It turns out you can get a lot accomplished in 35 years! Capital Metro celebrates our 35th anniversary this year, but even before we hit that mark, we’ve reached another milestone: 1 billion rides!
This month, one of our customers got on board the bus and took what was CapMetro’s 1 billionth trip since our formation in 1985. A lot has changed since then. To begin with, when CapMetro launched, we received about 225 buses from from the city of Austin. Today, there are more than 540 of our vehicles out on the streets and rails. And CapMetro provided about 7.75 million rides in our first full year and more than 31 million in 2019.
Ridership has been on the rise for the past year and a half, which is important for a lot of reasons, but its relationship to transit’s climate benefits will only increase in relevance as we move forward. By taking transit, our 1 billion customers have avoided adding the more than 445,000 tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that otherwise would’ve resulted if they’d driven alone in their cars. That’s important, but our buses are going to be on the roads no matter what. So, each additional rider who gets on a bus or train adds to CapMetro’s contribution to the battle against climate change. And, when Project Connect’s vision of an entire fleet of zero-emissions vehicles becomes a reality, that will increase exponentially.
So, Central Texas … thanks a billion!