Construction on rough roads mean major changes for bus routes
Anyone driving or taking the bus will be impacted by one of these 12 bus route detours, and more than 50 route changes through the heart of downtown, and after the extra work and money the city put into a struggling bus system, some right now are wondering if they will recover.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said it’s been a city wide effort to increase bus ridership.
"Many many more people are starting to ride where the service is more frequent and more convenient.” Nirenberg said.
VIA President and CEO Jeff Arndt said the city's investment of an extra 4.3 million dollars to increase route frequency showing signs of success.
"There's about an 18 percent gap between typical route performance and enhanced route performance 18 percent." Arndt said.
But now, the bus system getting struck with a new struggle.
"We have to do some construction in the urban parts of the city the urban core,” said Nirenberg, “That will temporarily reroute some of the VIA lines."
Rerouting traffic, including changes to one of the busier roads in town, Cesar Chavez from South Santa Rosa to South Frio Street.
"Do I want to detour buses, no, because doing so will typically result in some people leaving the system its no longer convenient for them.” Arndt said,
An unavoidable cost, according to Metropolitan Planning Organization Chairman Kevin Wolff.
"We have to upgrade our infrastructure and whether it's for cars or whether it’s for mass transit and busing routes all of those things are going to be short time major inconveniences for folks, but that is the true sign of progress." Wolff said.
VIA has a plan to recover lost riders
"It's going to be a big deal of reaching out, education to folks to let them know we are back where we were before.” Arndt said,
For now, there's only one route to revamping the roads.
"We really don't have a choice but to grit our teeth and get through it.” Wolff said.
You can find the VIA Detour booklet with the information about stops added and dropped here: http://3snpdc2ba9m5uwuk62n8cs84-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/18-VIA-0056-Downtown-Stop-Detour_booklet_3.625x8.5_Rev2.pdf
The maps from VIA showing the detoured routes can be found here: http://3snpdc2ba9m5uwuk62n8cs84-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/2018-DT-Long-Term-Detours-Maps_Before-and-After-1.pdf