As Central Texas grows, so does its transit needs, and the expectations of Capital Metro’s riders. In an effort to address traffic congestion and public demand for more mobility choices, we’ve spent the past year looking at every aspect of our bus system to see where improvements could be made. The result: Connections 2025, an in-depth plan designed to act as a road map for supporting the region’s transportation needs over the next 10 years.
Earlier this year, we talked with thousands of people at open houses, community meetings and special events. We also did a survey that more than 5,000 of you took, telling us what kind of bus service was most important to you. We heard you loud and clear that – overwhelmingly – you want more frequency on key corridors. You also told us you wanted an easier experience, whether it be transferring from one service to another, or better choices for east-west travel.
See draft maps at the bottom of this blog post, or visit Connections2025.org to view our interactive map and share your feedback!
The resulting Connections 2025 draft transit plan focuses on creating a fast, frequent, simplified and more connected bus system. At the core of the draft plan is an expanded frequent service network that would result in improved transit access for current riders, residents and employers in our service area. The proposal includes:
- More frequent service for more riders: Service every 10-15 minutes within walking distance of over half a million people.
- Nearly 3 times the number of routes in the High-Frequency Route Network: Increased from 6 to 17 routes.
- Bus service closer to more people: 98.6 percent of existing riders would be within a quarter mile (a 5-minute walk), and 99.4 percent within a half mile (a 10-minute walk) of a bus stop.
- More options for East-West travel: Expanded route options and greater frequency in both directions.
- Just two fare levels: Yes, Premium fare would be eliminated. Local fare would then apply to Local (MetroBus) and Premium (MetroRapid and Flyer Routes 100-199) services. (Commuter fare would still apply to MetroRail, & MetroExpress Routes 900-990.)
- Easier travel between work and home: More direct routes between concentrated areas of housing and employment.
But we’re not done! From Sept. 6-16, we’ll be conducting more open houses, and gaining input from online comments, social media, phone calls and email. We’ll also be where our riders are, like bus stops, neighborhood meetings and special event around town.
We still need your feedback about our proposed new direction – so let us know what you think!
The January 2017 proposal would go before the Capital Metro board of directors at a public hearing on Sept. 7, and will be voted on Sept. 26. If approved, the changes would take effect Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017. The complete plan will be voted on by the Capital Metro board of directors in November.