Connections 2025: What about MetroRail?

This is the 5th blog post in our week-long series about Connections 2025. We’ve heard your burning questions and have answers to your top questions.  

Day 5 – Question: What about MetroRail?

The Connections 2025 vision for MetroRail is to serve as one of two components in the “Rapid Transit” category of service (the other being I-35 BRT service in dedicated express lanes). “Rapid Transit” routes provide frequent, high-capacity transit with limited-stop regional transit service that also serves as an integral part of the all-day, all-week core network. These types of services operate on dedicated right-of-way and can provide guaranteed, congestion-proof travel times to, from and between destinations throughout the Capital Metro service area.

Today, MetroRail works well as a commuter rail service, operating more productive trips during morning and afternoon peak travel times, corresponding with typical 9-5 working hours. Ridership drops off significantly during the midday as train service frequency decreases to every hour.

Connections 2025 proposes turning the Red Line into an all-day, all-week workhorse in the frequent service network. This means trains coming every 15 minutes or better most of the day and into the night. A number of capital improvements are in the works currently, including the development of the new Downtown Station, the acquisition of 4 brand new, clean Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) trains, and the installation of strategic double tracking along the rail corridor to allow trains to pass each other in more locations. Once headway is made on some of these capital infrastructure investments, train riders can expect to see more frequent MetroRail service in 2018.

What do you think about the proposed MetroRail improvements? We encourage you to visit to share your thoughts on the proposed plan.

For more information, visit or call 512-369-6000.


3 thoughts on “Connections 2025: What about MetroRail?

  1. mdahmus

    Running MetroRail all day at 15 minute frequencies does nothing to solve its fatal flaw: It runs on DMUs (and remember, “clean diesel” is an oxymoron), so it can never be extended/rerouted into actual urban areas like real light rail could. Turning radiuses are problem #1, but if you could somehow bulldoze entire downtown blocks like the other DMU “light” rail line did in New Jersey, you still have the problem that pedestrians don’t enjoy inhaling diesel fumes.

    The Red Line was a huge mistake. Doubling down on it is engaging in the sunk cost fallacy. The best thing we could do for rail transit in Austin is end service on the Red Line immediately and do what every other smart city would do and start to build light rail where the people actually are and where they actually want to go – which in our city means Guadalupe/Lamar.

      1. mdahmus

        Can be != should be.

        Anybody proposing more rather than less diesel emissions in the middle of our highest pedestrian area should have their head examined.

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