The biggest improvement Cap Remap will bring to our bus system is the increase in frequency on so many routes. We will triple the number of Local bus routes in our High-Frequency Network, going from four to 12 (in addition to the two MetroRapid lines).
Another big change will be the rerouting of some buses off neighborhood streets and onto busier corridors. This is being done for several reasons and will benefit the system overall, but it will definitely require some adjustments for our customers, many of whom will have to walk a couple of extra blocks to get to the better service.
Our service planners like this kind of change because it allows buses to travel on busier streets that are more pedestrian friendly and conducive to transit use. It also increases the connectivity of the network since traveling on major corridors increases the transfer points between High-Frequency routes.
Our bus operators like this kind of change because neighborhood streets tend to be narrower and often twist and turn in ways that connector corridors don’t. Put directly, it’s simpler and safer to drive on a street like 51st Street than on a neighborhood street like Rogge Lane.
Another reality of Cap Remap is that we’re a public agency working with limited resources. To provide so much High-Frequency service throughout the city, we needed to make tough decisions in certain places, because we can’t provide that level of service everywhere. We believe that the overall plan will benefit the most people.
Now let’s look at a few examples of what we’re talking about.
Route 300 Shifts to 51st Street from Rogge Lane
The Route 300 Govalle currently travels southbound along Berkman Drive before turning east on Rogge Lane. It twists and turns through the Windsor Park neighborhood before reaching Springdale Road and heading south. It is the only bus route that runs on Rogge.
With Cap Remap, the new Route 300 Springdale/Oltorf keeps to primary roads (like St. Johns, Cameron and 51st up north and Pleasant Valley, Oltorf and Lamar down south). Rather than running on a street that’s not well known outside its own neighborhood, is heavily residential and offers no close connections to other transit, the new 300 routing takes it along 51st Street from Cameron to Springdale. That allows customers to connect with three other High-Frequency routes (10, 20 and 335) on that stretch alone.
Route 17 Moves off of 2nd Street to Cesar Chavez
East 2nd Street between Pleasant Valley Road and Chalmers Street is fairly narrow, remains almost exclusively residential and features speed bumps all along the way. Cesar Chavez Street between Pleasant Valley and I-35 is a busy, urban corridor with restaurants, retail and employment centers. It’s a primary east-west corridor that has good sidewalks and offers opportunities to connect to other transit options at primary north-south corridors like Pleasant Valley and Chicon Street.
That’s why Cap Remap moves the Route 17 from 2nd to Cesar Chavez. It will now travel from ACC Riverside to Republic Square almost exclusively on Cesar Chavez throughout its trip. It’s a simpler, more direct route and will operate every 15 minutes, 7 days a week.
Route 5 No Longer Serves South of Downtown
This change removes regular service from South 5th Street, a narrow and twisting neighborhood street. South of the river, the current Route 5 winds from Barton Springs Road along Bouldin Avenue and South 5th before swinging by Westgate Shopping Center and Monterrey Oaks Boulevard. It’s a popular route, but it’s largely disconnected from our other service, and the neighborhood streets are narrow and encumbered by traffic control devices, which makes sense for a residential street filled with kids and dog walkers. But it does make moving 40-foot buses through the neighborhood more difficult.
Which is why Cap Remap focuses service on South 1st Street by promoting Route 10 to the High-Frequency Network. Customers will likely have a further walk to their stop, but the improved service on South 1st will help make up the difference.
The new Route 105 will operate as a Flyer route, running along much of the current Route 5’s trip south of the river. But it will only operate weekdays and during peak times, during the morning and afternoon rush hours.