Revisiting the Connections 2025 Draft Transit Plan

backgroun1.PNGThis week, we’re posting updates on Capital Metro routes that we’re revisiting based on community feedback. Today, we presented our Board of Directors some Connections 2025 Draft Transit Plan potential route changes at their November Work Session. We’ll review these briefly at the November board meeting and take public comments. The board will further evaluate to make a final decision.

Before we dive into the details, let’s get a refresher on this year-long process. In early 2016, we hosted a series of open houses designed to gauge our community’s priorities for Connections 2025. We heard you ask for more frequency, reliability and connections. In May, we hosted another round of open houses to talk about the tradeoffs between frequency and coverage. We took that feedback into consideration when designing the Draft Transit Plan that prioritizes frequency while maintaining 98% of current service coverage.  

What’s proposed in the Connections 2025 Draft Transit Plan? Increasing the number of frequent routes (running every 15 minutes or less) from 6 to 17—expanding accessible frequent transit service available within a 10-minute walk to 200,000 more people across our service area. Read about some of the other benefits.

In the planning process, we’ve reviewed service based on national best practices in transit system design, including: ridership, land use, employment and residential density, etc. However, in order to achieve the system-wide frequency upgrades within our existing budget, we have make some tough decisions that include consolidating, and in some cases, eliminating service. 

The Connections 2025 Draft Transit Plan has been out for our community to review since late August. Over the past two months, we’ve talked with:

  • Nearly 2,000 people at open houses and neighborhood events
  • Over 1,300 people at pop-up outreach events and major bus stops
  • More than 21,000 viewed the Draft Transit Plan online
  • Over 1,500 people responded to the online survey

Where are we now? Today, staff presented potential changes to the Capital Metro board of directors. Check out our blog posts coming up that will include more details on these routes that the Connections 2025 team has revisited:

Check Out the Updated Map

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.

10 thoughts on “Revisiting the Connections 2025 Draft Transit Plan

  1. Novacek

    The revised plan still has one of the problems from before, the frequent service doesn’t actually form a grid in North Austin. Or even north central Austin.

    There is no frequent connection between the 801 and the 803 north of 38th street.

    In fact, I think it might be even worse than before. Wasn’t there formerly frequent service on 45th?

    Contrast this with South Austin, that has a very obvious grid of frequent service all the way down to William Cannon.

    This could be improved/partially remedied in a variety of ways.

    1) Extend 7 west along Anderson lane, instead of terminating at Crestview.
    2) Same with 300
    3) or replace 323 with an extension of 1 instead of terminating each at the Wal-Mart.

    1. Capital Metro

      Hi Novacek, the plan proposes high-frequency on corridors that have proven the level of demand and appropriate land use. We appreciate your feedback! Upon board approval, Connections 2025 would serve as the strategic plan for the next 5 years. However, we would host subsequent public meetings and need board approval as we get into each implementation phase of the plan. We hope you stay involved and continue sharing your input. Thanks – Melissa

      1. Novacek

        Right, but you also need a way to get from one “corridors that have proven the level of demand and appropriate land use” to another. The transit system is just that, a system and a network.

        Right now, the Burnet corridor is very, _very_ isolated from the rest of the frequent network. Addressing this isolation and actually connecting the network would require fairly minimal extensions of some of the planned frequent routes.

        And yes, as always thanks for letting me give my feedback.

        1. Capital Metro

          Of course, we agree. The proposal is made up of high-frequency routes (every 15 min or less), Local (every 30 or less), Express, Community, UT routes, etc, to form a network of service.
          Depending which part of Burnet you’re referring to, we are proposing Routes 5 (Local) and 803 (High-Frequency route) along that corridor.
          If you’d like to talk in more detail, we’re happy to chat via email as well at Feedback@Connections2025.org.

          1. Novacek

            I can email if you all prefer, but this works fine for me.

            >>Depending which part of Burnet you’re referring to, we are proposing Routes 5 (Local) and 803 (High-Frequency route) along that corridor

            I’m not referring to traveling _along_ that corridor, I’m referring to traveling _from_ that corridor.

            One of the advantages of a frequent service network is that it reduces the penalty of transferring from one route to another. Obviously it’s impossible to have a direct route from every location to every other, but with a sufficiently dense frequent network you can make travel from any given point A in the network to point B in the network relatively painless.

            But this starts to fall apart if you don’t actually have network connectivity. And that’s where the Burnet corridor starts to have problems. Having the 803 is great if you want to travel from somewhere on Burnet to somewhere else _on_ Burnet. But if you need to travel to some other location in the frequent network it will be a lot harder. You’ll need to either ride all the way south to 38th (the first connection from the 803 to the rest of the frequent network) OR you’ll have to transfer to a non-frequent route (which will often leave you waiting at the local’s stop for quite a while).

  2. Melissa Lynn Pollard

    I posted this under the MetroRail section too.

    It would be nice if you would serve West Austin. All the way from Four Points, down 620, to Oak Grove Plaza. All of this is Austin and there is NOT ONE bus there. In Impact Magazine, a Capital Metro rep said there were van pools, and that way, you wouldn’t “HAVE TO TAKE THE BUS.” Why is it a HAVE TO in order to take the bus. What if you WANT TO or NEED TO? A van pool serves such few people. What about a bus? Austin pays taxes for Capital Metro bus. Why doesn’t Austin get the bus throughout Austin? No wonder we needed Uber and Lyft and etcetera. Because Capital Metro isn’t doing its job! It is inefficient and doesn’t get me to where I need to go. So I can’t ride it. How about taking some cars off the road? How about really doing the research? How about getting paid based upon the areas and the people you are serving? How about leaving Austin and letting a new company come and serve us properly!!!

    1. Capital Metro

      Hi Melissa, there are certain areas within our Service Area that have not proven the level of demand and/or have accessible street networks that are conducive to transit service. Additionally, we cannot provide bus service in the regions west of Austin that are not participating jurisdictions of our Service Area. However, it’s important to remember we will host additional public meetings and will be looking for community input as we get into each implementation phase of Connections 2025. We appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

  3. Jerry Spoor

    The bus drivers told me bus #333 is doing great during peak hours west of Brodie on Eskew and Convict Hill. It is comparable to bus #111 to Circle C. Then you are adding an additional bus to #111 and totally eliminating bus #333 west of Brodie. Why? The area west of Brodie will have zero full time bus service while frequency of service will increase east of Brodie where 10 bus routes exist.

    Brodie Lane is the most dense north/south road in South Austin yet it has no bus service. I used financial figures to prove a better route solution and it was denounced due to the figures being 2 years old. Then Cap Metro presented a map for planning that was 7 years old. The existing route design for southwest Austin is not designed properly.

    I am told people will take their car instead of the bus if a transfer is needed for the Circle C bus #111. This is true for all of Austin or it is not true for all of Austin. I have never taken a bus that did not require a transfer.

    1. Capital Metro

      Hi Jerry, our Planning team will be reaching out to you to respond to your feedback. Keep an eye out for an email soon!

      Not all of Brodie Lane is in Capital Metro’s service area, which will limit the success of the route. Two locations that would be trip generators are outside of our service area are Sunset Valley and Shady Hollow. Without the ability to pick up and drop off customers at these locations, ridership would not reach its potential. However, these limitations could go away over the next few years through annexation and / or Capital Metro’s service expansion policy, which provides paths for municipalities that are outside our service area to have service. Since Capital Metro conducts service plans such as Connections 2025 every 5 years, Brodie Lane will be revisited in the future. Thanks -Melissa

  4. Novacek

    Lawrence Deeter has recently been quoted that the station spacing on Metrorapid routes would be 1/2 miles.

    https://communityimpact.com/austin/northwest-austin/city-county/2017/02/17/capital-metro-considers-frequent-bus-service-new-routes/

    While all previous communication from Capital Metro (including the connections 2025 web site still http://connections2025.org/draft-plan/ ) have indicated station spacing would be 1/3 mile or less.

    Can you please reconcile this discrepancy?

    Thanks

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