A Saturday ribbon-cutting and butterfly release marks the opening of VIA Metropolitan Transit’s new Brooks Transit Center, a state-of-the-art, Wi-Fi-connected bus hub with new Prímo and Express routes to serve one of the area’s fastest-growing communities.

The community celebration at a former Air Force facility that once conducted aviation and medical research included an “art-in-transit” installation by San Antonio artist Diana Kersey and the release of more than 200 butterflies, representing the transformation of the area into a more ecological neighborhood.

The new Prímo 102 route connects the Kel-Lac Transit Center along Military Drive to the transit center at Brooks, a commercial and educational campus. The center features real-time next-bus information, digital planning kiosks, free Wi-Fi, solar panels, electric car-charging ports and public art.

“With more than 3,000 people living and working here at Brooks, connections are the name of the game,” Brooks President and CEO Leo Gomez said in a news release. “The Brooks Transit Center will be the transit hub of the South Side, providing improved connectivity for our campus and surrounding community as we continue to expand and attract new businesses and residents to this growing part of San Antonio.”

The new Brooks bus hub is at 7903 S. New Braunfels Ave. on the Southeast Side and will offer high-frequency bus service along eight routes, including an express route to downtown.

Route 102 is VIA’s third Prímo line to debut since 2012 and is part of VIA’s program to provide more frequent service. The Prímo 102 will upgrade the service from route 550/551 with weekday service frequency every 12 minutes during peak times, according to VIA.

In addition to landscaping features around the facility that assist in the filtration of stormwater to protect area water quality, the Brooks Transit Center’s roof will be lined with solar panels manufactured on the Brooks campus by Mission Solar Energy. The panels will reportedly generate a minimum of 60 kilowatts of electricity to supply between 33 and 40 percent of the energy needed to operate the facility.

Article originally published here: VIA’s new Brooks Transit Center hopes to connect a community