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The initiative on the Nov. 3 ballot reallocates a 1/8-cent sales tax to transit beginning in 2026 without increasing the current tax rate of 8.25%. If approved by voters, the 1/8-cent tax would generate additional revenues that would be used to implement initiatives in VIA’s Keep SA Moving plan.
The Keep SA Moving plan is designed to improve the transit and mobility network by connecting more people to more places with fast, frequent and reliable service. The plan includes:
- Enhanced bus system that connects people to places of interest
- A more direct network for new and experienced riders
- Increased frequencies in busiest corridors
- More evening, late-night and weekend service
- Planning for ART, a high-frequency network of dedicated lanes conveying high-capacity vehicles
- New infrastructure projects attracting increased federal investment
In the 1970s, the Texas Legislature created state laws that authorized the creation of metropolitan transit agencies (MTAs) and created a funding structure – up to 1 cent of local sales tax. MTAs operate large transit networks that rely primarily on funding from local sales tax. In creating the legal infrastructure for MTAs, The Texas Legislature did not include a path for rescinding funding for them because they provide a public service and require funding certainty to cover recurring operating costs. MTAs could not adequately plan or execute services if their funding sources were uncertain.
Citizens can vote for one, two or all three of the sales tax measures on the November ballot. Pre-K4SA, the City’s workforce recovery plan, and Keep SA Moving are three separate ballot items. Voting to support or oppose any one item will not affect the other items – and none of the initiatives amounts to an increase in the current sales tax rate in San Antonio.
On Nov. 2, 2004, voters in San Antonio approved the formation of the Advanced Transportation District, or ATD. This district uses a quarter-cent sales tax to fund transportation improvement projects carried out by VIA, the City of San Antonio, and the Texas Department of Transportation, or TxDOT. VIA receives half of the ATD revenues to enhance local public transportation services, and the other half is split between the city and TxDOT for improving streets, highways, and related transportation infrastructure.