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VIA: City of San Antonio Recognizes VIA with Sustainability Award


The City of San Antonio Office of Sustainability recently recognized VIA Metropolitan Transit with an SA Tomorrow Sustainability Award at the San Antonio Sustainability Summit. VIA received the award for VIA Villa: Centro Plaza in the Commercial Project category.

Centro Plaza, located on the near-West Side of Downtown San Antonio, was conceived as a full-service transit plaza to complement the VIA Administrative headquarters building—The Grand, located across the street from Centro Plaza. This state-of-the-art transit center is an essential component of a larger, regional vision to offer an enhanced rider experience. The Plaza also acts as a catalyst to support future residential and mixed-use development, and sets a standard as a model for sustainability efforts.

The City’s SA Tomorrow Sustainability Award recognizes VIA’s overarching goals for the Plaza—integration of transportation planning, sustainability, historic rehabilitation/adaptive reuse and placemaking—which provide the overall framework and approach to its development. The honor was presented Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2016.

VIA’s newest transit center opened in fall of 2015—a significant development that is among many capital improvement projects underway from VIA SmartMove, a set of initiatives developed from VIA’s Long Range Comprehensive Transportation Plan.

In addition to enhanced passenger amenities and expanded transportation options, VIA integrated a larger sustainability-conscious footprint at Centro Plaza. The site incorporates several components which reduce the use of natural resources. Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses access the Plaza. A comprehensive underground water storage system utilizes storm water and irrigates the Plaza’s tree grove, or bosque. The area is shaded by a canopy system which supports an energy-generating, solar panel collection. The shade reduces the amount of conditioned space that is needed, which decreases energy consumption.

The Plaza provides complimentary 4G LTE WiFi, digital next-bus arrival signs, enclosed waiting areas, a full Customer Service Center, and the first Bexar County BiblioTech kiosks for VIA’s new Ride & Read initiative. The partnership provides VIA patrons access to an extensive digital library. Public art elements anchored by “Centro Chroma Tower,” a piece by internationally renowned artist Bill FitzGibbons utilize LED lighting, and enhance the customer experience.

Photo Caption: VIA Metropolitan Transit received an SA Tomorrow Sustainability Award in the Commercial Project category at the San Antonio Sustainability Summit. At the presentation were (l. to r.) Build SA Green Executive Director Anita Ledbetter, VIA Manager for Strategic Planning and Project Development Larry Mares, VIA Environmental and Facility Sustainability Coordinator Alison Buck, and U.S Representative Lloyd Doggett.

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