SAN ANTONIO TRANSIT ROUTES

CONCISE HISTORY

In 1959, the privately owned San Antonio Transit Co. was acquired by the publicly owned San Antonio Transit System, which in 1978 became Via Metropolitan Transit, to serve a larger area. This page lists Via routes which can trace their histories back to San Antonio Transit Co. and its predecessor San Antonio Public Service Co. Some routes were eventually discontinued by Via. Other routes were restructured going into the 21st Century, and are identified using the more recent numbers and names. And since its formation Via added many new bus routes, which generally are not listed.

By 1902, four street railway companies were consolidated into the San Antonio Traction Co. And in 1917, the San Antonio Traction Co. merged with the utility San Antonio Gas & Electric Co. forming the San Antonio Public Service Co. In 1942, the transit system was sold to the San Antonio Transit Co., while the city took over the gas and electric operations.

San Antonio had several streets which, for a period of time, were served both by streetcars and buses. Some new bus routes were introduced to serve areas beyond the ends of the streetcar routes, or to provide service to other areas not served by the streetcars. On Broadway, South Presa, and South Flores, the bus routes originally operated express from downtown to serve the outer portions of those streetcar routes, with rail service abandoned on those outer portions. Separate columns are thus provided for the introduction of bus service and the discontinuance of streetcars. "New Bus" indicates routes where there never were streetcars.

Cincinnati originally had streetcar service over the outer segment, as a branch off the Ruiz streetcar route. The inner portion of the route was originally created as a bus route in 1924, with the route extended in 1926 and replacing the streetcar segment.

The first major conversions of streetcars to buses were on 2/2/33, mostly on San Antonio's southeast side. And over the next few months, the rest of the system was converted, with exact dates unavailable.

Prior to 1978, when Via Metropolitan Transit took over the San Antonio Transit System, route numbers were indicated on the route maps, generally numbered in alphabetical order. But route numbers were not used on destination signs or bus stop signs. Routes were known to the public by the name, former route names are indicated in parentheses.

Many new bus routes were created in 1978, shortly after the formation of Via. Not listed are bus routes created later by Via. Also not listed are crosstown routes, only two of which existed prior to the formation of Via.



Route   Route Name            Buses       Streetcars
Number  (Former Name)         Introduced  Discontinued

 1 N. Flores (Beacon Hill)      1933      1933
 2 Blanco Road                  1940's    New Bus
 3 San Pedro Ave                1933      1933
 4 San Pedro Ave                1933      1933
 5 McCullough                   1924       2/ 2/33
 8 N. St. Mary's                1933      New Bus
 9 Broadway                     1928      1933
10 Broadway                     1928      1933
14 Perrin Beitel                1978      New Via Bus
16 Fort Sam Houston             10/  /23  1933
17 I-35 Express                 1970's    New Bus
20 New Braunfels                1940's    New Bus
22 Hays                         1933      1933
24 E. Houston (Exposition)      1926      New Bus
25 E. Commerce (SP Depot)       1933      1933
26 M. L. King (Iowa)            1940's    New Bus
28 Porter St. (Denver Hts.)      2/ 2/33   2/ 2/33
30 Rigsby Ave.                   2/ 2/33   2/ 2/33
32 Steves Ave. (Highlands)      1930's    New Bus
34 South St. Mary's             1924      New Bus
36 South Presa St.              1928       2/ 2/33
42 Roosevelt                    1978      New Via Bus
43 South Flores St.             1925      1933
44 Plesanton                    1940's    New Bus
46 Commercial (Edwards)          2/ 2/33   2/ 2/33
51 Nogalitos Street             1929      1933
54 S. Alamo (Collins Gardens)   1933      New Bus
62 Kirk                         12/ 1/23  1933
64 US 90 Express                1978      New Via Bus
68 Guadalupe                    1933      1933
70 Cesar Chavez                 1978      New Via Bus
75 W. Commerce (Prospect Hill)  1933      1933
76 Old Hwy. 90 West Limited     1978      New Via Bus
77 Martin St.                   1940's    New Bus
79 Ruiz Street                  1933      1933
82 Culebra                      1933      New Bus
88 Bandera Rd                   1978      New Via Bus
89 Cincinnati                   1924      1926
90 Woodlawn                     11/  /24  New Bus
90 Ingram Road                  1978      New Via Bus
93 UTSA Exp. Crossroads         1970's    New Bus
95 Fredericksburg               1925      New Bus
96 Vance Jackson (Dellview)     1940's    New Bus
97 West Ave.                    1926      New Bus

Route   Route Name            Buses       Streetcars
Number  (Former Name)         Introduced  Discontinued

Under Via Metropolitan Transit, routes numbered below 100 would radiate in and out of downtown San Antonio, generally numbered clockwise from north. Crosstown routes would be numbered in the 500's, neighborhood and suburban circulator routes would be numbered in the 600's.

Prior to the formation of Via, only two crosstown routes existed in San Antonio, created during the 1940's. The New Braunfels route was numbered 512 by Via, later restructured into route 20 serving downtown. And the Zarzamora route was numbered 520.


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