Study to Determine Innovative Transit Solutions for Central Austin Moves Forward

Since the rail bond proposal, or “Proposition 1,” was defeated in November 2014, we’ve received a lot of questions about what we’re doing for Austin’s Central Corridor where there is still a critical need for effective and connected transit solutions.

PCCCquote 1We went back to the drawing board. Project Connect partners agreed to utilize the remaining grant funding to re-engage the community and initiate a new study under Capital Metro’s management. The Central Corridor Study that began in 2014 will now continue with AECOM, an integrated global engineering firm, leading the effort, working with transportation agencies, stakeholders and the public to shape Austin’s transit future.

The Central Corridor study is intended to accomplish three key goals:

  1. Identify short term solutions that can be done with current infrastructure to improve mobility within the study area.
  2. Identify longer term projects including new modes of high capacity transit, such as bus rapid transit, light rail or commuter rail.
  3. Develop a funding strategy and timeline for the proposed infrastructure projects.

PCCCquote 2While the entire Central Texas region is experiencing phenomenal growth, central Austin is a key area of focus for improving mobility. Nearly 150,000 people drive into and out of the downtown area each day, so creating effective transit options for the heart of the city is vital for increasing economic growth and improving the quality of life. To build a truly connected system, a multi-modal transportation plan that improves transit in the Central Corridor must also effectively maximize connections with regional routes in surrounding communities.

This will be a comprehensive study where all modes of transit will be explored including, though not limited to, rail, with the goal of developing efficient, feasible and practical solutions to transportation issues. From community input and studying a variety of factors like population growth, economic development, migration patterns, land use, roadways and traffic flow, the firm will create a workable, FTA-guided plan that can be funded and developed, along with a realistic cost analysis for building, operating and maintaining the proposed system.

AECOM’s study is expected to take 30 months to complete. Remaining Project Connect federal grant funds, combined with support from Capital Metro and the City of Austin, will be used to cover the study’s $3 million cost. As part of the study, AECOM will also identify potential funding resources to support the resulting plan’s implementation; these sources may be federal, state, public or private based.

PCCC Chart

How can you become involved? We’re depending on your participation, insight and feedback so that an effective transit plan, one that expresses the community’s vision and meets improves your own connectivity, can be created. Please visit ProjectConnect.com to for more information about the Central Corridor study as it progresses.

6 thoughts on “Study to Determine Innovative Transit Solutions for Central Austin Moves Forward

  1. Will

    That money should have been returned to the taxpayers. What is missing here in this article is dollar amounts. How much has this project cost us so far? And I think an important question is are passenger fares being used to cover the project?

    1. Capital Metro

      Hello Will, Remaining Project Connect federal grant funds (80%), combined with support from Capital Metro and the City of Austin (20%), will be used to cover the study’s cost. As part of the study, AECOM will identify potential funding resources to support the resulting plan’s implementation. ^AP

  2. Frank Castellana

    If i were in charge at Cap Metro i would seek sponsorship from the local retailers. Each bus would offer an electronic billboard that displays ad panels for sponsors at key geographic locations. Thus should bring in revenue, as well as incentive for the next step.
    Step 2 encourage sponsors to set up and host a bus terminal that transfers passengers in proximity to the store entrance. Specifically those with a full size grocery store. All bus traffic in the area would service those terminals and they will serve as transfer points.
    Pick out at least 7 retail terminals to be express hubs that express crosstown buses would service.

  3. Capital Metro

    Hi Frank, Yes, stakeholders (including area businesses) will participate in planning efforts. Billboards and signage are sometimes limited due to community restrictions but those options may still be explored. ^AP

  4. Pingback: Connections 2025 FAQ: What about rail? | Capital MetroBlog

  5. mdahmus

    What have you learned from the large opposition of transit advocates to the past iteration of Project Connect that would lead us to take you seriously this time around?

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