VIA’s Sustainability Plan Offered Among Best Practices in the Industry

SAN ANTONIO, Texas—VIA Metropolitan Transit’s sustainable business practices have been held up as a model for environmental stewardship in transit.

The agency’s recent certification by the International Standards Organization (ISO) for its Environmental and Sustainability Management System (ESMS) was included in discussion of best practices at the American Public Transportation Association’s 2016 Sustainability and Public Transportation Workshop, held July 24-26, in Austin, Texas.

Environmental/Facility Sustainability Coordinator Alison Buck delivered the presentation titled “The Road to a Greener Transit Agency” to highlight VIA’s environmental initiatives and its comprehensive sustainability program.

As the primary provider of public transportation services in a region that includes San Antonio and 13 member cities, VIA has long recognized its role in championing environmental responsibility and maintains a strategic, systemic approach to minimizing its environmental impact.

VIA’s ESMS was adopted by its Board of Trustees in 2014 and focuses on pollution prevention, regulatory compliance practices, and continual improvement. The policy entrusts VIA’s employees with incorporating key objectives to continually reduce the agency’s environmental impact on the community. It earned an ISO 14001 certification, making VIA the first agency to earn such certification in the Federal Transit Administration’s five-state Region 6. The recognition highlights VIA’s continued efforts to ensure that good environmental stewardship goes hand-in- hand with good service.

“VIA is fully focused on contributing to the environmental sustainability of our region in every aspect of our business operation,” VIA President/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said. “VIA's strong ESMS has earned the agency this prestigious ISO certification, as the lone public transit provider in the Southwestern U.S. to have achieved this accreditation in recognition of our commitment to safe, reliable, sustainable transportation.”

Green-and- white flags have been placed at three VIA locations that were certified by the ISO to signal this important environmental achievement. The flags fly at VIA’s Maintenance Facility, Administration Building, and the VIA Metro Center.

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