Project Description
SmartWaySA is a process to develop VIA’s Long Range Comprehensive Transportation Plan. The Plan will establish policy structure, set forth strategies, and provide a framework for directing future transit investments in Bexar County. In addition, the Plan will identify the financial resources and tools necessary to implement and sustain these services.

One key outcome of SmartWaySA will be a system plan, outlining a network of high-capacity corridors, each with a range of transportation alternatives. The alternatives for the selected corridors will include a no-build (or no-action) alternative, one or more fixed guideway options, such as light rail, bus rapid transit, or busway (which may include provisions for use by carpools), and at least one non-guideway option, e.g., Transportation System Management (TSM). The Plan will utilize the newly adopted San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization ‘growth scenario’ for 2035, which has been established by community consensus, as a combination of Infill Development and Transit Oriented Development.

Working with community leaders and stakeholders, the Plan will provide a comprehensive transportation vision for the community and a focused approach to potentially leveraging federal and private funding to the area.

The study began on May 15, 2009 and will take approximately twelve months to complete. Once the plan is complete, VIA will seek an amendment to the San Antonio - Bexar County MPO 2035 Plan.

Inner-City Rail Streetcar Downtown Circulator Study
In an effort to identify a pilot rail project for the system, a specific focus of the SmartWaySA process will be to identify and recommend elements for an inner-city rail circulator system using modern, historic, or replica rail streetcar vehicles.
The rail circulator study will consider what type of operation would leverage the most economic development while providing mobility to the downtown workers, residents and visitors. It will also include the transit facilities and amenities needed to improve efficiency, passenger safety, convenience and use of the entire transit system, all ADA accessible.

The rail circulator study will be incorporated into VIA’s Long Range Comprehensive Transportation Plan.

In the Fall 2007, the VIA Metropolitan Transit Board of Trustees (Board) and senior staff participated in a Visioning Workshop facilitated by VIA consultant Scott Polikov. The workshop was held at the request of the Board, as an agency forum for input and direction on the Strategic Vision and Long Range System Plan.

On May 27, 2008, the Board adopted a Vision and directed staff to push forward with initiating a long range system plan (aka Long Range Comprehensive Transportation Plan) for our region.

This planning effort gained momentum as the Findings Report of the Joint City-County Transportation Taskforce was published in January 2009.