Bring on the Change

20190811_190525_HDR
Bus 972, a 2018 Nova LFS CNG BRT-styling on route 103 Zarzamora PRIMO.

So this summer signup has been an interesting one.  What started off as unusually slow hours on the extra board turned into chaotic hours by late June.  Since then things have been back to normal for me as far as working long hours goes.  And now that school is back in session, that means the next signup and next round of service changes will begin next week.

Beginning Monday August 26, we can welcome new PRIMO route 102 Military Drive.  This route will replace the 550/551 Looper between Kel Lac Transit Center and the new Brooks Transit Center.  Construction of the shelters is mostly complete, however the electronic displays still need to be installed.  The new bus bay at Kel Lac is nearing completion with landscaping going in now.

The new Brooks Transit Center is getting close to being finished.  Several VIA staff members were on site today, probably preparing the customer waiting area for next week.  The San Antonio Fire Department was also on site, most likely testing the sprinklers and fire detection system.  A few routes will be modified to serve the new transit center:

  • 6 US 281/IH 37 Express
  • 20 New Braunfels
  • 32 Steves
  • 34 S. St. Mary’s
  • 36 S. Presa
  • 102 Military PRIMO (NEW)
  • 552 W.W. White/LP 410 Skip

With the start of a new PRIMO route means the modification of two routes, the 550 Clockwise Looper and 551 Counterclockwise Looper.  These routes have been consolidated into one route, the 552.  Instead of taking three and a half hours to make one full loop, it will now take two hours to do one full trip.  Between the two routes my overall preference was route 550.  It saw more freeway time, was easier to maintain the schedule, and was less busy passenger wise.  For whatever reason people always want route 551.  Depending on the block it’s hard to maintain the schedule with the heavy passenger load.  With the consolidation of these two routes, now you have no choice but to deal with the easy and hard route.

As of this past weekend routes 640, 641, and 642 were eliminated and replaced with the successful mobility on demand program.  I was lucky enough to drive these routes one last time a few days before the elimination.  Had some good memories on these routes, especially way back in the early 2000’s when the Champion Solo’s operated on these routes.

No other news to report from VIA at this time.  No word on any new buses coming in this year, or any buses retiring.  It has been one hot summer so far, but since it’s Texas we still have another two months of this weather.  Looking forward to winter at this point.

102
Map of route 102 Military Drive PRIMO.
552
Map of route 552 W.W. White/LP 410 Skip.

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