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VIA: All-digital Library Goes Mobile Aboard Unique VIA Partnership


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You could call it a movement. The debut of VIA Metropolitan Transit’s new “Ride & Read” regional initiative has given new momentum to literacy efforts in Bexar County while enhancing the area’s transit experience. The program, a partnership between VIA and the county’s BiblioTech e-library, provides the traveling public free access to the nation’s first all-digital public library with more than 40,000 downloadable titles.

The “Ride & Read” program debuted September 21 at VIA’s Centro Plaza Transit Center, with the unveiling of a freestanding BiblioTech digital kiosk and a wall-mounted, ADA-accessible kiosk. Twelve kiosks will be installed at transit centers throughout the VIA service area, during the program’s first phase. Additional locations will be announced in the future.

VIA President and CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt was the first to sign up for a BiblioTech membership at the Centro Plaza Ride & Read kiosk, during a media event to announce the new partnership.

“This innovative partnership illustrates VIA’s commitment to creating community connections that provide access to opportunity and enhance the quality of life throughout our region,” Arndt said. “With our new Ride & Read initiative, passengers have additional options as to how they utilize their time when they ride VIA.”

VIA’s free, system-wide, 4G LTE WiFi makes it convenient for patrons to download the BiblioTech app, browse and download books, movies, music and periodicals. VIA introduced free WiFi in 2015, making it the first major transit agency in the nation to offer the service on every vehicle and at every transit center.

VIA riders can use the digital kiosks to register as BiblioTech patrons access the library’s vast collection. Once a rider’s selections are downloaded to a mobile device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, the e-books remain available for two weeks before they are electronically returned.

Membership to the BibioTech digital library is free to all Bexar County residents, and access to the digital collection is available 24 hours a day at BexarBibliotech.org.

About VIA Metropolitan Transit

VIA Metropolitan Transit provides regional multimodal transportation options that connect our community to opportunity, support economic vitality and enhance quality of life throughout our region. VIA serves 14 member cities and the unincorporated areas of Bexar County, operating seven days a week on 90 routes. In 2015, VIA
provided 42.2 million rides across the region. VIA’s AAA bond rating reflects the organization’s sound management and financial practices. Visit www.VIAinfo.net for more information. Follow us on www.Facebook.com/VIATransit, www.Twitter.com/VIA_Transit, and www.Instagram.com/VIATransit.

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