San Antonio: Transportation

Approaching the city

San Antonio International Airport, a modern facility located 13 miles from the downtown River Walk, is served by 14 major carriers flying domestic and international routes, including nonstop flights to 28 destinations. The airport has an average of 248 daily departures and arrivals. Primary domestic destinations include Dallas/Ft. Worth and Houston, New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Baltimore, and Phoenix; primary international destinations include Mexico City, Monterrey, Cancun, and Cozumel. Its terminal was described as "one of the most beautiful in years" by the American Institute of Architects. Traveling from the airport downtown by taxi takes about 15 minutes during normal traffic. Express limousine service runs to major hotels, and buses depart every half-hour. Stinson Field, also operated by the city Aviation Department, handles general aviation traffic. Amtrak carries rail passengers to San Antonio from points all around the country. Entering San Antonio by road is comparatively easy; the loop design of San Antonio freeways and their connecting highways enable a motorist to reach the central district from any direction.

Traveling in the City

The centerpiece of San Antonio's transportation network is its VIA Metropolitan Transit Service. This service enables visitors to experience the major attractions without a car and commuters can enjoy a near perfect on-time record. VIA's buses cover 106 routes; special vehicles serve the handicapped and elderly. To ease the flow of cars into downtown, VIA operates a number of park-and-ride locations from which commuters can catch an express bus to the business area. There are also special schedules for major events. In the downtown area, VIA Streetcars with wooden slats and brass railings cover five routes and function as a shuttle to many major attraction and major stores.

San Antonio can be reached in 30 minutes or less by car from any point in Bexar County. The San Antonio's "hub and spoke" expressway arrangement, where all highways radiate from the central business district, makes all parts of the city easily accessible.

The Mission Trails Project, a $17.7 million transportation enhancement project, is well underway and parts of it will be completed and operational in 2005. Described as a project equal in importance to the city's famed River Walk, the Mission Trails Project is a hike and bike trail connecting the Alamo, Mission Concepcion, Mission San José, and Mission Espada along a 10-mile trail, and enhance the roadways leading to the missions.