Project Connect – How a Vision Becomes the Community’s Plan

By Capital Metro Board Chairman Wade Cooper

Earlier this month, Capital Metro rolled out a vision for what Project Connect will bring to Central Texas. This vision was the product of a transparent community-centered process. It was conceptual in nature and identified the most important corridors that the community and Cap Metro feel are important to create a more connected and livable city. We have also stated that as we undertake the next phase of program development and engineering that even more community engagement will be needed. Now, we want to talk about what that will look like. Continue reading “Project Connect – How a Vision Becomes the Community’s Plan”

October 27 = Super Saturday

Halloween_BannerThe Saturday before Halloween is always pretty great. It gives you an extra shot to show off that amazing costume. You get to head downtown for drinks and/or fun. And you don’t have to wake up early the next day and head into work with a candy hangover.

This year, it’s gonna be even better because Austin is in full-on festival mode. There’s so much happening that weekend, and Cap Metro is here to make it easy to get around.

So, if you’re headed to Soul Food Truck Fest or the Austin Film Festival or the Texas Book Festival or the Viva la Vida Parade or downtown for Halloween festivities … or whatever else might be going on the last weekend in October … Cap Metro can get you there and back for free!

Like we’ve done a few times before, we’re partnering with the Austin Public Library to provide Park & Ride services at a few different branches. Park at the library, pick up your free Day Pass & pre-vetted trip plan and then hop on the bus! It’s super easy.

Park & Ride Locations

Capital Metro and the Austin Public Library invite you to make it a SUPER SATURDAY! Park for free at 6 different branch library locations and ride for free with a Transit Day Pass — so you can spend more time at the festivals and less time circling downtown for parking.

Ride free by parking at one of these neighborhood libraries and checking in with a librarian to pick up your Day Pass:

  • Recycled Reads | 5335 Burnet Road | Routes 3, 803
  • Pleasant Hill | 211 East William Cannon Drive | Routes 1, 801
  • Little Walnut Creek | 835 West Rundberg Lane | Routes 1, 801
  • Ruiz | 1600 Grove Boulevard | Route 20
  • Carver | 1161 Angelina Street | Route 2
  • Cepeda | 651 N. Pleasant Valley | Route 4
  • Southeast | 5803 Nuckols Crossing Rd | Route 7

 

Drop in & Learn about Cap Metro’s 2019 Budget

Budget Outreach

Capital Metro operates on public funding, and we take that responsibility seriously. Part of maintaining financial transparency includes letting the public see our budget to ensure we are using your money wisely

And beginning next week we’re going to do just that, and you’ll have four chances to hear about our proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2019 and ask questions. Wherever you are — north of the river or south, downtown or on the internet — we’ve got an option for you to participate. So please do!

We posted the entire budget online last week, and you can review it in full. So, come prepared with questions and comments. Members of our staff will be there to answer your questions, either about the budget or just about anything else Capital Metro does.

Cap Metro Helps You Get Ready for School

Back to SchoolSummer’s still in full effect, but school’s coming up quick. AISD is holding its Back to School Bash tomorrow at the Palmer Events Center. It’s a fantastic event that helps families get ready for the new year, and Cap Metro wants to help you get there.

That’s why we’re thrilled to work with the district to help families get down to the shores of Lady Bird Lake and the event.

The festival takes place from noon to 3 p.m., and we’ve got a lot of routes that serve Palmer. Even better, it’s easy to connect to those routes from your neighborhood school. So, if you want to avoid the traffic, the parking fees and the headaches, hop on a bus.

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve distributed free Day Passes at 10 Austin schools that will also provide free Park & Ride services for the bash. If you got a pass, ride free to the event. If you didn’t, take Cap Metro down to Palmer and avoid the hassle of parking and traffic.

  1. Bedicheck | 6800 Bill Hughes Rd, 78745 | Routes 10 & 333
  2. Mendez | 5106 Village Square, 78744 | Routes 7 & 331
  3. Reagan | 7104 Berkman Drive; 78752 | Routes 10, 300, 337
  4. Ann Richards | 2206 Prather Lane; 78704 | Routes 3, 103, 300, 803
  5. Harris | 1711 Wheless Ln; 78723 | Routes 10, 337
  6. LASA/LBJ 7309 Lazy Creek Drive; 78724 | Routes 20, 233, 337, 339
  7. Lamar | 6201 Wynona Ave; 78757 | Routes 3, 337, 803
  8. Lee | 3308 Hampton Rd; 78705 | Route 10
  9. McCallum | 5600 Sunshine Dr., 78756 | Routes 1, 337, 801
  10. St. Elmo 600 W St Elmo Rd; 78745 | Route 10

To plan your trip to the Back to School Bash (or anywhere else), visit capmetro.org/planner.

Will You Go to Prom with Us?

Pride Prom

Pride Month is here, and the Austin Public Library is jumpstarting it with Pride Prom next Thursday, June 7. It’s gonna be great.

DJ Girlfriend will be there for the dancers, and there’ll be a Drag Makeup Station for anyone wanting to get dolled up. There will also be a Lip Synch for Your Library competition that somehow let’s people pretend to sing Carly Rae Jepsen or Janelle Monae in support of their local library branch? (Sign up for that here, it sounds cool.)

You can also get your picture taken at the traveling photo booth and even register to vote. But, while you’ll be able to glitter-sticker a pronoun button when you walk in, the library respectfully requests that you “Please do not bring loose glitter into the library or wear glitter-showering items.”

Still, all of that will lead into a drag show with M.C. Honey St. Claire and performers Eaton Johnson and Althea Trix, and that’ll be cool too.

The reason you’re reading about it here the Cap Metro Blog though is because there’s no need for you to rent a limo for this prom night. Cap Metro is working with Austin Public Library once again to arrange for park-and-ride services for those going to prom. All you gotta do is park at one of the three library branches listed below, go inside to request your free Local Day Pass, hop on a bus and then get yourself down to the new Central Library. (Which is amazing.)

The event launches the library’s 2018 Summer Reading Program for adults and will be held in the new library’s 1st floor Special Events Center.

YOU MUST REGISTER FOR YOUR FREE RIDE AT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS:

Recycled Reads | 5335 Burnet Road | Routes 3, 803

Pleasant Hill Branch | 211 East William Cannon Drive | Routes 1, 801

Little Walnut Branch | 835 West Rundberg Lane | Routes 1, 801

To plan your trip to Pride Prom (or anywhere else), visit CapMetro.org/planner.

Cap Remap Explainer: FAQ Edition 

Cap Remap_Facebook Post Alt

Cap Remap is coming in just a few more days. After two years of planning, months of preparation and a couple of weeks at bus stops throughout our bus network — we’ve talked to more than 7,600 of you, face to face — it’s nearly here. 

In that time, we’ve heard some questions from y’all about how we came up with the plan and why. We’ve answered them as best we could, but we also wanted to gather a few persistent questions in one place to provide you answers. 

Before we get to them, however, we wanted to make sure you’re aware that we are developing pilot programs that might serve some of the areas discussed below that aren’t best served by regular bus service using large, 40-foot buses. It’s not certain what form that will take, but please stay tuned for more info as the pilots are announced. 

 

Route-10

Why won’t the Route 10 go into Hancock Center anymore? 

In order to provide reliable and frequent service on Route 10, we changed the approach to serving Hancock Center so that the bus will stay on Red River instead of driving into the shopping center itself. In the past, this wasn’t possible because there wasn’t a way for our customers to safely cross Red River, but now there’s a pedestrian beacon that customers can use to stop traffic and safely cross the street. It will be a longer walk to Red River than to the current bus stop inside the shopping center. However, the walk from the store to the street is similar in distance to how we serve every other H-E-B location in Austin. In addition, the time it takes to enter the parking lot and travel back to the street would prevent the new Route 10 from providing the frequent and direct service the majority of our customers have requested. 

Does Cap Remap serve low-income and minority communities better than the current network? 

Yes. An independent third party conducted an equity analysis of the Cap Remap service changes, and the Federal Transit Authority subsequently reviewed that analysis. The FTA found that, across the entire system, Cap Remap “substantially improved service for minority and low-income individuals.” The total minority population within 5 minutes of a bus stop with High-Frequency service will increase from 60,000 currently to 110,000, and while less than 1 percent of our existing customers will be farther than a 10-minute walk to transit service, 80 percent will have access to High-Frequency service (compared to 50 percent currently). 

Continue reading “Cap Remap Explainer: FAQ Edition “

Saying Goodbye to Pickup – 20,000 Rides Smarter

Pickup
A year ago, Capital Metro brought ride hailing to public transportation with our new Pickup service. We partnered with Via to launch the service as an experimental pilot with the goal of exploring an alternative on-demand transportation model.

It’s been a great success, allowing customers to arrange on-demand transit service from their home to a doctor’s appointment, a trip to Capital Plaza, to and from MLK Station or anywhere else within its service zone. It’s taken riders north of 183 to Wal-Mart and Luby’s and served kids going to Reagan High School and the St. John Library Branch. It was so successful that we’ve been able to provide more than 20,000 trips over the past year. And it was all free!

20.000This pilot program was always intended to be limited, though, and so Pickup is ending soon. We’ve been able to learn so much about how new shared riding services can complement public transit in Austin. As our research period has come to an end, Pickup’s last day of service will be Saturday, June 2.

Until then, it’s still available 6 days a week – between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays – in the Mueller and Windsor Park Neighborhoods.

On behalf of the entire Pickup team, we would like to thank you for the support over the past year! Also, know that Pickup’s success has paved the way for expanding Capital Metro’s on-demand service starting in 2019. Stay tuned for more news!