Fresh air

Ahh, take a deep breath and get a whiff of that tobacco-free air! It’s been almost a year since we kicked-off the first phase of our tobacco-free facilities policy, and the accolades are rolling in.

Risk Manager Mike Nyren accepts the Secondhand Smoke award

Last month Capital Metro Risk Manager Mike Nyren received the Secondhand Smoke Award at the 2011 Texas Teen Tobacco Summit & Comprehensive Tobacco Prevention Conference. The event is a joint  effort between The Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas School Safety Center. The award recognizes Capital Metro “for tireless commitment and major contributions to the field of tobacco prevention and control and to the citizens of Texas. Through your diligence and hard work, Texas children, families and communities will be stronger, healthier and tobacco-free.” (See photos from the conference on Facebook.)

Here’s a refresher on how the policy works.  The bus and train passenger loading areas and other common gathering areas at the following Capital Metro-owned transit centers and park & rides are tobacco-free zones: Continue reading “Fresh air”

Everyday heroes

We’d like to share a wonderful email we received from a customer thanking MetroRail Field Supervisor William Brown and MetroBus Operator Vincent Moore, two of our everyday heroes who keep our systems running for you. (By the way, if you’re a regular MetroBlog reader then you may have seen Vincent in action before. Remember this video?)

Dear Capital Metro,

We are writing to tell you how much we appreciate the kind actions of two of your employees last week while were in Austin for the Texas Library Conference, April 12-15.

After our meetings at the conference center on Wednesday, the 13th, we decided to ride the MetroRail from the Hilton on 4th Street to the end, and then back to the hotel. You guessed it; there was no return ride, since that was the last trip out for the evening. Three lady librarians, stranded at the end of the line, and did not know how to get back. (You would think since we are librarians, we would have researched this a little better, wouldn’t you?) Even our fellow passengers assured us there would be a return train, were very friendly, and suggested other activities for our time in Austin.

Continue reading “Everyday heroes”

Roadeo ringer?

We knew we were getting a top-notch transit leader when our board members hired Linda Watson as president/CEO last year, but we didn’t realize they were also hiring a bus roadeo ringer, sort of.

First, congratulations to our own Arthur Murillo. He’s a three-time International Bus Roadeo champion, and he finished third in his category at the annual event earlier this week in Nashville. You can read more about Arthur and our other competitors here.

Now, the Linda connection. As we were looking over the list of winners from the International Roadeo, we spotted an interesting trend. Every transit system where Linda has been the boss, or second in command, took home a trophy at the prestigious event:

  • Pablo Perez from LYNX (Orlando) – 1st place in 40-foot bus category and named “best bus operator in North America”
  • Julian Carranza, Jr. from Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority – 1st place in 35-foot bus category
  • Arthur Murillo from Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Austin) – 3rd place in 35-foot bus category
  • Maintenance team from Fort Worth Transportation Authority – 3rd place in maintenance competition

I’m not suggesting that Linda has the Midas touch, so don’t ask her to pick your lottery numbers. After all, Capital Metro competitors have scored well at roadeo competitions long before she got here. But it is good to know that there’s a strong culture safety, training and professionalism wherever she’s been.

Railroad Revival

Get ready for “One (heck) of a steel wheelin’, railroadin’ good time” in Austin, according to Keith Secor from Old Crow Medicine Show. The Railroad Revival Tour will be rolling into town on Capital Metro’s tracks and performing just down the street from Plaza Saltillo Station next Tuesday. The show’s been sold out for a while, but keep reading for a chance to win tickets. First, the exciting details: Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, and Old Crow Medicine Show are traveling  across the country in vintage rail cars and performing in six cities, Austin included, along way. Continue reading “Railroad Revival”

Update on Cedar Park Bus Service

Route 214 Northwest Flex will start serving the Austin Community College Cypress Creek campus tomorrow morning. Earlier this evening, the ACC board approved an interlocal agreement that will allow us to serve the campus.

The route already passes by the campus. With this new deal, ACC will pay Capital Metro $19,224 to cover the one year operating costs to stop at the campus since it’s outside our service area. Throughout the year we and ACC will evaluate the performance of the route so we can plan for the future.  ACC credit students and employees can use their Green Pass to ride.

Continue reading “Update on Cedar Park Bus Service”

Twitter Roundup

With all the changes that we implemented this week, now’s a good time for another Twitter roundup. Here’s a sample of what we’ve heard from you this week:

Happy Customers

@JaredThomas Day 2 of riding dt-kramer @CapMetroRail was great. Walked from the Kramer station to office in the domain. Buying the 31 day pass on Mon.

@TAPoe Yay!! A large bus for the morning 985 run! No having to stand today!

@cheekysu: @CapMetroNews Your drivers are fabulous! Really! Many kudos to the personnel department. 🙂

@tarpinian on my way to work, using my laptop and drinking coffee, cool

@Phish201: The mid-day service is awesome! What’s next for @capmetrorail? Evenings and weekends?! Fingers crossed!

@JRandallScott Finally expanded midday service: more dynamic and user friendly system. Next up- extended weekend night service @CapMetroRail #welldone #atx

@allendemling PS you hire great bus drivers. They are very friendly.

@impossiblecat: Taking the new @CapMetroRail downtown this afternoon – love the new times!

@KaylaATX: Waiting for the @capmetrorail to head to school. I’m so happy about the day service!!

@beazkidz: Taking the new even earlier @capmetrorail but thank goodness I don’t have to drive in th — at Leander Metro Station

@spinuzzi: A courteous bus driver saw me sprinting and waited a few extra moments for me to get to the stop. Thanks, CapMetro.

@1OneStone: Curb service 2day. Michele’s driving the @CapMetro van. My hands r free 2 FB/Tweet coming home. Feel spoiled. #iamblessed

Continue reading “Twitter Roundup”

Congestion Digestion

Have you seen where Austin ranks on the new Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) Urban Mobility Report? Wait, I know what you’re thinking: Every 20 minutes  some new report comes out that says congestion is bad. But the TTI report is the granddaddy of them all (although some critics may say the report uses your granddaddy’s methodology – for example, see CEOs for Cities).

Anyway, for the true transportation geeks out there (I can think of many coworkers; and calling them that is a term of endearment), you can check out the entire report on the TTI site. Or if you’d prefer to jump to all the local stats, here’s the 2010 TTI traffic report for Austin.

That’s a lot to digest. So for everyone else, here are a few highlights for our area:

Continue reading “Congestion Digestion”

MetroBlog year in review

Do you remember what happened on Wednesday, May 19, 2010? Neither did I until I looked a little closer at our MetroBlog stats. Turns out that May 19 was the busiest day on our blog last year based on page hits. Most of you that day clicked on this post featuring the video from the public forum when our CEO finalists answered some of your questions.

But the most clicked-on post of 2010 was the one with the preliminary new MetroRail schedules that take effect Jan. 18.

Throughout the year, people visited our blog about 48,000 times. We’ve really enjoyed the conversations.

Here’s a list of the ten most viewed posts in 2010:

Continue reading “MetroBlog year in review”

Twitter Roundup

From time to time, we’d like to highlight some of our favorite tweets about Capital Metro. You can follow us on Twitter:  @capmetronews & @capmetrorail

Remember that if you need immediate assistance (where’s the bus?, the bus is late, etc.) or need more space than 140 characters, your best bet is probably to call the GO Line at (512) 474-1200. Another option is to send an email. The more details you can provide, the better job we can do at helping you.

OK, here’s a sample of tweets from the past couple of weeks. It’s by no means a complete list, but a decent sample nonetheless:

ANY CHARACTER HERE

Happy Customers:

CoreyPud

@CapMetroNews I like the new horn on the #capmetro rail. Much less obtrusive!

ANY CHARACTER HERE

lovefilkins

Furthermore, Austin residents, you should always take the @CapMetroNews 21 bus around 11am from campus. NICEST bus driver I ever met.

ANY CHARACTER HERE

lovefilkins

@CapMetroNews your board shoulda been on the 320 at Comal/6th. Driver did a FANTASTIC job maneuvering back from a lost semi. We all clapped!

ANY CHARACTER HERE

hipharpy

@CapMetroNews Thanks for the virtuosic bus-driving highlights reel. I think many of your drivers have super-hero super-powers.

Continue reading “Twitter Roundup”

STAY OFF THE TRACKS

Fear, sadness, anger and frustration. Those are just a few of the emotions I feel when I see or hear about children playing on railroad tracks. Take a look at what we saw on the security cameras at Highland Station yesterday:

This little guy had a hard time climbing back onto the platform

 

 

It is NEVER acceptable to play on railroad tracks

 

I won’t elaborate on why this is dangerous and illegal. But if you’re a parent, please think of your own children. Staying safe around railroad tracks is an important lesson for the whole family.

Continue reading “STAY OFF THE TRACKS”