Capital Metro changes service three times a year, in conjunction with UT and AISD academic calendars. Service change proposals can vary from minor schedule adjustments to facility integration to large-scale route restructuring.
A critical component of the service change process is public involvement. Customer feedback helps Capital Metro fine-tune the service change package and ultimately improve service.
While most transit agencies across the country are reducing service, Capital Metro has been fortunate enough to maintain similar levels of service over the past few years. As a result, recent service changes have essentially been a reallocation of resources from underutilized routes or trips to areas and corridors with high ridership demand.
The following is a summary of the most significant proposed changes we are proposing for January 2012:
Route 3 Burnet/Manchaca
The Route 3 proposal includes a minor realignment between 11th and 29th Street. The primary reason for this change is to improve access to UT. Currently, many passengers ride the bus to West Campus and walk to UT. Another reason is to improve directness and reduce travel time to downtown by realigning service from Rio Grande and Nueces to Guadalupe and Lavaca. Guadalupe and Lavaca are important transit corridors for existing and planned services. Capital Metro is also working with the City of Austin to study the feasibility of transit lanes on the Drag.
Route 100 Airport Flyer
Route 100 has not performed well in terms of ridership productivity but it provides an important link to Austin Bergstrom International Airport. In recent years, Capital Metro cut several low-performing routes; Route 100 now sits near the bottom of the list and is failing to meet minimum ridership standards. Proposed changes to Route 100 focus on efficiency, directness, and simplicity. Realigning the route from 7th Street to a dense, high-ridership corridor like Riverside would draw riders seeking a faster trip to downtown. Shortening the route within UT would reduce (bus) running time. The northern terminus for Route 100 would be located along 23rd Street, the eastern hub for UT Shuttles. Streamlining the route within the downtown area would speed up service and make the route easier to understand. Stops would be located within ¼ mile of most hotels and attractions (Convention Center, Capitol, museums, etc.). Connectivity with MetroRail would also be improved by stopping at Downtown Station. In addition to the routing and stop changes, the biggest improvement for this route and its riders includes increasing the frequency to 30 minutes from 40 minutes.
Route 240 Parkfield
Route 240 has been tweaked a few times over the past year in terms of routing and schedule. The January 2011 service change included adjustments to several North Austin routes. Weekend service was added to Route 240 and service was realigned from Parkfield to a high-density corridor in Rutland (previously served by Route 1M). The proposed change for January 2012 seeks to realign the route from Parkfield, Payton Gin, Ohlen and Research Blvd to North Lamar to improve connectivity to shopping in the Lamar/Rundberg area, aka the International District.
Route 243 Wells Branch
Route 243 was shortened in January 2011 due to low ridership north of Wells Branch, which allowed an improvement in frequency along Wells Branch. The proposed change for January 2012 seeks to realign the route from Thermal and Howard Lane to East Wells Branch Parkway and Heatherwilde improve connectivity to shopping, which has been repeatedly requested by customers. The current schedule has enough flexibility to absorb this service extension without additional resources.
Route 990 Manor/Elgin Express
Route 990 was realigned in January 2011 to better serve major employers along Koenig and North Lamar. In partnership with the Capital Area Rural Transportation System (CARTS), the route was extended to Elgin. Morning and afternoon trips were also added. Capital Metro is currently constructing a new Park & Ride in Downtown Manor, which will replace the current leased Park & Ride. The new facility will offer more capacity and is situated along the conceptual Green Line rail right-of-way. The 990 will be realigned to serve the new and improved facility, which is slated to be completed later this year.
Click here for more information on all of the service change proposals, including details on how to provide feedback.