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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

VIA Bus from SAT to Downtown San Antonio (roundtrip)

We took the bus downtown when we arrived, and we took it back to the airport the day we departed. The bus ride costs $1.10 per person, and I read that a cab ride costs $20 - $28.

Arrival
Bus 5 southbound stops at the airport by baggage claim. The stop is near terminal B--walk across the first traffic lane to the center island, and then to the end. There is a VIA sign with #5 at the stop location. When I tried to create a trip using the VIA site, I thought the directions provided were extremely confusing. I suggest looking at the schedules for Bus 5 and Bus 30, to see where your destination is located in comparison to the stops listed. St. Mary's and Pecan St. is the last stop for Bus 5. We got off there, and walked less than 1/2 mile to our hotel. Depending on your destination, you may want to stay on the bus--it continues as Bus 30. You do not need to change buses or pay another fare, if you want to stay on for a few more blocks. There are MANY more stops that are not listed on the bus schedule. If you want to go to a destination that is between two stops listed on the schedule, the bus most likely stops nearby. Here is a link to the Bus schedules.

Exact change is needed for the bus fare. We had coins; however, we forgot to cash a five before we arrived. The store employees at the airport said they could not give us change unless we made a purchase. Luckily, we were able to get change from an employee at the shuttle podium inside the airport. We took the bus at 11:52 AM, and arrived at our stop at 12:36 PM, one minute later than the scheduled arrival time.

There is not a separate area to stow bags on the bus; you will need to have room for them at your seat. We had one small to medium size suitcase, which fit under our seat, and one carry-on bag. When we boarded the bus at the airport, we were the only ones on the bus.

Departure
We took Bus 5 (northbound route) back to the airport, boarding around 10:30 AM at Navarro St. and E. Commerce. When you look at the bus schedule, you will see that this stop is not listed. The bus also made stops at Houston St. and Travis Park, which are not listed on the schedule either. There are bus stop signs on the streets downtown with the bus numbers listed, so if you want to take the bus back to the airport, just look at the bus number signs as you walk around town. 

There were many people at the bus stop where we boarded; however, not many of them got on when we did, so the bus was not crowded. We arrived at the airport a couple minutes later than the scheduled arrival time--11:11 AM instead of 11:08. The bus stops in the same spot at baggage claim, so when deciding which bus time to take, be sure to allow for the fact that you will not be arriving in the departure area. SAT is not a very big airport, so it didn't take us long to get to the check-in area at terminal A.