This is the third blog post in our week-long series about Connections 2025. We’ve heard your burning questions and have answers to your top questions.
Day 3 – Question: What will the proposed Connections 2025 transit network accomplish?
Frequency. Frequency. Frequency.
Frequency is the proven recipe for successful transit service in the U.S. and abroad. Our neighbors to the east, Houston, changed their system to focus on frequency a little over a year ago. We’ve seen their ridership up by 7% since they altered their system.
More importantly, we overwhelmingly heard requests for more frequency during our community public outreach in Feb./March and May 2016.
We responded! The proposed Connections 2025 network would put a whole lot more people within a 10-minute walk of bus or train service running every 15-minutes or better.
Why does frequency matter?
Frequency is popular because it provides freedom. With buses arriving every 10 – 15 minutes, riders can travel more spontaneously without consulting a schedule. Frequency combined with real-time arrival information makes transit easier and more attractive. Studies have shown that frequency is the most important factor when someone decides to try transit for the first time.
How much frequency are we talkin?
- Proposed increase from 6 to 17 frequent routes.
- 82% of Capital Metro’s existing customers would have access to frequent service compared to 50% today.
- Over a half-million people would be within a short walk to frequent service (a quarter of the region’s population).
More frequency means less waiting time at your bus stop AND easier transfers between routes. That translates into more reliable service you can depend on for every day trips.
To help achieve more reliable service, Capital Metro would also use “transit priority treatments” to speed up the buses. This means, relocated/redesigned bus stops, transit signals where buses receive a green light before cars, or more transit priority lanes (such as the ones along Guadalupe and Lavaca in downtown Austin).
Along with transit priority treatments, Capital Metro staff would work to improve the on-street management of the buses. That’s something we are working on today!
What about east/west?
Not only is the new network designed to be more frequent, it is more connected. We also heard during public outreach in early & mid 2016 a desire for more east-west routes. We’re proposing new east-west service along Slaughter, Cesar Chavez, 35th/38th Street, 45th, Loyola, Koenig and Anderson Lane, to name a few. This will allow people easier access to their destinations without having to travel downtown to transfer routes.