Author of Blog: Daniel Day
New Post once a month.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Bus Stops at Malls

I like to wish everyone a happy new year. In April, it will be two years since I started to write about San Antonio lack of building good bicycle infrastructure and not really having good public transportation even though they operate it pretty well.

Speaking about public transportation, my job keeps me away from San Antonio for months on end and I do enjoy it. When I have time off, I get out and explore the community that I am stuck in. Naturally I get on my bicycle and ride around and use the local transit at the same time.


Here’s a question, why don't VIA have their buses stop at the entrance to the Mall? It seems that in every place I go to, the local transit buses stop at the entrance to the Malls. Now for the record, DART, The T, and the DCTA also don't stop at the entrance to Malls.  It seems to be a Texas thing.

Every other place I go to, the transit system have the bus stop right at the front door to suburban mall. There's no walking across the vast parking lot, there's no walking almost 1/4th mile from the bus stop to the entrance in 110°F heat or heavy downpour. It's getting off the bus and walking roughly 50ft from the bus to the Mall entrance.

I don't really know the reason why this happens here in Texas, but it just does and it seems to be an antiquated thing really.  In all my years of riding VIA, the bus got close like at Westlakes Mall and even actually stopped at the entrance to Central Park Mall.  For a time, it stopped at the entrance to Crossroads, now Wonderland.  So the next time you end up speaking to a VIA bus official, ask them why can our buses stop at the entrances to our malls here in San Antonio.  And yes, Rivercenter don't count. 

Also I noticed that in some cities, the bus stopped at the entrance to grocery stores. The closest thing VIA has are stops in Walmart parking lots.

48-1: A Transportation Authority Of Northern Kentucky (TANK) route 1 stopping at the entrance to Sears at the Florence Mall in Florence, Kentucky, a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio.


  1. Daniel, I can't speak to your specific situation, but I chair the transit advisory committee in a California city, so can offer an explanation from my perspective.

    Depending on the configuration of the mall, buses can take several minutes to traverse a parking lot while also running the risk of getting caught in traffic. While trying to run routes that serve as much of the city as possible and also delivering riders to transfer points at times certain, those extra minutes and risks of further delays aren't acceptable. Saving someone a walk across a parking lot, however desirable, doesn't balance having someone miss a regional bus to a job in another city.

    The best solution is to require malls to be located close to the street so transit riders and pedestrians are accommodated, but mall developers almost always resist that configuration and most cities yield.

  2. Thanks for the comment. My point for this post is to shed light on something that we're not thinking of in South Texas. Nobody ever thinks of doing this in Texas, period.