Southwest Austin users of Route 333 have provided lots of feedback to the Connections 2025 team on our proposed elimination of service on Eskew Dr and Convict Hill Rd out to ACC Pinnacle. Because of this feedback, our team has taken a second look at the service changes proposed in the area.
As a reminder, during February, March and May of this year, we held public outreach all over the community and online and received thousands of responses about the types of changes they would like to see made to the transit system. More frequent service was by far the number one request we heard. Knowing that more frequent service is more expensive to operate, and given the realities of our budget, we have to make some difficult decisions: we can provide more frequent service on major corridors and ask people to travel further to access it, or we can provide more service to more places (called “coverage” service) but with less frequency.
Proposed changes to routes in the Southwest Austin area are examples of these sorts of difficult tradeoffs.
About the tradeoffs: A reality of the Connections 2025 Draft Transit Plan is that some people will need to change the way that they make their normal trips – which may now involve a transfer or a walk – but what you’re getting in return is a significant bump in frequent service across our service area (increasing from 6 to 17 routes) that positively benefits the community at large, overall.
What’s the proposal? The original proposal would eliminate Route 333 service west of Brodie. Instead, Route 333 would serve the Walmart at MoPac, then operate on Brodie Ln to William Cannon, and across William Cannon to the neighborhoods east of I-35 with 15-minute frequency 7-days per week. This change was proposed due to low ridership in the Convict Hill and Eskew areas, and to take advantage of stronger demand east of Brodie where the density is more supportive of transit. On an average weekday, there are 2.9 boardings/hour on Convict Hill and 3.4 boardings /hour at Eskew – our system average is 26 boardings /hour. Another metric we use for performance is subsidy per passenger boarding, our system average is $4.23. In the segment at Convict Hill, the subsidy per boarding is $20.28, Eskew – $17.35 and William Cannon – $4.89. Under the original proposal, service to ACC Pinnacle would still be available via Route 315 on Ben White.
Will the proposal change? After receiving neighborhood feedback, the team revisited the original proposal. After reexamining land uses, ridership, and subsidy-per-boarding, we presented to alternatives to our original proposal to the Capital Metro board of directors:
Potential Alternative A
- Frequent service on Route 333 east of Arbor Trails
- Every other weekday trip to ACC Pinnacle
Potential Alternative B
- Create weekday on-call zone to serve gap in service anchored at ACC Pinnacle and/or the H-E-B at Brodie/William Cannon
What’s next? Connections 2025 is still a draft plan at this time that continues changing based on feedback. Our team is carefully reviewing each and every response we receive as we work on finalizing this plan. The Capital Metro board will further evaluate the Connections 2025 Draft Transit Plan and will decide on a course to move forward with.
We continue taking feedback at Feedback@connections2025.org as the Draft Transit Plan has not been finalized. We anticipate our board of directors to vote on Final Transit Plan in December.
Visit Connections2025.org to see the updated Connections 2025 Draft Transit Plan interactive map revised today.