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Archive for the ‘bus schedules’ Category

Even though Halloween’s on a Wednesday, don’t let that be a drag. We know you’ve come to know the trusty E-Bus as your ride Downtown on the weekends, now take advantage of that tonight!

Capital Metro wants to help you reach the big party down as safely and conveniently as possible. That’s why we’re running E-Bus service on a Wednesday, which usually doesn’t happen, but we’re making an exception to help get all those Honey Boo Boo and Psy look-alikes to 6th Street.

Hours will be the same as E-Bus weekend service (8:30 p.m. until 3 a.m.). Catch a ride using routes #410 West Campus, #411 Riverside, and #412 Main Campus. Regular fares will apply. UT students ride free with valid school ID and ACC students ride with the Green Pass.

All you Halloween go-ers can also ride Capital Metro’s local service to and from the downtown area until around midnight. Night Owl service will run its usual schedule until 3 a.m.

We hope all our riders have a good time tonight. Use Capital Metro as your safe ride this Halloween!

We want to see all those elaborate costumes! Post your Halloween pictures as you ride transit today–rail, bus, E-Bus. Tweet them to @CapMetroATX or post to our Facebook wall!

If you’re just trying to go about your daily commute tonight: Capital Metro riders who plan to use the #4 Montopolis, #21 Exposition and #100 MetroAirport routes should take notice of anticipated 6th Street closure detours due to Halloween events from around 8 p.m. until 3 a.m. More detailed route and detour information can be found in the Capital Metro website ‘Service Alerts’ section. 

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Tweet, Tweet!

For those of you who follow our Twitter activity (or may want to), you may have noticed our recent change of account names.

In the past, we have communicated to followers using two separate Twitter accounts: CapMetroNews and CapMetroRail. Having two accounts made sense leading up to the opening of MetroRail, but now it’s just sort of confusing. People tweet us with rail-related inquiries at CapMetroNews and with bus issues at CapMetroRail. Plus, having two accounts sometimes contributes to a delay in us responding.

Going into our new fiscal year in October 1, we wanted to use that date as a benchmark for turning over a new leaf in our Communications efforts — including Twitter.

Going into the future, we have changed the name of our CapMetroRail account to @CapMetroATX. This will be our one and only account where we’ll provide bus and rail service updates as well as relevant news and rider tips. Over the next two weeks we’ll phase-out our CapMetroNews account.

We know by following one sole account, you may get more info than before. So, how can you filter the info you get notifications about, if you want?

By using certain apps, you can make settings to only get notified of certain hashtags, versus receiving all our Tweets.

We’ll be operating via these hashtags:

#MetroRailAlert: for specific delay alerts on MetroRail

#MetroBusAlert: for all bus-related service alerts

So, for example, if you began following our rail account and only wish to continue receiving rail-related messages, set-up your account to send only messages including the #MetroRailAlert hashtag.

How to set specific alerts up? This useful YouTube video helps you use TweetDeck for setting-up hashtag notifications:

If you’re not into Tweet Deck, there’s also Boxcar for push notifications as well.

This change may take some getting used to, but it’s for the better — to provide improved communications and customer service. So, jump right it, follow us at www.twitter.com/CapMetroATX.

Tweet you soon!

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We need your input!

Capital Metro is proposing changes on several routes in accordance with our Service Guidelines & Standards. These changes are being proposed to improve transit access, efficiency and reliability. These proposals will go before the Capital Metro Board of Directors on September 24, 2012. If approved, these changes would take effect Sunday, January 13, 2013.

Capital Metro is making several changes to routes in South Austin, Northeast Austin, and Northcross areas. Visit our website now for a complete list and maps of the proposed January 2013 service changes and details about how to give us your feedback. The proposed route realignments, extensions and adjustments would improve efficiency, service coverage and increase ridership without an increase in cost.

We want to hear from you! All riders are encouraged to join public involvement opportunities listed below and provide your feedback. Capital Metro will conduct a series of public meetings, a webinar and public hearing. See our service change webpage for schedule details. Become involved, join the conversation and comment on specific proposals in efforts to provide effective services that meet the Austin area’s transportation needs!

Upcoming Public Involvement Dates:

Sept. 4, 2012, 12:00 – 2 p.m.
Capital Metro Transit Store, 323 Congress Ave.
Served by downtown routes

Sept. 4, 2012, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
North Village Branch Library
2505 Steck Ave
Served by routes 3, 325

 Sept. 5, 2012, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

University Hills Branch Library, 4721 Loyola Ln.

Served by routes 20, 37, 323

Sept. 5, 2012, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
ACC South Austin Campus, 1820 W. Stassney Ln.
Served by routes 3, 311

Webinar

Sept. 7, 2012, 12:00 p.m.
Sign-up today

If you require captioning to participate in this event, please select the link below. You may need to resize the window to view both the caption and the presentation simultaneously.

Link to webinar caption service

Public Hearing with the Capital Metro Board

 Sept. 17, 2012, 5:00 p.m.

Capital Metro Headquarters, 2910 E. 5th Street
Served by routes 17, 300

For opportunities to continue providing input to our system, please visit capmetro.icanmakeitbetter.com, email feedback@capmetro.org, or call 512-474-1200.

Thank you for riding Capital Metro!

–Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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Three times a year, Capital Metro looks at what can be done to better our overall transit system. Starting Sunday, Aug. 19, Capital Metro will introduce changes to service, designed to create more efficient routes and improve overall system service. Capital Metro constantly analyzes routes and evaluates customer feedback. Three times a year, Capital Metro makes these needed changes that are in accordance with Capital Metro’s Service Guidelines and Standards to create a better system.

Service changes will include:

Route Realignments  Capital Metro will realign two services:

o        30 Barton Creek  Will no longer service the Barton Hills/Hollow Creek neighborhood due to low ridership. Frequency in the Spyglass neighborhood will be improved from 70 to 35 minutes.

o        323 Anderson  Will be realigned from Ed Bluestein to Springdale and Tuscany to improve coverage.

Night Owl Routes  Several routes will be realigned to improve directness and reduce travel time. Frequency will be improved on routes 483, 484, 485 and 486. Night Owl service will no longer be available along south Manchaca, west William Cannon, South 1st, Braker, Springdale, 7th and Cesar Chavez due to low ridership.

o        481 Night Owl North  Will be renamed 481 Night Owl North Lamar.

o        482 Night Owl East  Will be consolidated with Route 485 Night Owl Cameron. (Refer to new Route 485 for more details)

o        483 Night Owl Southeast  Will be realigned to Riverside, Burton, Oltorf and Wickersham. Frequency will be improved from 60 to 30 minutes. Route will be renamed 483 Night Owl Riverside.

o        484 Night Owl S. Lamar/S. 1st  Will be realigned to serve only the South Lamar area. Frequency will be improved from 60 to 30 minutes. Route will be renamed 484 Night Owl South Lamar.

o        485 Night Owl Cameron  Will be realigned to Rosewood, Airport, Mueller, 51st, Cameron and Rutherford (Wal-Mart). Frequency will be improved from 60 to 30 minutes.

o        486 Night Owl Dove Springs  Will be realigned to South Congress, Stassney, PleasantValley and William Cannon. Frequency will be improved from 60 to 30 minutes. Route will be renamed 486 Night Owl South Congress.

UT Shuttles  Route and schedule adjustments will be made to the following University of Texas Shuttles:

o        641 EC East Campus  Midday frequency will be reduced from 7 to 10 minutes during fall and spring semesters.

o        652 PRC Pickle Research Campus  Frequency will be reduced from 35 to 60 minutes during fall and spring semesters. Route will be realigned within the Pickle Research campus.

o        675 WL Wickersham Lane– Midday frequency will be reduced from 15 to 20 minutes during fall, spring and finals.

Minor schedule adjustments will be made to the following routes to improve reliability:

o        4 Montopolis

o        7 Duval/Dove Springs

o        19 Bull Creek

o        30 Barton Creek

o        101 N. Lamar/S. Congress

o        151 Allandale

o        243 Wells Branch

o        323 Anderson

o        338 Lamar/45th

o        383 Research

o        466 Kramer

Select school-related trips will be reinstated or added to the following routes:

o        4 Montopolis

o        5 Woodrow/South Fifth

o        7 Duval/Dove Springs

o        300 Govalle

o        325 Ohlen

o        331 Oltorf

o        333 William Cannon

o        E-Bus routes, 410, 411 and 412

All of the changes, in addition to route schedules and maps, can be found in the Destinations schedule book, available for $3 at the Capital Metro Transit Store. The Transit Store is located at 323 Congress Avenue in downtown Austin. The guide is also downloadable at no cost on the Capital Metro website.

Details on the service change process can also be found on the Capital Metro website or by viewing this video.

August 2012 Service Change details also available in Spanish. (En Español)

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There have been a number of news stories this week about an initiative to discourage tobacco use at Capital Metro bus stops. The Capital Metro board yesterday adopted a revision to our Tobacco Free Facilities policy to include all 2,700+ bus stops (park & rides, transit centers and MetroRail stations are already tobacco free). Beginning March 1, 2012, we’re asking people to kindly not use tobacco products within 15 feet of a bus stop.

It’s great news, and we’re excited to promote healthier air and cleaner bus stops for our riders by discouraging tobacco use. But, the most exciting part of the new signage project for riders has flown under the radar: incredible new methods for getting next scheduled bus information, specific to every single bus stop in the system.

Riders will begin to see a sign like this at their bus stops beginning in December. The sign will be in addition to the current bus route signs at stops.

Check out the new sign that will be gracing your bus stop in the new year. Note that the top 1/5 or so of the sign is the “No tobacco use within 15 feet” message. And the remaining 4/5 of the sign outlines how one can use his phone four different ways to get schedule information by stop.

Here’s how it works: every bus stop in the system has a unique ID number.  The bus stop at 11th and Guadalupe is #504, for example. With your phone and that ID number, you can:

  1. Text: Text the bus stop ID number to DadnabTM at (512) 981-6221, and receive a reply text with the next scheduled bus arrival times for the buses that serve that stop.
  2.  Scan the QR Code: Scan the square barcode on the sign using a QR reader app (many free readers are available from your phone’s apps marketplace), and next bus times and a route map will be displayed on your smartphone.
  3. Open our mobile site: Open capmetro.org/stopid/ from your phone and input your bus stop ID number to pull up a mobile-friendly website with the next bus arrivals.   
  4. Call the Go Line at 512-474-1200. Use the automated voice system 24 hours/day or talk to a real person weekdays, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on weekends, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This new information method has been in the works for a number of years, but we haven’t had the funding available before to implement it across the system. Because of our commitment to reduce secondhand smoke at bus stops, we are able to leverage federal grant funding to implement the signage. The entire cost of the signage, hardware and installation (about $230K) will be paid for through a grant from the city of Austin under the national Communities Putting Prevention to Work. Later in FY2012, Capital Metro will use additional local funding to incorporate Braille on the signs, too, greatly expanding the usability of our system for riders with visual impairments.

There are a ton of other benefits, too. First off, we begin to rack up the savings with the very first service change, because the signs will not need to be updated when routes or frequencies change. Over 5 years, we could save up to $100,000 on materials alone! Additionally, the signs are slated for installation at 100 percent of Capital Metro bus stops. Currently, schedule information is available at fewer than 50 percent of bus stops.

Riders may begin to notice the new signs at their bus stops beginning in December, and we expect the signs to be 100 percent installed by the end of February.

You might be thinking, what if you don’t have a phone? No worries. Although a 2010 survey of Capital Metro riders found that 80 percent carry a cell phone when they ride, Capital Metro will continue to provide free route brochures and system maps onboard the bus, and for $3, customers can purchase the newest edition of Destinations, the official Capital Metro schedule book.

We invite you to test out the various information options featured on the sign and let us know what you think.

 

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A Mapnificent Tool

There’s no shortage of creative geniuses out there looking for ways to take raw transit data and turn it into something useful (or at least fun to play with). Here’s one to try. It’s called Mapnificent. Using Google Maps, it’ll show you how far you can travel using transit, cycling and walking from any given address within the time parameter of your choice.

I tried it by asking it to show me how far I can go within 15 minutes from the lovely Capital Metro headquarters building at 5th/Pleasant Valley at around 6 a.m. on a weekday. Here’s what it came up with:

Looks like a ghost hovering next to a microphone; Hermann Rorschach may have had a different interpretation.

(more…)

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Why wait for the bus out in the heat, rain or cold when you can hang out inside and get an ice cream cone, a cup of coffee and bus arrival times all in the same place? That’s what a Boston software engineer was thinking when he developed an LED bus arrival display sign and convinced the folks at his local hangout to put it up next to the ice cream counter. (more…)

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