Last week, Capital Metro learned that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has recommended $17.39 million in funding for MetroRapid. The funding is a part of President Barack Obama’s FY2010 budget, which must still be approved by Congress.
MetroRapid was one out of 10 new or expanding transit projects that the FTA recommended for funding. This announcement was a welcomed surprise. We submitted the project just nine months ago; and we were not anticipating possible funding this early in the process.
Initial service will operate on two of the busiest corridors: North Lamar/South Congress and Burnet/South Lamar. The project cost for these first two routes is an estimated $47 million. Capital Metro is still pursuing more federal funding, up to $37 million.
Capital Metro plans to start the procurement process for MetroRapid buses later this year. Staff is considering a combination of 40-foot and 60-foot vehicles. The buses will be equipped with signal priority technology to keep traffic lights green as they approach major intersections.
For more on the MetroRapid system, visit our web site.