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Pinterest SweepstakesWe love connecting riders to the Best of the ATX with MetroRapid, Austin’s newest experience in transit, and we want to know where you love to go on Route 801.

We’ll be showcasing Austin’s most beloved destinations on our “Best of the ATX” Pinterest board, and we want your inspiration!

Whether it’s your favorite shop, park or restaurant along Route 801, share the places MetroRapid takes you in our “Pin the Best of the ATX” Pinterest Sweepstakes.

From April 7th to April 21st, enter the “Pin the Best of the ATX” Pinterest Sweepstakes for a chance to win $250 in gift cards to some of our favorite destinations along MetroRapid Route 801 and a Premium 31-Day Pass. Second place will win $150 in gift cards and a Premium 31-Day Pass, and third place will win $50 in gift cards with a Premium 31-Day Pass.

Winners will receive a variety of gift cards to destinations near our MetroRapid 801 stations, such as:

  • Hopdoddy – SoCo
  • Hey Cupcake – SoCo
  • Violet Crown Theatre – Republic Square
  • La Condesa or Lambert’s – Republic Square
  • Vino Vino – Hyde Park
  • Galaxy Café – Triangle
  • Mandola’s – Triangle
  • Titaya’s – Koenig
  • Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery – Crestview
  • Pho Saigon – Chinatown

Check out the MetroRapid Pinterest Sweepstakes Guidelines and Rules (PDF) and start pinning your favorite ATX destinations along Route 801!

 

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austinmarathonDue to the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday, Feb. 16, Capital Metro will detour several Local bus routes and MetroRapid service within the race area on Feb. 15 and Feb. 16.

Pre-event detours will begin Feb. 15 as race organizers make preparations for the following day. The following routes will be detoured from start of service into race day: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 17, 19, 30, 37, 411, 412, 481, 483, 484 and 485.

On Feb. 16, all routes entering downtown will be impacted, including MetroRapid Route 801. Detours will be in place from start of service until approximately 6 p.m.

The following routes will be affected: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 30, 37, 100, 228, 320, 323, 325, 331, 801 and UT Shuttles. Customers will have two main transfer points at Red River/12th and Burnet/Ashdale.

0122_BrioPhotographyDuring the event, 20 MetroRapid stations will be closed in both northbound and southbound directions. Riders will see special “station closed” messages on the digital signage of any affected stations, including:

  • Triangle Station (SB/NB)
  • Hyde Park Station (SB/NB)
  • UT/Dean Keeton Station (SB/NB)
  • UT/West Mall Station (SB/NB)
  • Museum Station (SB/NB)
  • Capitol Station (SB/NB)
  • Wooldridge Square SB Station (SB/NB)
  • Republic Square Station (SB/NB)
  • Auditorium Shores Station
  • SoCo Station (SB)
  • Oltorf Station (SB)
  • St. Edwards Station (SB)

To view specific detour information, visit capmeto.org “Service Alerts” or call the GO Line at 512-474-1200 (staffed Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-8 p.m. and weekends 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) with 24-hour access to the automated phone line.

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Today marked the first day of the new MetroRapid service!

Vehicles started rolling out into service early this morning and we have over 200 employee volunteers at stations and onboard this week helping you navigate the new service.

MetroRapid’s new amenities:

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  • Frequent service
  • Fewer stops
  • New vehicles
  • Wi-Fi
  • Mobile app
  • Traffic priority lanes
  • Unique stations
  • 3-position bike rack
  • Traffic signal priority technology

As you prepare for tomorrow’s workday/school day commute, make sure you’re up-to-date on all the recent changes, effective today at Capital Metro:

- New MetroRapid service, Route 801

- New fare system

- Changes to some bus routes

- New mobile app

Check out some of today’s MetroRapid Day #1 action!

1st

1st MetroRapid vehicle rolls out into town

Cyclist tries out the new 3-bike rack

Cyclist tries out the new 3-bike rack

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One of the 200 volunteers out at MetroRapid stations this week

One of the 200 volunteers out at MetroRapid stations this week

Thank you for riding Capital Metro!

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801Changes are coming to some Capital Metro bus routes on Sunday, Jan. 26, with modifications designed to improve service while increasing the efficiency of the system.

Changes taking place on Jan. 26 include the new MetroRapid Route 801 service, modifications to routes in the Route 1L/1M corridor, downtown route realignments and UT area changes.

The service changes scheduled to begin Sunday include:

MetroRapid Route 801 North Lamar/South Congress
A new route, MetroRapid 801, will travel from Tech Ridge to Southpark Meadows seven days a week. Frequency will be every 10-12 minutes during peak hours and every 12-20 minutes at other times on weekdays, and every 20-30 minutes on weekends.

Route 801’s service schedule will be 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. on weekdays, 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Saturdays, and 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays.

The service will feature new, larger vehicles and technology that will sync with traffic lights to hold the light green a few seconds longer when a vehicle is behind schedule, helping it stay on time. Riders will be able to board through three separate doors to make boarding fast and easy, and stations will offer digital signage displaying next-bus arrival information. MetroRapid vehicles will travel along transit priority lanes on Guadalupe and Lavaca between Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and Cesar Chavez to keep people moving.

1L_1M_801_1011L North Lamar/South Congress and 101 N. Lamar/S. Congress Ltd.

Route 801 will replace existing service along Route 101 North Lamar/South Congress (which travels along the same corridor) with longer service. MetroRapid Route 801 will provide service to most stops along the existing Route 101.

Routes 1L and 1M North Lamar/South Congress will be combined into a new route, Route 1 Metric/South Congress. Local stops along the existing Route 1L North Lamar/South Congress will maintain service via the following routes: MetroRapid Route 801, Route 1 Metric/South Congress, Route 201 Southpark Meadows and the new 275 North Lamar Feeder.

Route 1L North Lamar/South Congress and 101 N. Lamar/S. Congress Ltd. riders will need to transition to MetroRapid Route 801 North Lamar/South Congress, Route 1 Metric/South Congress or Route 275 North Lamar Feeder.

(more…)

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new_passesFares for Capital Metro will be changing January 26 as we launch our new tiered fare system that will consist of three main service categories: Local, Premium and Commuter. At the same time we launch this new system you can expect to see a “new look” on passes, too. New fares go into effect Jan. 26. (more…)

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Capital Metro is building 6 new MetroBike Shelters to provide more secure overnight or daily bike parking at major access points to bus and train routes.

Like the MetroBike Shelter already open at Kramer Station, these new shelters will make it safer and more secure to use transit without the having to take a bike onto a bus or train.

1

The new MetroBike Shelters are being constructed at:

  • Tech Ridge Park & Ride
  • Lakeline Station
  • Highland Station
  • MLK Jr. Station
  • Plaza Saltillo Station
  • South Congress Transit Center

For an introductory cost of only $30/year, you can purchase a MetroBike Access Card online to be mailed out within the week. Cards are valid beginning the month of purchase. This card will access any of the MetroBike Shelters around town. Daily card access extends from 5:00AM to 1:30AM.

4

Protect your bike from the elements

Once inside, the cyclist locks their bike to a rack with their own bike lock. The shelter provides protection from the sun and rain, and provides a higher level of security with 24-hour camera surveillance and lighting.

A helpful repair stand with tools and air pump with gauge inside each shelter makes it easier to combine your bike and Capital Metro commute.

A MetroBike repair stand

A MetroBike repair stand

Free bike racks will remain available outside these shelters.

Flatwork at Plaza Saltillo Station

Flatwork at Plaza Saltillo Station

Construction is underway at all new locations, and the shelters will open before the summer heat returns (Opening date to be announced soon). These shelters are made possible through an FTA Livability grant with match funding provided by the City of Austin. For more info go to http://www.capmetro.org/metrobike.

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In the past, we’ve said that Capital Metro’s future is Rapid-ly approaching. With today’s system-wide test of the 801 line of MetroRapid, suddenly the future is upon us.

On Tuesday, December 10, Capital Metro implemented a full-scale test of the forthcoming MetroRapid service. This test allows us the opportunity to see how MetroRapid performs in real world scenarios while dealing with the needs of passengers who will utilize the service.

DSC_1223

Today’s testing was designed to get an up close and personal view of the MetroRapid service from the user’s perspective. A main objective of the field test was to evaluate the performance of the new technology being used onboard the vehicles. Also, “dwell times,” or the time it takes a vehicle to load and unload passengers at each station, were recorded. In addition, operators will simulate detour scenarios and traverse through the new transit priority lanes on Guadalupe and Lavaca downtown. Additionally, we were testing other aspects including announcements, farebox and rear door ticket validators, destination signs, dynamic message signs at stations, passenger counters, WiFi and more. We also recruited volunteers with bikes and wheelchairs to test those respective systems to ensure all is ready for MetroRapid’s launch on January 26th, 2014.

DSC_1305

Our volunteers will note their observations, document their experiences and return their feedback. We’ll then go over those comments and determine what succeeded and what kinks need to be ironed out. We believe strongly in MetroRapid. We know it will provide an invaluable service to the community and today’s testing will go a long way in ensuring that Capital Metro offers the absolute best experience possible when MetroRapid goes live next year.

Over the next month and a half, you will notice MetroRapid vehicles out and about in Austin as we continue to fine-tune the service. We know you’re excited to ride the Rapids, so please view the additionally testing not as a joyride, but as our unwavering commitment to the community. MetroRapid is coming and we want you to love it as much as we do.

For more information about MetroRapid service, its amenities, route maps and more, visit capmetro.org/metrorapid.

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Photo of event attendees at City HallYesterday, Capital Metro participated in the 2013 White Cane Day with other sponsors and members of the Texas School for the Blind.

Photo of Capital Metro Accessibility Specialist Martin Kareithi accepting Mayor's AwardAccessibility Specialist Martin Kareithi accepted the mayor’s award on behalf of the agency, in support of the accessibility community and inviting attendees to join the team at Republic Square Park where Capital Metro had a MetroRapid vehicle staged for in-person tours.

In addition, festival goers were able to check out the adjacent Republic Square Station, a future stop along the MetroRapid route. Volunteers oriented fPhoto of MetroRapid vehicle arriving at stationolks around the station, discussing all the cool, new features available, including an announcement button that tells passengers audibly when the next vehicle will arrive.

The new MetroRapid service will launch in early 2014 along Route 801 North Lamar/South Congress.  It will feature new amenities, like real-time arrival information; shelters at every station with benches, lighting and a bike rack; technology to sync with stop lights, helping keep lights green as the vehicle passes through the intersection; and, free on board WiFi. In addition, the service will be fully ADA compliant with wheelchair securement areas equipped with companion seating and Braille ID bus numbers located at each rear door and at front wheel wells. For full details, visit capmetro.org/MetroRapid.

Questions or comments? We’re happy to discuss our accessible services or the new MetroRapid service, launching in 2014.

Photo on board MetroRapid

Photo of event at Republic Square Park

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By Roberto Gonzalez, Capital Metro Planning

UT ShuttleCapital Metro would like to thank our riders who have taken the time to provide valuable feedback regarding the proposed transition of WL and CR Shuttle route riders to mainline Capital Metro service for Spring 2014 (capmetro.org/Spring2014).

The UT Shuttle system is jointly funded through a partnership between Capital Metro and The University of Texas. Funding for the University’s portion comes from the Student Fee Bill Committee (SSBC) and unfortunately, for the past several years, there has not been an increase to any of the organizations funded through the SSBC based on financial constraints across the University (despite annual rising costs).  Thus, the shuttle system cannot continue to operate at the same levels as before.

Working with the UT Shuttle Bus Committee (a group comprised of students, faculty, staff), Capital Metro staff has developed proposed changes to service in order to match available funding.  The committee must balance the needs of students with the need to provide cost-effective shuttle service that benefits the entire student community (all of whom pay equally into the system).

RouteCRShuttle

The proposal was developed after evaluating shuttle route performance where it was determined that both CR and WL shuttle routes are UT’s lowest-performing routes (measured by ridership and resources expended). In making this determination, Capital Metro used student population data gathered from the University as well as ridership data collected by automatic passenger counters (APC) equipped on shuttle vehicles.  (more…)

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By Joseph Kopser
CEO and Co-Founder of

ridescout-logo-header-akita

 

 

 

This weekend, Austin Music People will host a two-day fundraiser downtown that features Austin musicians for Austin fans. The hyperlocal event, United We Jam, is a great chance to highlight the very best of what makes Austin so special. In fact, the music industry represents almost $2 billion in revenue in our economy. In addition to great shows, there will also be multiple voter registration tables staffed by volunteers to assist fans in registering to vote. It’s a great chance to celebrate.

There is, unfortunately, one aspect of our town that is not a source of pride.  It is actually a drain on our economy—the traffic.   It not only wastes fuel and time sitting idle in traffic, but it spoils the experience for people going out to see the shows and concert.   It is a common refrain, “The parking was terrible,” or “I sat in traffic for an hour trying to get home.”   Even worse, when you combine alcohol at the events the potential for drunk driving puts everyone at risks.  It does not have to be that way.

But I’m happy to report the answer is right in front of us.  It’s a simple matter of getting people to use the existing resources in our city to take them to and from events.   It saves time, save money and reduces the chance for distracted or impaired driving.

There is an ecosystem of options for people who want to attend United We Jam this weekend.   Depending on where you live, there is a combination of your own car, Cap Metro, Car2Go, Electric Cab, pedicabs, and taxicab that can take you to and from the event. And to help sort it out, we created “RideScout” a mobile App for iPhone and Android that lets you see all the ground transportation options around you in real time.   Just like you buy an airline ticket on Kayak, we show you all your ride options.

Practice it right now for Friday night.  Download RideScout and see what scenario most closely resembles your likely route to/from the concerts:

Scenario #1 - Drive to the nearest station and light rail into the 4th street Metro Station.  Then walk, Electric Cab or pedicab to United We Jam on Red River/East 6th/East 7th.  Reverse to get home.

Scenario #2 - Bus into the heart of the city and transfer on the #4 Metro Bus route that takes you right to the United We Jam venues.  Reverse to get home.

Scenario #3 - Find a car2go in your neighborhood to get near the event and park in any city street parking.   Take a Lone Star Cab at the end of the night.

Scenario #4 - Walk, bike, ride with a friend and get down to the concert anyway you can without your car.   Reverse or take a Lone Star Cab home.

If you have another scenario, please send that to me at joseph@ridescoutapp.com

No matter how your travel, leave your car parked and use RideScout to plan your ride down and back.

For more information:

AustinMusicPeople.org and http://do512.com/unitedwejam

Here is an example of one of the performers: Nakia. He plays at Elysium, Saturday 11pm.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPhNIerlqHQ&feature=youtu.be

United We Jam poster

capitalmetro_new_vertCar2go primary_logo_label_master                                                                      Electric Cab

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