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
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
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.