Since the first expressway opened in 1949, the metropolitan area of San Antonio has enjoyed one of the most advanced and extensive urban highway networks in North America. San Antonio has been second only to Los Angeles for many years in the number of freeway miles.
While most U.S. cities now have comprehensive interstate networks, Bexar County still has one of the nation's largest state highway and highway systems. In 2017, there were 1,004 centerline miles and 3,384 lane miles of state-maintained roads in Bexar County, with 258 centerline miles and nearly 1,436 lane miles of highways in the greater San Antonio area. A 1998 Surface Transportation Policy Project report ranked San Antonio's highways among the largest urban areas in the United States.
The city's local transit authority, VIA Local Transportation, operates a rail and rubber-tired streetcar (bus) system. VIA's prepaid full fare unlimited Big Pass is $38 a month. VIA began operating the VIA Primo Bus Rapid Transit Line in December 2012, which connects downtown San Antonio to the South Texas Medical Center, the University of Texas main campus in San Antonio, and the autonomous enclave of Leon Valley.
In August 2010, VIA Metropolitan Transit launched busses operated by diesel-electric hybrid technology. The 30 hybrid buses were put into service on VIA's express routes to serve daily commuters across the area. A collection of buses follows the introduction of new compressed natural gas vehicles, which were introduced in May 2010. In the fall of 2010, VIA received three new busses powered by on-board batteries. These buses serve the downtown core area and are the first revenue vehicles VIA operates with zero emissions.
VIA has 89 regular bus routes and two Downtown streetcar lines. This provides express service from downtown to park and ride locations on the south, west, northwest, north-central and northeast sides of the city, including service to major locations such as UTSA, Six Flags Fiesta Texas and SeaWorld. VIA also provides a special service to community activities, including Mossad games and city parades from its park and travel locations. VIA has one of the longest local transit routes in America, among its other others. Routes 550 (in the clockwise direction) and 551 (in the counterclockwise direction) travel 48 miles (77 km) one way as they loop around the city.
San Antonio is served by two Amtrak routes-the regular Chicago to San Antonio Texas Eagle and the three-weekly New Orleans to Los Angeles Sunset Limited. On the days that Sunset Limited operates, the Texas Eagle travels west with it, bringing Chicago to Los Angeles by service. The former Sunset Station is now an entertainment venue owned by VIA and adjacent to the current station and the Alamodome.
Freight service from San Antonio to Corpus Christi is provided by the Union Pacific Railway. From 1913 to 1956, the previous route, including passenger service, was provided by the San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf Railroad, or "The Sausage" as it was commonly referred to. The SAU&G was merged into the Missouri Pacific Railway in 1956 and subsequently subsumed into the Union Pacific Railway.
San Antonio became America's largest city without an intra-city rail system when Phoenix, the previous largest city without such a system, acquired one in 2008. The planned passenger rail line, Lone Star Rail, would connect San Antonio to Austin, but was canceled in 2016 after 19 years of planning.
San Antonio, Texas features the following major freeways:
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