VIA CEO optimistic about possibility of additional funding through infrastructure bill

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Texas could get $ 3.3 billion to help with transit, which VIA Metro Transit says could help some major projects eventually.

SAN ANTONIO – The Infrastructure and Jobs Investment Act could provide Texas $ 3.3 billion to improve public transportation.

According to the White House, Texans who take public transport spend 80.8% more of their time traveling.

VIA Metro Transit hopes that the formula funds and grants available in the federal capital improvement plan

Via the buses exit the Park and Ride crossroads.

The transit service is hoping to get a boost from the big infrastructure bill.

“These chickens haven’t hatched yet. They will hatch when the House and Senate meet and the President signs. But we have a lot of places for the chickens to live ”

Jeffrey Arndt, president and CEO of VIA Metro Transit, says the $ 1.2 trillion bill gives them the ability to apply for funds under the federal capital improvement program, which funds projects such as rapid transit and light rail.

“In our plan, we have advanced rapid transit, which is a form of tire rail almost if you will, a dedicated high-speed, high-frequency right-of-way system,” Arndt said.

It is not known where such a system would be built, but it is part of VIA’s Keep SA Moving plan to develop an advanced rapid transit network.

Arndt says they also intend to deploy a north-south and east-west line with a north-south route from San Antonio International Airport, through downtown to the end of Southtown. The east-west line would carry passengers from Commerce Street through Downtown to the AT&T center.

In addition to possible federal funds, VIA could get $ 10 million from the city of San Antonio’s proposed budget, as well as more tax revenue starting in 2026.

Some of the short-term goals that could be achieved with sales tax money include connecting people with more jobs, consolidating overlapping bus services, and adjusting services to meet at the request of customers.

Ardnt says the funding puts them on par with their peers.

“If you look at how many local funds are available in Austin, Dallas, and Houston and compare that to VIA, they’re light years away,” Arndt said.

The funding would allow them to improve the transit system and expand their possibilities.

“This is certainly the first time in the history of this authority that we would be able to move these programs forward,” said Arndt.

The House has yet to pass the infrastructure bill after the Senate approved it earlier this month.

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