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April 2013

San Antonio's BRT Service Offers Fast, Comfortable Transport

Prímo, which began service in December 2012, connects the two largest employment centers in the region.

Prímo, which began service in December 2012, connects the two largest employment centers in the region.
Located in South Central Texas, San Antonio is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. With robust employment opportunities and low cost of living, the city experienced a 16% growth in population since 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Seven years ago, forward-thinking leaders at the VIA Metropolitan Transit felt this growth would create traffic congestion issues and started looking at solutions to improve overall transportation along the city’s high-ridership corridors. The result was San Antonio’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) service — Prímo.

Prímo, which began service in December 2012, along the 12-mile Fredericksburg Road corridor, connects the two largest employment centers in the region — the central business district in downtown San Antonio and the South Texas Medical Center. The BRT service, which includes a limited extension to University of Texas at San Antonio, also provides convenient connections to other transit services.

In late 2007, to successfully complete this project, VIA commissioned Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam Inc. (LAN), a planning, engineering and program management firm headquartered in Houston, to serve as the general engineering consultant. Subsequently, VIA contracted URS Corp. to provide environmental assessment and preliminary engineering services and Parsons to provide detailed architectural and engineering plans and specifications. O’Haver and Prudent Technologies Inc. served as contractors.

“The Prímo project is the first step in expanding transit options in San Antonio,” says Justin M. Cain, PE, LAN’s project manager. “As such, it is a significant and visible project for the city.”


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