Northeast Lakeview College working with VIA to get service.
By Monte Ashqar
Nondriving students who plan to enroll at the new Northeast Lakeview College campus might have a problem because VIA Metropolitan Transit does not provide bus service to that college.
The college is located near Kitty Hawk Road and Loop 1604. The college’s address is 1201 Kitty Hawk Road, Universal City.
Andy Scheidt, VIA public information coordinator, said the company cannot provide service to that college because the bus route would have to run through Live Oak and Universal City.
“Those cities are not in VIA’s service area,” Scheidt said. “They don’t collect transit sales taxes to pay for the bus service.”
“Our drivers can travel in those cities but cannot stop,” he said.
Scheidt said that out of each dollar, one-half cent that is collected by the city of San Antonio in sales tax goes to VIA to provide bus service in San Antonio.
“The choice of Live Oak’s and Universal City’s councils is not to collect that amount,” Scheidt added. “If they wish to collect taxes for that purpose, they have to put it for a vote with their citizens,” he said.
Kim Turner, director of development services for Universal City, said in a phone interview Jan. 31 that the Alamo Community College District, Live Oak and VIA have been negotiating for the last six months to provide bus service to the college but with no result yet.
Scott Wayman, assistant city manager for Live Oak, said about 10 years ago, the voters of Live Oak looked at the benefits of VIA service and chose to vote against that half-cent.
“It is not that our voters did not want the service, but the benefits received from VIA providing the service to the city didn’t outweigh the benefits from spending that money on other projects more relevant to the city,” Wayman added.
Dr. Eric Reno, Northeast Lakeview College president, said in phone interview Monday that no resolution has come of the ongoing negotiations between the district and Universal City and Live Oak.
“There is nothing we can do,” Reno said. “We hope the people see a benefit to public transportation once the college opens up.”