Advanced Rapid Transit (ART) is the future of transit in the San Antonio region and will help people get where they need to go with frequent, fast, and reliable service. ART is a mode of transportation that uses modern vehicles traveling on existing roads. It features 10-15-minute or better service all day, all-door, level boarding, fare payment prior to boarding, and transit signal priority. It offers the speed and convenience of light rail, with the flexibility and lower cost of rubber tire vehicles. It will transform the way people move across the city by providing:
- Dedicated Lanes for ART. Means faster and more reliable travel for riders
- Platform-Level Boarding. Allows for quick and easy boarding as well as making it fully accessible for wheelchairs, passengers with disabilities, and strollers with minimal delays
- Intersection Signal Priority. Prioritizies moving ART through intersections, minimizing delays
- Fare Payment Prior to Boarding. Fare payment at the station, instead of an vehicle, eliminates the delay caused by passengers waiting to pay on board
Purpose and Need
The purpose of the ART North/South Corridor project is to develop transit improvements that provide highly reliable, frequent, and direct service between key regional activity centers such as the San Antonio International Airport, San Antonio College, and Downtown San Antonio. For example, the project improves reliability issues with current vehicle services in the corridor by adding dedicated lanes and transit signal priority (TSP); improves the quality of transit service with enhanced amenities; better serves current riders and attracts new riders; strengthens the competitiveness of transit; supports the region’s land use vision and growth plans; improves air quality by reducing congestion and VMT; leverages local investments in infrastructure; and makes it possible for people to live closer to jobs and opportunities, saving households both time and money.
The ART North/South Corridor project addresses the following specific transportation needs in the corridor as identified through the planning and public engagement process:
Strengthen the interconnected multimodal network of transit, air travel,driving, cycling, and walking, to improve access between key regionalcenters in the corridor
Create competitive travel choices that ensure reliability and speed,to support growing employment centers
Support growth by improving equity, housing, and transportation choicesby linking neighborhoods to major centers of economic activity
In 2020, voters passed the Advanced Transportation District (ATD) Proposition A, an initiative that is dedicated to improving the transit system, expanding mobility options, and implementation of capital and technology projects. Its passage signaled a new era of transit for our community. VIA now has the charge to deliver a better vehicle system, smarter transit, advanced rapid transit, and the maintenance and support facilities needed to support them.
The transformative modern ART system is designed to bring frequent, fast, and reliable transit solutions to the San Antonio region. One central part of the plan is the implementation of ART corridors that will include dedicated lanes for vehicles to provide frequent, reliable service able to bypass roadway congestion. Through past studies, analysis, and public engagement, VIA identified an initial North/South corridor that will improve access and mobility for the nearly 54,00 residents and 108,000 jobs located within the corridor. This approximately 12-mile corridor extends from the San Antonio International Airport in the north, through Downtown San Antonio, to Steves Avenue in the south.
How were ART Corridors identified?
ART corridors were identified through a community-driven, technical planning process that defined service goals, values, and vision. VIA also worked with the community to identify alternative modes and alignment configurations by discussing the benefits and trade-offs of different options. The community was involved every step of the way and public input was used along with technical reviews to determine the corridor, identify alignments, and recommend station locations.
Funding & Timeline
In 2020, voters passed the Advanced Transportation District (ATD) Proposition A which committed funding to advance ART corridors in the San Antonio region, through the Keep SA Moving plan. VIA is working to identify additional funding to get the project through construction and operations. This includes applying for a federal grant through the Federal Transit Administration Capital Investment Grant Program. The proposed timeline for the North/South ART line is illustrated below and is subject to change throughout the process.
- Proposed alignment with a mix of lane types, including at least 50% of the corridor having dedicated transit lanes
- Advanced project definition of North/South Corridor through MPO Funding
- Construction limits: Airport to Steves Avenue
- Service connection: Stone Oak P&R and Brooks Transit Center
- Length: 12 miles
- 27 Stations
- 19 new articulated, electric buses
- 10 – 15-min headways all-day
- Dedicated guideway sections: center-running
- Business Access Transit (BAT) lanes: side-running
- Physical improvements within existing ROW
- Considering low, medium, and high-cost alternatives