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September 5, 2013

San Antonio VIA BRT service wins award

Photo courtesy VIA Metropolitan Transit

Photo courtesy VIA Metropolitan Transit

The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) presented San Antonio’s VIA Metropolitan Transit with the 2013 Transportation Achievement in Operations award. The award recognizes VIA for its implementation of VIA Primo service along the Fredericksburg Road corridor. It was presented at the 2013 ITE Annual Meeting and Exhibit, which was held in Boston from August 4 to 7.

The Transportation Achievement award is given by ITE to recognize the development and/or implementation of notable projects that demonstrate the use of intelligent transportation system technologies to improve the efficiency of surface transportation facilities with significant societal mobility.

VIA Primo is the San Antonio region’s first bus rapid transit line and began operations in December 2012. The service uses 60-foot, articulated vehicles to provide service along VIA’s busiest transit corridor. VIA Primo connects the two largest employment centers in Bexar County: the South Texas Medical Center and the central business district.

VIA Primo service takes advantage of a transit signal priority (TSP) system to help keep the Primo vehicles on schedule. The first of its kind in the nation, according to VIA Metropolitan Transit, the TSP system was developed in coordination with Siemens and the City of San Antonio. It works without emitters or hardware located at every signalized intersection.

The onboard GPS location technology used by the transit system to track its vehicles communicates with the city’s traffic control system, allowing each intersection to adjust its signal durations to help keep VIA Primo on schedule. Since it began operating, the TSP system has helped decrease travel times by 15% to 20% with improved reliability.

RELATED: "San Antonio's BRT Service Offers Fast, Comfortable Transport"

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  • Patricia [ September 12th, 2013 @ 7:31am ]

    Are more people in San Antonio using bus service? I have had a difficult time finding numbers that show increased bus use. If VIA Primo increases bus use then that's great. Now, I've been trying to find a way to use the bus to go to work, but it is not cost or time effective. Routes take too long to get from one point to another. Also, I would ask the community college system in San Antonio and the large universities to enter agreements with VIA, so that their students, FACULTY, and STAFF can ride the bus for free, like they do in Austin (if you attend Austin Community College or UT-Austin). This would immediately increase bus use and would create a generation of people who consider bus service as their main form of transportation.

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