Feeds:
Posts
Comments

June2014-Proposed-Service-Change-Web-BannerBy Celso Baez, Community Involvement Specialist

We’ve recently heard some feedback from our riders about our proposal to move MetroBus routes currently operating on Congress Avenue onto the Guadalupe/Lavaca corridor. Most of us have experienced congestion on Congress Avenue, whether on a bus or in a private automobile. Sometimes it’s faster to walk to get through downtown due to all the traffic, especially during a special event.

Why are we considering route changes on Congress?

Congress Avenue has several challenges that hamper safety, bus operations, and the comfort of our customers. Our goals for improving downtown service are based on Service Plan 2020, our long range plan for improving service.

Angled Parking

Angled parking and chronic congestion along the Congress Avenue corridor make it challenging for our vehicles to operate safely. Safety is our number one priority at Capital Metro, and moving most MetroBus routes off of Congress Avenue and onto Guadalupe and Lavaca streets would make service safer for our customers by reducing collisions with private automobiles.

june-atstopFrequent Stops

Many of our customers have experienced the high number of stops on Congress that make it difficult for our vehicles to pass—leading to a wall of buses slowly moving down the street. By moving all remaining routes, except Route 100 MetroAirport Flyer, from Congress Avenue, Colorado and Brazos streets onto the Guadalupe and Lavaca corridor, local service will be able to move through downtown Austin several minutes faster, utilizing the transit priority lanes. In addition, transfers would be made easier while improving connections with MetroRapid and MetroRail.

Ridership

Approximately 13,000 bus passengers travel to downtown Austin on a daily basis. About 80 percent of those passengers transfer to another route. Downtown Austin is the final destination for the remaining 3,200 daily passengers (20 percent), with about half of those coming from commuter or flyer routes. A large number of commuter and flyer route customers walk from Guadalupe Street / Lavaca Street to Congress Avenue. A large number of routes through downtown Austin are “through-routed”, i.e. they do not terminate in downtown but continue from one end of downtown to another. Approximately 3,600 daily passengers travel through downtown on a through-routed bus. Moving most MetroBus routes onto the Guadalupe/Lavaca corridors would make the majority of downtown trips easier for our customers. We realize that for some, walks would be made longer; however Capital Metro has tried mitigating the impact by realigning routes 7, 20, and 17 to better accommodate our riders. With projects like Austin B-cycle, which provides a network of 24 hour/day, on demand bicycle stations to the urban core and the City of Austin’s Great Streets initiative which aims at improving the quality of downtown streets and sidewalks, walks to Congress Avenue from Guadalupe and Lavaca streets and vice versa are much more pleasant.

Special Event Detours

We all know how congested Congress Avenue becomes during a special event. Special event detours significantly disrupt transit service for our customers who rely on our system to get to work, school, and other priority destinations. Operating all local routes on the G/L corridor would reduce special events detours; alleviate congestion on Congress Avenue, thereby making service more efficient. This was evidenced by how successful service operated during SXSW and Formula One, when Capital Metro moved most MetroBus routes on the G/L corridor.

Stop Amenities

Historic and landmark preservation measures on the Congress Avenue corridor prevent Capital Metro from enhancing our existing bus stops. While the sidewalk is wide, there are no additional passenger amenities we are capable of providing. Moving most MetroBus routes onto G/L would allow us to add amenities such as benches and shelters otherwise not possible on Congress Avenue, providing a better customer experience for our riders.

forumHow to Share Your Feedback

Please keep giving us your feedback and commenting on our proposals—we want to hear from you! All riders are encouraged to participate in our public involvement opportunities listed below. Capital Metro will conduct a series of public meetings, and a 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!

View the recent webinar:

Share your comments and send any questions to feedback@capmetro.org.

Upcoming Public Involvement Dates:

Public Meetings

March 4, 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.

Capital Metro Transit Store, 209 W. 9th | Served by all downtown Local bus routes, MetroRapid 801

March 5, 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.

Capital Metro Transit Store, 209 W. 9th | Served by all downtown Local bus routes, MetroRapid 801

March 6, 3:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Capital Metro Transit Store, 209 W. 9th | Served by all downtown Local bus routes, MetroRapid 801

Online Discussion Forum

ideas.capmetro.org

Email

Feedback@capmetro.org

Social Media 

Facebook | Twitter

Public Hearing

March 17, 12:00 noon

Capital Metro Headquarters, 2910 E. 5th St. | Served by Local routes 17, 300

For more information on the proposed summer 2014 changes, including maps of the proposed areas, visit capmetro.org/summer2014. Details can also be found by viewing this video or by calling the GO Line at 512-474-1200.

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.

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:

DSC_0015

  • 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

20140126_131551

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!

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.

Continue Reading »

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. Continue Reading »

3

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.

DSC_1251

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.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,955 other followers