A great year for the Capital Metro board

This month marks the one-year anniversary of the new composition of the Capital Metro board of directors.  There is no question that this has been a very productive year for this VERY engaged board. I have not worked with a transit board as engaged as the Capital Metro board.

You know, being on the transit board requires members to volunteer a significant amount of time and energy, in addition to their “day jobs.” It is hard, often thankless, work.

So I made a point to thank them publicly at their regular board meeting yesterday. In addition to giving each of them a happy anniversary cupcake, we printed and displayed at the meeting a selection of 20 key decisions made by the board over the past year. See the list below. I think you will agree that this board’s accomplishments over the past year make quite an impressive list.

We have more work to do, of course, and it will not be easy, but it has been a successful year for the Capital Metro board, and I am looking forward to accomplishing as much or more over the next year.

Under the leadership of the new board, in the past year Capital Metro has:

  • Implemented a new operating reserve policy and began increasing reserves
  • Adopted new policies for MetroAccess that save the system money and improve operational efficiencies
  • Approved a five-year capital improvement plan consistent with organizational and regional long-range goals
  • Adopted ServicePlan 2020
  • Improved financial transparency online, which earned Capital Metro the Texas Comptroller’s highest recognition for government transparency
  • Adopted a new fare structure so that fares cover more of the cost of operating services
  • Approved $2.5 million to improve bus stop accessibility during FY2011 and partnered with the city of Austin to leverage additional sidewalk improvements
  • Approved a new agreement for the University of Texas Shuttle system that increases system revenues
  • Launched Capital MetroRail, the 32-mile commuter rail system
  • Developed a new railroad bridge safety management program accepted by the Federal Railroad Administration
  • Reached a new agreement with the city of Austin for regional mobility commitments
  • Established new board governance policies
  • Enhanced project management of the MetroRapid bus rapid transit project with increased accountability to include milestones and performance measures
  • Developed a new community involvement policy that reaches out to a greater number of stakeholders
  • Approved a new freight rail contract that increases system revenues
  • Created and filled a new vice president of rail operations position to oversee all passenger and freight rail operations, maintenance of way, track, bridges, signals, crossings, and compliance with all Federal Railroad Administration regulations
  • Hired a new president/CEO using a community involvement process that has become a national model for inclusiveness and community engagement
  • Instituted a tobacco-free facilities policy as a leader in the transit industry
  • Implemented most of the recommendations from the Sunset Advisory Commission, with others substantially complete

So if you happen to run into one of these transit leaders out in the community, give them a well-deserved pat on the back for their hard work and progress:

Capital Metro Board of Directors

Mike Martinez, chairman and Labor Committee chair
John Langmore, vice chair and Rail Committee chair
Beverly Silas, secretary
Chris Riley, Operations & Planning Committee chair
Frank Fernandez, Audit & Finance Committee chair
Norm Chafetz
Justin Blackmore-Hlista
Ann Stafford

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