Expanded MetroRail service prompts new look at parades and rail safety

The annual Austin Juneteenth parade, sponsored by the Greater East Austin Youth Association, is right around the corner, Tuesday, June 19. Capital Metro is proud to continue its long-standing participation with the Juneteenth celebration.


This year, for the first time, MetroRail trains will be in full operation during the time of the parade. The parade route has traditionally ended at the Rosewood Park rail crossing, which will see MetroRail trains passing by an average of every 18 minutes on the morning of the parade.  Because the safety of the community is the number one priority for the event organizers and Capital Metro, the parade route will be slightly detoured away from the Rosewood rail crossing.

 Beginning this week, Capital MetroRail trains are traveling just a wee bit faster along the line (15% reduction in travel time from end to end), allowing us to add another morning and evening round trip. With the recent addition of Friday night and Saturday MetroRail service, too, it becomes clear that the community should “always expect a train.”

The Juneteenth parade procession will travel its traditional route heading east on MLK, south on Chicon, and east on Rosewood, and now turn north onto Chestnut, east onto Pleasant Valley and end at New York Drive.

Likewise, the annual Republic of Texas Bike Rally begins this Friday, and up to 20K motorcycles will make their way from the Travis County Expo Center to downtown on Friday evening. The procession route included crossing the Rosewood rail crossing, and we advocated to modify that route as well.

Our city is growing and changing fairly rapidly, and although the decision to modify these long-standing traditional parade routes was not made lightly, it was a necessary decision.

Capital Metro is helping to get the word out about the Juneteenth parade route change. Check out the new route map.

Now would be a great time to review some basic rail safety tips with your family. Here are a few good ones:

  • Cross tracks ONLY at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings
  • Always stop, look both ways and listen for trains before crossing the tracks.
  • Flashing red lights signal that a train is approaching from either direction.
  • Never walk around or behind lowered gates at a crossing.
  • Do not cross the tracks until the lights have stopped flashing
  • Teach your children the importance of crossing the tracks safely – “Stop, look and listen”.
  • Hold on to your child when a train approaches and when walking across railroad tracks.
  • Walking or biking along railroad tracks is very dangerous and considered trespassing.

We hope to see you at the Juneteenth celebration. Look for the “Portraits of Freedom” bus decorated by neighborhood youth in the parade. Have a safe and happy Juneteenth!

2 thoughts on “Expanded MetroRail service prompts new look at parades and rail safety

    1. Erica

      Marinus, we’ve had the same safety message since 2008 when we started working with a grassroots safety coalition to help prepare the community for the start of commuter rail. I’m sorry if the 15% faster bit stands out–that wasn’t my intent. I included that tidbit to uncderscore the fact that the general direction we are headed is to maximize MetroRail’s potential for the community, and, along with the fact that our city is growing rapidly and also that ridership on the train is also growing steadily–we can’t (as a community) interact with the trains like we’ve always done.

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