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City manager says VIA’s financial forecast not nearly as gloomy as company officials predicted

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Officials at  VIA Metropolitan Transit recently announced that because of the impact of COVID-19, the company was facing a $126.2 million deficit over five years.  President and CEO Jeff Arndt said even with $92.3 million from the CARES ACT, VIA would be forced to reduce service without a funding alternative.

That funding alternative the VIA Board has been considering is a 1/8-cent sales tax currently dedicated to the Edwards Aquifer and Linear Creeks Program, which is set to expire next year.

San Antonio City Manager Erik Walsh asked the city’s chief financial officer to review VIA’s finances.   The report concluded that VIA’s debt isn’t nearly as large as Arndt predicted.  After an adjustment, which includes the city’s current contribution of $10 million annually for five years, VIA would be facing a possible $10.9 million deficit in FY 2023, and $59 million in FY 2025.

In a letter to the mayor and city council, Walsh said these deficits are “manageable.”

The updated VIA forecast includes the cost for increased service frequency on 18 routes, which would be funded by the city’s $10 million annual contributions.

The VIA Board is scheduled to meet at 5 pm Tuesday to discuss the financial projections and consider a resolution to try to get a 1/8-cent sales tax on the ballot at the next general election.

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