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San Antonio and VIA Announce Partnership with NACTO, NRDC, and Bloomberg Philanthropies to Redesign Streets for Faster Transit and Improved Safety for People Walking and Biking

Oct 22, 2019

This Effort, Part of the American Cities Climate Challenge, is a Down Payment on SA Climate Ready, San Antonio’s Commitment to Emissions Reductions

For Immediate Release | October 22, 2019

City of San Antonio | Ashley Alvarez | [email protected] | 210-207-2098
VIA Metropolitan Transit | Lorraine Pulido, Ph.D. | [email protected] | 210-362-5868
NACTO | Alexander Engel | [email protected] | 646-324-2919

(San Antonio) – The City of San Antonio today announced a partnership with VIA Metropolitan Transit and the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) to implement street redesigns on 2-3 transit corridors. These corridors will be designed to attract mass transit riders, enhance safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and micromobility users, reduce reliance on single-occupancy vehicles, and prepare the city for a lower-carbon future.

“San Antonio expects to add a million residents in the next 20 years; if we’re going to build a more thriving city, where San Antonians can get around without sitting in congestion or choking on pollution, we need resilient infrastructure and multimodal streets,” said Ron Nirenberg, Mayor of San Antonio. “SA Climate Ready and ConnectSA are the blueprints for a more sustainable and equitable future in San Antonio, and this partnership with NACTO is our chance to put a stake in the ground and show what that future may look like.”

Beginning with an existing project on S. Zarzamora Street, San Antonio, VIA, and NACTO will accelerate the implementation of high-impact projects that demonstrate transit’s potential to efficiently and sustainably move the city’s growing population, providing more options to access jobs and opportunities while delivering on climate action. Over the next 16 months, NACTO, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Delivery Associates will provide technical expertise and implementation assistance to support this work through an Accelerator program. NACTO’s broader network of 81 North American cities and transit agencies will share best practices to help San Antonio realize its transportation goals.

“This project, a down payment on SA Climate Ready and part of the broader American Cities Climate Challenge, will help San Antonio develop the capability to rapidly build high-capacity transit corridors, ensure safety for all users and enable faster action as San Antonio makes progress toward carbon neutrality by 2050,” said Doug Melnick, City of San Antonio Chief Sustainability Officer.

San Antonio joins Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia, each working on transportation projects that will help each city meet, or beat, its near-term carbon reduction goals.

“With more than 100,000 riders on our buses every day, VIA is committed to providing great transit service that keeps San Antonio moving and creates opportunities for all,” said VIA President and CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt. “Great bus service requires great streets, and we are thrilled to partner with the City on this project to improve streets and keep people moving.”

“Investing in transit is a powerful investment in San Antonio’s future, and we’re proud to be the city’s partner,” said Corinne Kisner, Executive Director of NACTO. “By committing to transit-first projects, San Antonio is demonstrating that inertia is not an option: creating resilient, sustainable transportation options will move people today and help build the cities we need for a climate-ready future.”

“Access to safe, reliable, and convenient modes of transit is one of the key components of a livable, equitable city,” said Antha Williams, Head of Environment Programs at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “As an American Cities Climate Challenge winner, San Antonio has demonstrated unwavering commitment to developing sustainable modes of transit—and this latest announcement will push forward even more progress.”

“Transportation accounts for 38% of all carbon emissions in San Antonio,” said Amanda Eaken, Director of Transportation with the American Cities Climate Challenge and NRDC. “These emissions pollute the air we breathe locally and contribute to climate change globally. Re-designing our city streets to get more buses moving people more quickly is a highly effective strategy for the city to reduce transportation emissions–essential to achieving San Antonio’s climate action goals–while also providing greater access to opportunity for the city’s residents.”

Follow SA Climate Ready at, the progress of all six NACTO Climate Challenge focus cities at, and learn more about the American Cities Climate Challenge


San Antonio: America’s 21st Century City
San Antonio is a global city with a dynamic economy and workforce, a deep cultural heritage and diverse communities that are resilient and welcoming. It is one of the strongest fiscally managed cities in the country, nurturing entrepreneurship, encouraging investment and funding infrastructure. America’s seventh-largest city offers a vibrant business climate and growth opportunities in bioscience, financial services, aerospace, cybersecurity, energy, transportation, manufacturing and healthcare. In 2015, UNESCO designated San Antonio’s 18th century Spanish colonial missions as a World Heritage Site – the first in Texas. Proudly called Military City, USA®, San Antonio is home to one of the largest populations of active duty military, veterans and crucial military commands. For more information, visit

About VIA Metropolitan Transit
VIA provides regional multimodal transportation options that connect our community to opportunity, support economic vitality, and enhance quality of life throughout our region. VIA, recognized by the Texas Transit Association in 2018 as the outstanding Metro Transit Authority of the year, serves 14 member cities and the unincorporated areas of Bexar County, operating seven days a week on 96 routes. Last year, VIA provided nearly 37 million rides across the region. Visit for more information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)
NACTO is an association of 81 major North American cities and transit agencies formed to exchange transportation ideas, insights, and practices and cooperatively approach national transportation issues. The organization’s mission is to build cities as places for people, with safe, sustainable, accessible, and equitable transportation choices that support a strong economy and vibrant quality of life. To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter at @NACTO.

About the American Cities Climate Challenge
The American Cities Climate Challenge is a $70 million program from Bloomberg Philanthropies that empowers 25 of the largest U.S. cities to implement near-term climate goals and become primary drivers of progress towards meeting America’s pledge on climate. Recognizing that cities account for more than 70% of global carbon emissions – and that mayors have significant authority over cities’ highest emitting sectors: transportation and buildings – the Climate Challenge aims to enhance the work already being done by mayors across the U.S. and to support cities in the fight against climate change.