The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded a $15 million grant to VIA Metropolitan Transit to pay for the development of San Antonio's first intermodal transportation hub.
VIA was awarded the funds under the capital grants section of the TIGER III Discretionary Grants Program. This grant will fund the development of the Westside Multimodal Transit Center in the Cattleman Square area.
"The Westside Multimodal Center is the hub of our mass transit future," said San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro. "Because of this and other investments, people coming down the I-10 and State Highway 151 corridors will soon find it easier to get to downtown and on to their destinations in other parts of the city."
The Westside Multimodal Transit Center (WMTC) will lay the groundwork for multimodalism in the San Antonio region and transform the central business district in the immediate vicinity. The facility will draw together several modes of transportation to increase mobility and encourage transit-oriented development, creating a bridge between downtown and the population of the West Side.
"This is an exciting day for San Antonio and for the people who depend on public transportation daily to get to their jobs, school and medical appointments," said Congressman Charlie Gonzalez. "The new Westside Multimodal Transit Center will enable VIA to better serve the needs of the San Antonio Bexar County area. In addition to creating jobs, this new facility will provide increased access to other parts of the city for visitors and residents and help pave the way for increased revitalization and redevelopment of San Antonio's Westside neighborhood."
The WMTC will be located in and around the historic International and Great Northern Railroad depot building, restoring that building to its original purpose as a transit terminal.
"This grant is the perfect complement to the local funding already committed by the county, VIA and the city," said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. "It also shows that VIA has a strong plan in place, one that will transform public transportation in Bexar County."
The WMTC will serve as a station for VIA Prímo, VIA's signature bus rapid transit service. The facility will also have 17 bus bays for regular scheduled line service and downtown circulator service, and there will be access to Amtrak, intercity bus service, local taxi service, and the proposed Lone Star Rail commuter service between San Antonio and Austin.
"This facility will not only enhance the visual appeal of the immediate vicinity, it will also result in increased development and redevelopment," said Henry R. Muñoz, III, chairman of the VIA Board of Trustees. "The construction and operation of this center will also have a positive impact on our local economy, which is something we should all be grateful for these days."
Phase I of the WMTC project, which VIA already has funded, will include the renovation of the IGN Depot and the installation of on-street bus amenities, including pedestrian and ADA enhancements. The TIGER III grant will fund Phase II of the project, which will expand on the first phase and move the transformation beyond the IGN Depot. In this phase VIA will acquire six additional properties just east of the depot to build a transit structure that will have a positive aesthetic impact on the community while affording the capacity to provide seamless connections between the various modes of transportation.
"We are eager to begin construction on the Westside Multimodal Transit Center," said VIA President/CEO Keith T. Parker, AICP. "This important transit center is one step closer to becoming a reality, and I can think of no other community that is more deserving of such a facility."