Our New Trains Have Arrived!      

Train in Galveston
A train compartment being loaded onto a truck bed in Galveston

Capital Metro is taking an exciting step on its way toward doubling both the capacity and frequency of MetroRail service. This week, we received shipment of two new trains from the manufacturer in Switzerland!

The trains were loaded onto a barge in the city of Bussnang in February for a one-month journey to Galveston, arriving last week. From there, they began their journey to Austin on six 90-foot trucks, with three additional escort vehicles. The caravan arrived in Austin around lunchtime today and was escorted by Metro Security and the Austin Police Department to our railyard in North Austin. The trains were unloaded and assembled onto the tracks.

The trains will go through a five to six-month testing period before being integrated into the MetroRail fleet, and will be instrumental in helping to increase capacity and frequency once other rail improvements are complete. Like the refurbishment of our existing train compartments, the arrival of the trains marks another important milestone in our planned enhancements to MetroRail service.

Over the next year, we will add double tracking to the 32-mile MetroRail Red Line so that trains can pass in more places. Currently, there are just two rail stations — MLK and Kramer — that have tracks on either side of the platforms, which allows both northbound and southbound trains to operate at once. When double tracking is added in other spots along the route, we’ll be able to operate the Red Line more frequently. Eventually, trains will run every 15 minutes during peak times, instead of every 30 minutes. In addition, signal improvements are also planned throughout the line to ensure safety remains our top priority.

Great things continue to happen at Capital Metro for our customers!

Click the link to the right for additional info! Continue reading “Our New Trains Have Arrived!      “

June Service Change: Tell us what you think! [UPDATE]

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Capital Metro will host a few opportunities next week for you to tell us what you think about what we’re doing and how we can do it better.

Three times each year, we shift our service a bit to accommodate changes in ridership and to adjust to the calendar. In June, for instance, UT Shuttles and other school-related routes switch to their summer schedules because there are fewer riders when school is out.

Every time we make changes to our system, we host meetings in person and online to let you know what we’re thinking of doing and to see if y’all have any thoughts for how we can provide better service. We’re not considering anything major for the June 2017 Service Change, but we still want to hear from you. In addition to the regular, school-related changes, we will adjust a couple of routes near the UT campus that have been on detour for more than a year. If our board approves of the changes, they would go into effect Sunday, June 4.

Ultimately, the final changes depend on what we hear from you, so come on out. [Note the updated time and date for the Public Hearing. We’ll host this opportunity at 11 a.m. on March 27 now.]:

Online Webinars

March 6 Noon (Registration) 6 p.m. (Registration)

Public Hearings

Friday, March 10

11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Gregory Gymnasium on the University of Texas campus

2101 Speedway, Austin, 78712

Served by all UT Shuttle routes and Routes 7, 10, 20 and 37.

Wednesday, March 15 Monday, March 27 [UPDATE]
Noon-1 p.m. 11 a.m.
Capital Metro Headquarters (Board Room)
2910 E. 5th Street,
Austin, TX 78702
Served by Routes 17 and 300

Online

Email: Feedback@capmetro.org

Twitter: @CapMetroATX

Cap Metro can help you deal with SXSW

sxsw-2017South By Southwest crowds are no joke. This year, like every year, Capital Metro will do the extra work while you get stuff done, meet great people and see some amazing shows.

There’s really no need for you to spend any mental energy on where to leave your car, how much parking costs or appointing a designated driver. Leave all that to us by jumping on MetroRapid to or taking MetroRail.

CapMetro service will be extended during the weeks of SXSW and will fit your schedule most every time. Here’s what you need to know: Continue reading “Cap Metro can help you deal with SXSW”

Capital Metro Board Approves Transit System Overhaul

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Capital Metro’s board of directors today approved the agency’s Connections 2025 draft transit plan, allowing the agency to move forward with a bold, new vision for its transit system. Some of the key elements of the new plan involve creating a more frequent, reliable and connected network of services.

In response to feedback from thousands of people around Central Texas, Capital Metro’s updated network will take a frequency-first approach, tripling the number of bus routes running every 15 minutes or better. The agency follows industry peers TriMet in Portland, Sound Transit in Seattle, Denver Metro and Houston Metro by investing in key corridors to build core frequent service and ridership, while reducing waiting times.

Capital Metro’s new plan is designed to improve the rider experience – creating a 24/7 transit system that will see expanded MetroExpress and MetroRapid service, and more east-west options.

“Today, our board showed its dedication to improving transportation in Central Texas through smart planning,” said Capital Metro President/CEO Linda Watson. “Major investments to build a better bus network will kick-off in 2018, and will continue paying off over the next 10 years. Austin desperately needs more mobility options, and this plan delivers the type of innovation and services people want.”

FEATURES OF THE NEW NETWORK:

  • 2 fare types (Local and Commuter)
  • 4 MetroRapid routes (running every 7-15 minutes)
  • 13 Frequent Local routes (running every 15 minutes)
  • 23 Local routes (running every 30 minutes)
  • 4 downtown circulator routes
  • 6 UT Shuttles
  • 8 Express routes

Continue reading “Capital Metro Board Approves Transit System Overhaul”

Connections 2025 Final Work Session This Friday

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Connections 2025, Capital Metro’s study to rethink transit, has been underway for over a year and is nearing the finish line. This week, our team will talk with the board of directors at a final work session on Friday, Feb. 17. After that, the board will vote on the Final Transit Plan at their monthly board meeting on Feb. 27.

To date, we’ve met with over 100 organizations, participated in 125 community meetings with nearly 4,000 attendees, and received 6,500 survey responses. On top of that, the Connections 2025 Draft Transit Plan has received support from these organizations:

  • Downtown Austin Alliance
  • Rocky Mountain Institute
  • Urban Transportation Commission
  • AURA
  • Alliance for Public Transportation in Austin
  • Austin Chamber of Commerce
  • Vision Zero
  • Pedestrian Advisory Council
  • Bicycle Advisory Committee
  • Downtown Commission
  • Zipcar

Continue reading “Connections 2025 Final Work Session This Friday”

Love Connections While Riding Transit

love-buttonsHave you ever had a missed connection while riding public transit? We’re not talking about missing your transfer to another bus, but a real love connection. Sometimes you ride the bus or train to get from point A to point B, but sometimes you stumble upon that special someone, while riding, who makes your heart skip a beat. You sing to yourself “At last, my love has come along,” like Etta James did. (That’s what it sounds like in your head anyway.) More than words are all you ever need to express how this happened, but you can’t help it if you are “crazy in love.”

In honor of Valentine’s Day, Capital Metro is happy to share with you some of our most favorite love stories from the Austin Collective. These riders share their public transit-inspired love stories.

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Continue reading “Love Connections While Riding Transit”

Next stop: Austin history

Trendy new cafes, stylish boutiques and new housing developments belie the African-American community that once existed in east Austin. During the late 1920s, the city of Austin supported the segregation of African-American people to the east side of the city, an area bordered by Manor Road to the north, Airport Road to the east, 7th Street to the south, Springdale Road to the southeast and what is now Interstate 35 to the West. The community endured as a historically African-American community until the mid-1990s. Continue reading “Next stop: Austin history”