Transportation is a key issue—some would say THE key issue—in our region. This one element affects our quality of life, economy, housing choices and affordability. During the last several years, Capital Metro has developed new services and enhanced existing services to make transit easier to use, and offer better customer experiences: MetroRapid, the frequent-transit network, real-time information and the CapMetro App.
But we’re not resting on our laurels—we’re powering ahead, and in the next few years we’ll offer even more transit advances. Capital Metro continues to work alongside the City of Austin, the Texas Department of Transportation and others to improve mobility in the region. Here’s an overview of what we’re working on to improve mobility and increase transportation choices.
Every five years, we ask the community to help us review our transit system to address regional growth and plan service improvements. We kicked-off outreach last February with open houses, a survey that garnered more than 5,000 responses, and one-on-one meetings with community leaders. We plan to give a preview of the draft transit plan in August.
The CapMetro App was developed in 2014 to give customers real-time information for buses and trains, and enable them to purchase tickets and plan transit trips. To date, the app has been downloaded more than 240,000 times. We are currently in the process of making updates, with the next generation expected to launch this year. In addition, we are planning a redesign of our website, on track to go live this fall.
Project Connect Central Core
The primary goal of this project is to develop a practical solution to improve high-capacity travel into and within downtown Austin. We’ll work with the community to consider modes, transit corridors and resources, and will be kicking off community outreach later this year.
Park & Rides
We now have 14 Park & Rides in operation. We are expanding parking at our most-used MetroRail Stations, adding 460 spaces to Lakeline Station and 75 spaces to Howard Station by 2017. We are also hoping to add more Park & Rides to connect outlying regions with our transit system in the near future.
We have some big improvements on the way, with the goals of doubling capacity and increasing frequency to 15-minutes during peak hours. Another major project in the works is our newly designed Downtown Station, which is set to open in 2018.
The proposed project calls for redeveloping the six-block, 10-acre site into a mixed-use community. The development will feature approximately 800 apartments with at least 15 percent being deeply affordable, 110,000 sq. ft. of retail space, 120,000 sq. ft. of office space and more than 1.8 acres of open space with public art. It is slated to begin construction in 2017, with completion projected in 2019.
—And these are just SOME of the things we are working on! Keep an eye out for updates on this blog and on capmetro.org.