By Roberto Gonzalez, Capital Metro Planning
Capital Metro would like to thank our riders who have taken the time to provide valuable feedback regarding the proposed transition of WL and CR Shuttle route riders to mainline Capital Metro service for Spring 2014 (capmetro.org/Spring2014).
The UT Shuttle system is jointly funded through a partnership between Capital Metro and The University of Texas. Funding for the University’s portion comes from the Student Fee Bill Committee (SSBC) and unfortunately, for the past several years, there has not been an increase to any of the organizations funded through the SSBC based on financial constraints across the University (despite annual rising costs). Thus, the shuttle system cannot continue to operate at the same levels as before.
Working with the UT Shuttle Bus Committee (a group comprised of students, faculty, staff), Capital Metro staff has developed proposed changes to service in order to match available funding. The committee must balance the needs of students with the need to provide cost-effective shuttle service that benefits the entire student community (all of whom pay equally into the system).
The proposal was developed after evaluating shuttle route performance where it was determined that both CR and WL shuttle routes are UT’s lowest-performing routes (measured by ridership and resources expended). In making this determination, Capital Metro used student population data gathered from the University as well as ridership data collected by automatic passenger counters (APC) equipped on shuttle vehicles.
Anytime a major change to the system is proposed, Capital Metro collects public feedback and comments through various channels including:
- public meetings
- on-line forums
- at-stop outreach
- social media
Feedback is being reviewed on a daily basis by Capital Metro staff and initial summaries have been shared with the University. By far, the majority of comments received to date have been from users of the CR Cameron Road shuttle (primarily, residents from the Camino la Costa area). These comments have focused largely on the distance and area in which a student would be required to walk in order to reach the nearest mainline service to campus along Route 7 Duval/Dove Springs. (Route 37 Colony Park/Windsor Park also offers access to campus for a majority of riders along the CR shuttle). Students have also stated the use of Route 7 would increase travel time to/from the University. Finally, students have expressed concerns that this change would take place mid-school year (spring), which for many would be in the middle of apartment leases.
Based on feedback we have received on the proposal to transition the CR Shuttle route to mainline service, Capital Metro and The University of Texas are considering a revision to the initial service change proposal. This revised proposal would preserve service into the Spring semester, allowing students to make appropriate housing arrangements while the University and Capital Metro address funding constraints.
The revised CR Shuttle proposal would be modified to serve the Camino la Costa area only. Route CR would operate at every 30 minutes between 7am-11pm Weekdays (Finals service would also be offered) and at every 60 minutes between 3pm-10pm Sundays. This route, however, would operate only until the end of the Spring 2014 semester.
The proposed revision is still under consideration. Feedback received on the following survey questions will help Capital Metro and the University make a final determination: surveymonkey.com/s/MZQBKVD We will follow-up in future emails if a proposal modification is finalized.
We will continue to keep the University apprised of your feedback and encourage you to continue commenting via any of the following available forums:
- Online discussion forum – ideas.capmetro.org
- Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone – GO Line 512-474-1200
A public hearing is scheduled for Monday, September 16th at Capital Metro’s main administration building (5 p.m.) and the proposal will go before Capital Metro’s Board of Directors for consideration on September 23rd at noon.
The proposed changes to UT Shuttle routes are part of the tri-annual service change process that allows Capital Metro to adjust routes, schedules, bus stop locations and facilities in order to improve overall service and create a more efficient system. Visit capmetro.org/changes and view our short video for more information.
Thank you again for your time and please do not hesitate to contact me directly should you require additional information or request more specific answers to your questions already raised.
Roberto Gonzalez, Capital Metro – Planning
UPDATE: As of Sept. 23, the Capital Metro board of directors has approved the Spring 2014 Service Changes with the revision made to maintain the Cameron Road Shuttle through the spring semester. To review all approved changes to the transit system, visit www.capmetro.org/Spring2014.