located at one site. VIA has the distinction of being the largest transit agency in the United States to operate both bus and paratransit fleets out of one single yard.
The construction of this facility will include parking for up to 175 paratransit vehicles, onsite parking for staff, a fully functioning maintenance facility, administrative offices which will include reservation staff, and consolidation of all paratransit functions into one campus.
“Having one yard for operations has served VIA for the first 40 years of our existence, but with near Primo Service, increased frequency on routes, and an ever-growing community, having a second yard, dedicated to paratransit activity, provides a way for us to grow with the community,” said Jeffrey C. Arndt, President/CEO of VIA. “We are grateful to our partners, and elected leaders, whose shared vision and support are driving VIA's commitment to innovation and a more mobile future."
The new paratransit facility will bring revitalization to a former big-box retail space near the South Texas Medical Center. Construction is anticipated to start within the coming months. By being able to create a paratransit campus, VIA will be able to provide room on the San Pedro yard for future bus expansions.
This award continues VIA recent success in securing federal funding to assist with capital expansion. Previously VIA secured funds from the Federal Transit Administration’s “Low Emission/No Emission” grant program to replace existing vehicles with all electric buses. Arndt credited the success of VIA’s grant applications to the strong working relationship maintained with the San Antonio Congressional Delegation.
Following the announcement, officials expressed support for public transportation initiatives that will keep the region economically competitive and improve quality of life throughout the community:
“As the San Antonio community continues to grow, so does the need for increased transportation and I’m glad to see VIA has secured additional federal funding that support their future efforts. From purchasing electric buses to replace diesel vehicles, constructing standalone facilities to house VIA paratransit vehicles, and growing and servicing VIAtrans fleet, VIA plays an integral role in scaling the transportation needs of our fast-growing city in a sustainable and responsible way,” Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) said.
“Proper infrastructure and transportation are vital to the growth of San Antonio,” said Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28). “That is why I have been working with my colleagues in the San Antonio Delegation, along with the City of San Antonio and VIA representatives, to ensure that federal funding reaches this much needed project, making vast improvements to our paratransit operations. This funding will help ensure that constituents have access to reliable and affordable public transportation, benefiting the entire community. I thank the San Antonio Delegation including Congressmen Lamar Smith (TX-21), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Will Hurd (TX-23), and Lloyd Doggett (TX-35); San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg; and VIA Metropolitan Transit for their dedication on this issue.”
“San Antonio’s continued economic growth must be accompanied by substantial investments in public transportation. These federal dollars ensure that VIA can construct a new paratransit facility to provide the much-needed space for expansion as our city expands,” said Congressman Lloyd Doggett (TX-35). “I’ll continue working to support transportation investment and work with my colleagues and VIA to secure funding that keeps San Antonio moving.”
“It’s important that San Antonio has quality public transportation options as our city continues to grow. This federal grant funding will allow VIA Metropolitan Transit to expand their transportation services, without compromising efficiency and safety. I was proud to support the bill that made this funding available and look forward to continuing to work with VIA to benefit San Antonio and the surrounding areas,” Congressman Will Hurd (TX-23) said.
“I join my colleagues in the San Antonio delegation in congratulating VIA Metropolitan Transit on receiving a DOT Buses and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program Grant. This award will allow VIA to upgrade and modernize its public transit fleets. I look forward to these funds benefiting South Central Texas,” Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) said.
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