Last month, Capital Metro’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the partnership to plan changes to Republic Square Park. The renovation project, which will improve both the form and function of the one-acre area, is a partnership project between the City of Austin, Austin Parks Foundation, Downtown Austin Alliance and key stakeholders. A major capital campaign seeks to raise $6 million to complete the project. Capital Metro is contributing to the plan for the purpose of enhancing transit amenities and our riders’ experiences.
Republic Square, located between Guadalupe, West Fifth, San Antonio and West Fourth streets, has long been a popular gathering place. The land was set aside for public use when Austin was founded in 1839. Though the park was converted into a parking lot in the 1960s, by 1974 the Sierra Club and PARD sought to reestablish it as a public park. Restoration began just two years later as part of the national bicentennial celebration, and was named “Republic Square,” a suggestion by the Lions’ Club of Austin.
Today, the park is currently home to the Movies in the Park series, Yoga in the Park and the Austin Farmers’ Market. It is also one of our busiest transit centers, allowing more than 5,300 riders each day to connect to 32 routes, including both MetroRapid routes.
Riders will notice some physical improvements after the revamp, including enhanced walkways and platforms, better lighting, leaning walls, a food vending kiosk and public restrooms. Work on Republic Square is scheduled to begin in June and is expected to be complete in mid-2017.