The FTA's approval is an important step for transit agencies in the federal Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program.  -  Photo: VIA

The FTA's approval is an important step for transit agencies in the federal Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program.

Photo: VIA

VIA Metropolitan Transit announced it has received approval from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to enter into final engineering on the VIA Advanced Rapid Transit North/South Corridor Project, known as the “VIA Rapid Green Line.”

The FTA also established the maximum federal contribution at 60% of the current project, which is an increase from the original federal contribution of about 50%.

In the FTA’s approval letter, the federal agency notes that VIA has committed local dollars against the project, which is estimated to be about $446.3 million. The federal contribution will be approximately $267.8 million. 

“The FTA’s approval that allows us to enter final engineering is a pivotal next step for VIA’s plan to deliver Advanced Rapid Transit to our community,” VIA President/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said. “Added to that, the acknowledgment that VIA may be awarded 60% of the project dollars from the FTA is welcomed news — and a testament to the strength of our project.”

The FTA's approval is an important step for transit agencies in the federal Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program. The required engineering work will allow VIA to reach a final funding agreement with the FTA, potentially by the end of 2024.

What Happens During VIA's Engineering Phase

During the engineering phase, the FTA will continue to evaluate VIA’s project, ensuring that the agency has the technical, legal, and financial capability to deliver the Green Line.

With the approval to enter final engineering, VIA has also won automatic pre-award authority to procure vehicles, acquire property, and perform utility relocation because the National Environmental Policy Act review process has been completed.

The project must still progress through further steps in the FTA’s CIG program to be eligible for CIG funding.

More About the Green Line

The Green Line will run from near the San Antonio International Airport/North Star Mall area along San Pedro Avenue, through Downtown, and onto Steves Avenue, near Mission Concepcion.

It will be the region’s first Advanced Rapid Transit (ART) line, constituting a new type of mass transit in San Antonio that generally runs in dedicated lanes, outside of regular traffic, and includes elements designed to reduce trip times.

That includes off-board fare collection at stations along the corridor, level platform boarding, and bus-friendly traffic signals that will keep the Green Line running even during periods of peak traffic and congestion.

ART is an element in VIA’s Keep SA Moving plan that won voter approval in 2020 to fund transit improvements. It is designed to move more people faster and farther and connect them to more opportunities for education, employment, goods, and resources.

The service is designed to improve transportation options for the nearly 54,000 residents and 108,000 jobs located within the 12-mile corridor.

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