Be Patient and Stay Safe: Vehicle and Pedestrian Rail Safety 

Did you know that, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration, a person or vehicle is struck by a train at a highway rail grade crossing every four hours? Trains can’t stop quickly. A freight train that is traveling 55 miles per hour can take more than a mile to stop, even if an emergency application of the brakes is applied.

 

In 2019, Texas ranked as the state with the most collisions in the U.S. with a total of 251 highway-rail grade crossing collisions. As a result, 31 people lost their lives and 123 were injured. Never try to beat a train! Follow these tips to stay safe and help us reduce the number of incidents at rail crossings:

  • Stop if you see flashing red lights
  • Only cross at a highway-rail grade crossing
  • Only cross if gate arms are up, lights have stopped flashing and bells have stopped ringing

In 2019, the state of Texas also ranked as the state with the second highest pedestrian rail trespassing casualties with a total of 100, out of which 44 lost their lives and 56 resulted in  injuries. If you are walking near a train, remember:

  • Only cross at a designated public crossing. Crossing at any other place is trespassing, illegal and dangerous
  • Never walk around or behind lowered gates at a crossing
  • Only cross if gate arms are up, lights have stopped flashing and bells have stopped ringing
  • Look both ways before crossing tracks

Don’t become part of the statistics. Follow these tips and help us reduce the number of highway-rail grade crossing collisions and trespassing casualties. Remember, be patient and stay safe!

Let’s Talk Business

Transit keeps the entire region moving, and CapMetro strengthens that forward momentum by forming partnerships with local businesses and community leaders.

CapMetro is hosting a one-hour event called Accelerate where you’ll hear from  President & CEO Randy Clarke about the economic opportunity that comes from transit investments and how local businesses can earn contracts from CapMetro to help us deliver our service to the community.

You will also hear from special guest Peter Rogoff, CEO of Seattle’s Sound Transit agency and former Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration under President Obama, as he recaps the business opportunities that resulted from a $54 billion bond package in 2016.

At CapMetro, we provide many different ways to work with businesses and we want to make it as easy and efficient as possible. Whether you want to participate in Project Connect procurement opportunities, have a product or service that could be a great fit for the agency or are looking to advertise on one of our buses or rail stations, we want to work with you to make that happen!

Accelerate – Zoom Webinar
Thursday, Aug. 20
10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Register here

Project Connect is our long-range transit plan to transform how we get around our region. The multi-billion dollar investment is an network expansion to serve more communities with better service, including a new light rail system, a downtown transit tunnel that could improve mobility everywhere whether you’re on the train or in your car, new MetroRapid routes and vehicles, a transition to a zero-emissions fleet and much more. Not only will this program transform our transit network, but it will have a significant impact on job creation – with 9,700 local jobs created for every $1 billion invested.

CapMetro & the Pandemic

COVID Response_JuneIn response to the pandemic, CapMetro has worked around the clock to serve the the Austin community and to promote public health. That’s included implementing several measures to ensure the safety of our staff and customers, providing more than 3.6 million trips since the start of quarantine and providing support for vulnerable community members in need.

Staff and Customer Safety

To keep our operating staff and the public safe, we provided staff with gloves, masks and hand sanitizer and required everyone to wear a mask when at CapMetro facilities or riding our services.

Providing Essential Service

  • CapMetro provided 3.6 million necessary trips to grocery stores and medical centers for people traveling to work an essential job.
  • We served 70,000 critical trips for MetroAccess customers.
  • Provided service to more than 250 homeless individuals.

We are so grateful for all of our frontline workers and staff who worked vigorously to serve our community and keep our services safe! We will continue putting the safety of our staff and customers first as we move ahead.

Meal Deliveries 

Our partnerships with H-E-B, Good Apple and Farmshare Austin provided nearly 475,000 meals to vulnerable members of the Austin community through June.

Staying Safe this Summer!

Kick off the summer with a safe 4th of July celebration! We know that the warm weather is exciting but remember to stay safe while having fun. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy 4th of July and the rest of the summer in a safe and secure way.

Keep a distance. There are plenty of things to do outside. However, make sure you are still practicing social distancing by keeping at least 6 feet from other people. If you are going to celebrate, make sure you are taking care of yourself and those around you.

Wear a face covering. Austin-Travis County have recently implemented revised orders which include requiring businesses to enforce the use of face coverings among employees and visitors (with few exceptions). If you will be out in public, including riding CapMetro, remember to bring your face covering with you! We have a tutorial on how to make a face covering at home and tips on how to wear them.

Don’t drink and drive. Did you know that for more than 20 years, drivers with alcohol concentrations over the legal limit have been involved in about one-third of all traffic fatalities in the U.S? Have a plan before taking your first drink! Don’t drive a motor vehicle, bike or scooter if you are impaired. CapMetro offers fare-free service after 5 p.m. on Independence Day. Let us be your sober driver home.

At CapMetro we care about your safety! Let’s take care of each other by following health officials’ recommendations and being safe on the road.

Cap-tivities with Batthew!

Captivities-2

We’re back with another round of Cap-Tivities. And this time, Batthew gets to be our cover star!

Take a gander at what’s on offer and you’ll see:

  • Word searches
  • Mazes
  • Capy lost in space
  • A new friend!
  • Fun with a cardboard tube!!
  • And much more!!!

We hope you enjoy it and keep busy without going stir crazy. Let us know when you’re done with your completed puzzles and colored masterpieces by tagging @CapMetroATX in your social posts and using the hashtag #captivities.

Thanks! Stay safe, wear a mask and have fun!

Cap-Tivities Vol. 2 Download

Facebook = Capital Metro

Twitter = @CapMetroATX

Instagram = @CapMetroATX

Making a Safe Return to the Road

As our community continues to get back on the road during National Safety Month, we want to remind everyone to be safe while driving, walking and riding scooters or bikes. Preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council show that despite Americans staying home and driving less, the emptier roads have become more lethal in comparison to last year. In Texas, the number of roadway deaths in the first 3 months of 2020 increased by 6%. Whether it has been a while since you were outside, or you became used to traveling on emptier roads, follow these safety tips to ensure we all stay safe while traveling.

Drivers: Stay alert and on the lookout for pedestrians, people riding bikes or scooters, and CapMetro vehicles. Please slow down and obey speed limits, respect traffic signs, and avoid distractions.

When you approach railroads, be cautious. Stop, look both ways and listen for a train before crossing. Respect flashing red lights, do not drive around the lowered bar and never stop on the tracks. Remember to also stay alert for buses as they stop for passenger boarding.

Pedestrians and runners: As you exercise or walk outside, pay attention to your surroundings and traffic. Stay alert and make sure you can hear potential warnings from drivers or cyclists over the sound of your favorite song or podcast. If you are going to be in higher traffic areas, consider pausing the music to avoid any distractions. Wear brightly colored clothing to be more visible to vehicle and bus drivers, and always use crosswalks.

Scooter riders and cyclists: Wear a helmet and ride with the flow of traffic. Use bike lanes whenever available, and respect traffic signs and signals. Avoid any distractions such as using your phone or listening to music and podcasts. Stay alert for pedestrians and never use a scooter or bike when impaired.

June is National Safety month and CapMetro is your safe ride for any necessary trips. Stay healthy by practicing good hygiene, covering your face, keeping your distance from others in public and staying home if you feel sick in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. Let’s take care of each other and follow all safety tips!

Project Connect: Virtual Meetings

Project Connect_Lines

Project Connect, Capital Metro’s long-term transit plan, remains essential to our ability to serve our community and support the region’s growth in as sustainable a way as possible.

Austin is creative and resilient and will still be among the best places to live, even after we’re able to move through the current public health crisis. In fact, Austin is expected to be one of the few cities nationwide able to withstand the impact and bounce back strong.

Long story short, we’ll still have the same issues and opportunities presented by our growth, and Austin will still be a magnet for newcomers. We need to be ready not just for after the pandemic recedes, but for what Austin will look like in 2040.

Throughout this month, we’re offering several chances for you to learn about Project Connect and to ask questions of CapMetro staff and Austin City Council members.

Virtual Open House

A self-guided online experience that walks visitors through Project Connect’s details and provides an opportunity to give feedback, this virtual open house will be open to the public through May 31. Take a look at the full plan, including updates that have been made since we last presented to our board and city council.

Virtual Community Meetings

Also through May 31, Capital Metro will host a series of one-hour virtual community meetings. These will include an update on our COVID-19 response, followed by a presentation on Project Connect, then a moderated roundtable and public discussions with Austin City Council members and Capital Metro’s board and staff.

Check out our Get Involved calendar to find out how to sit in on the meetings with Zoom or Facebook.

Cap-Tivities with Armie Dillo!

CaptivitiesHow’s everyone doing out there? Hanging in there, we hope. Y’all are doing great, and we need you to keep it up.

But, while so many of us are spending all this extra time at home, we thought we’d put together a fun activity book for your kids … and maybe for you, if you like to have fun.

Inside “Cap-Tivities!” you’ll find coloring pages, word searches, mazes and a whole bunch more. You’ll get to:

  • Help your new best friend, Armie Dillo, find his way downtown
  • Do a Wordoku puzzle or a crossword
  • Make a paper train conductor’s hat
  • Color in a zen doodle and then make your own
  • Create a paper doll bus in a desert, topped off by a pith helmet? Absolutely! Why not?

It’s gonna be great, we promise.

We just want y’all to know that CapMetro appreciates you and what you’re doing by staying home, teaching your kids and supporting our community. We hope this Cap-Tivities book helps you and the kids fill some time and have some fun.

Be sure to let us know what you think, and we’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to see some of the finished products. So, tag us in your posts showing off your work!

Cap-Tivities book download

Facebook = Capital Metro

Twitter = @CapMetroATX

Instagram = @CapMetroATX

Doing our Part During the Pandemic

COVID ResponseIn response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CapMetro has worked around the clock to promote public health and help the Austin community. In the past two months we’ve implemented several measures to ensure the safety of our staff and customers while riding our vehicles, and we provided support for vulnerable community members in need.

To go the extra mile for safety we: 

  • Hired 50 part-time cleaners to clean and sanitize buses throughout the day.
  • Implemented temperature scans at the entrances to our buildings.
  • Provided face coverings for customers in need of one.
  • Adjusted our service schedule.
  • Enforced rear-door boarding to minimize contact between operators and customers.
  • Encouraged social distancing with “skip-a-seat” signs on our vehicles and sidewalk decals at bus stops and transit facilities.

Meal Deliveries 

We partnered with H-E-B, Good Apple and Farmshare Austin to provide 170,000+ meals to vulnerable members of the Austin community.

Staff Safety and Benefits 

To keep our operating staff safe we provided them with gloves, masks and hand sanitizer and we implemented a three-week supplemental leave in addition to paid time off. This applies to staff members who get sick themselves or for those who have family members who need to be taken care of.

Providing Essential Service

  • CapMetro provided 1.3 million necessary trips to grocery stores and medical centers for people traveling to work an essential job.
  • We served critical trips for MetroAccess customers.
  • Provided service to homeless individuals.

We are so grateful for all of our frontline workers and staff who worked vigorously to serve our community and keep our services safe! We will continue putting the safety of our staff and customers first as we move ahead.

 

Face Coverings: Tutorial and Tips

Even with the governor’s recent announcements, CapMetro is requiring our customers to wear a face covering on our vehicles. Following safety recommendations will help prevent the spread of COVID-19. As Austin Public Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found earlier, covering our nose and mouth when we are outside our homes is important because an infected person can transmit COVID-19 to others without showing any symptoms.

Here is a simple tutorial to make a face covering using only a bandana and two rubber bands/hair ties.

According to health authorities, your cloth face covering should:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for breathing without restriction
  • Be able to be laundered and dried without damage or change to shape

Remember that medical grade (N95) and surgical masks should be only used by medical professionals and first responders. Let’s follow all safety recommendations and stop the spread! For more information concerning COVID-19 service updates, please visit capmetro.org/COVID19.