In San Antonio cars are king

David Wenske

Public transit in San Antonio is humiliating. Virtually every major city in the US outperforms San Antonio in terms of accessibility and volatility of alternative transportation methods, such as buses, trains and reliable bike infrastructure.

In San Antonio, a five-mile bus ride could take you over an hour, and congested roads can make buses arrive at unreliable times.

As a San Antonio native, I have seen the consequences of lacking a reliable public transit system, and it’s about time San Antonio takes this problem seriously.

I am a cyclist; I take my bike to and from school each day. I wouldn’t trade riding my bike for anything in the world, and my day hasn’t truly begun until I touch those bike pedals.  However, as any person who rides a bike in San Antonio will tell you, our roads are subpar.

Even at the University, our roads are mediocre. Riding a bike and having to swerve around distracted people on a sidewalk is not fun nor is biking in a street with a line of cars behind you. I’ve been there.

As the culture in and around our campus evolves, I feel that safe and reliable bike infrastructure is a must for future development. Not only will it make conditions safer for all of us, it may encourage us to ditch the shuttle and travel on two wheels. The air isn’t as stuffy on a bike, I promise.

Now, to keep things in perspective, I would never have biked down UTSA Blvd before the recent expansion and the addition of those very wide sidewalks.

The greenway trails are very nice as well. But to actually reach any destination, I have to share the same lane as a passenger bus, and that may be intimidating for a few, especially those new to cycling. Plus, everything is so far from everything else, but this is Texas, and I don’t expect that to change. Just expect a longer ride.

As a native of San Antonio, I can tell you this city has made many steps to improve public transit and make alternate transportation opportunities possible, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

We have had the same slow, antiquated bus system for ages, and nothing has been done to replace it. I’ll occasionally hear murmurs about light rail here and streetcars over there, but if San Antonio wants to compete and improve the mobility and quality of life of its inhabitants, it needs, undoubtedly, a better mass transit system.