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South West Transit Association

Milestone Moment: VIA’s planned East-West connector earns initial nod from feds

Recommended FY25 dollars would cover about half the cost of delivering first rapid transit projects in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO (March 12, 2024) — VIA Metropolitan Transit is poised to secure nearly a half-billion dollars in federal funding for the region’s first Advanced Rapid Transit lines. The Federal Transit Administration included the proposed VIA Rapid Silver Line — and additional funding for the Rapid Green Line — in recommended projects for the President’s Budget, a critical precursor to securing federal funding. 

The FTA’s funding recommendation for the Fiscal Year 2025 President’s Budget would increase the federal participation on the Green Line project to 60%.

The FTA’s process for recommending projects for inclusion in the President’s Budget is based on in-depth analysis of proposals, availability of local funds for matching dollars and other criteria. 

The VIA Rapid Green Line, which will run from the San Antonio International Airport area, along San Pedro Avenue, through Downtown and to Steves Avenue, near the city’s historic missions on the South Side, is poised to receive an additional $109.7 million, bringing the federal contribution to 60% for the $446.3 million project.

The President’s budget also includes $134.7 million for the proposed VIA Rapid Silver Line, which would run from Our Lady of the Lake University on the West Side, through Downtown, and to the Frost Bank Center on the East Side. The FTA previously provided $8.1 million for project development on the Silver Line.

The two ART projects are set to receive the full funding amounts VIA sought from the FTA.

Both projects have received medium-high overall project ratings from the FTA — the second-highest rating a project can be awarded. The Green Line is on track to begin providing transit service in 2027 while the Silver Line is slated to be operational by 2029. 

The new Advanced Rapid Transit service is designed to connect regional employment centers, cultural assets, academic institutions and neighborhoods, moving more people faster and farther. The two projects, which include dedicated lanes that allow transit vehicles to bypass congestion, mark the first time that San Antonio has been able to secure federal capital improvement grants. VIA is poised to secure nearly a half-billion dollars in federal funds to improve public transportation in San Antonio.

“For the past four years, VIA and our local partners have been working diligently with the FTA to arrive at this milestone for our ART projects, and we’re elated that the FTA has seen the tremendous benefit of these projects for our community and is willing to provide essential funding,” VIA President/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said. “Our ART projects are going to move the needle for mobility in San Antonio. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the support of San Antonians who said yes to better transit when they went to the voting booth in the November 2020 election.”

The Green and Silver lines will improve public transportation in San Antonio, making it a viable option for more residents. The ART network will also help expand opportunity for riders — and businesses by expanding the size of the potential workforce. 

Features of ART include high-capacity vehicles, dedicated lanes, raised platforms for level boarding, off-board fare collection and traffic-signal priority, all helping to make the system more efficient and quicker.

"Public transportation connects people to jobs, school, family, and more – and when transit reaches more people and communities, its impact is even greater," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. 

San Antonio voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition A on the November 2020 ballot, re-dedicating a 1/8th-cent sales tax to transit, beginning on Jan. 1, 2026. VIA has been able to accelerate its Keep San Antonio Moving projects, which also include expanded VIA Link on-demand service, along with development of its ART projects, ahead of receiving new sales tax funds in 2026.

About VIA Metropolitan Transit

VIA provides safe, reliable transportation options that put opportunity within reach for millions of passengers each year. VIA began operation in 1978 and today serves 14 member cities and the unincorporated areas of Bexar County, operating seven days a week on 77 routes, with complementing VIAtrans paratransit service and VIA Link on-demand options. VIA’s family of services help connect our community, support economic vitality, and enhance quality of life throughout the region. In 2020, voters approved funding for VIA’s Keep SA Moving plan, in support of projects designed for a modern mass transit system in San Antonio and Bexar County. Visit for more information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Threads, YouTube, and Instagram.

Additional Info

Media Contact : CONTACT: Lorraine Pulido, Ph.D. c 210-380-6895

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