This month, Capital Metro launched two fare initiatives aimed at making transit even more accessible and easy to use. The first allows customers to add cash-to-mobile at participating retailers around Austin while the second is testing capping fares for low-income users. Our goal with these new features is that our services are equitable in both use and cost and to ensure that people who can least afford public transportation fares are not paying the most.
Cash to App
The CapMetro App now allows users to add cash for future fares at one of over 200 participating retailers including a number of 7-11, Dollar General, Family Dollar and CVS locations. This initiative helps to better serve customers who do not have a credit card, or would rather not use one, to purchase their tickets in the app by loading cash to a mobile wallet at a retail store without a fee. More retail stores may be added to the program over time.
CapMetro believes that transit is an equity tool and this program aligns with that mission. The fare-capping program, which is currently in the testing stage running for six months from October through April, aims to help customers not pay more than $2.50 per day for Local Service (or $7 for Commuter) and makes riding with CapMetro simpler and more affordable in the long run!
Are you currently enrolled in Medicaid, CHIP, TANF or MAP? Sign up to join our pilot program and receive a free 31-day pass.
Austin is heralded as having the best of a number of things: food, music, beautiful buses (you’ve heard that, right?). But did you know that Austin is home to some of the state’s most notable coffee shops? Austin’s specialty coffee scene is growing almost as fast as our city’s population, which is why we’ve rounded up a list of Austin’s best coffee shops along with the bus route information you need to get there.
Whether you’re a local interested in a new place to grab your coffee or looking for must-stop places while visiting Austin, consider this your official tour of Austin’s best coffee shops. You don’t even need to call a car to get around thanks to our handy CapMetro App, making it easier (and more environmentally-friendly!) than ever to get where you want to go.
Best Downtown Austin Coffee Shops
Whether you’re looking for a new spot to grab coffee on the way to work or you’ve just found yourself in the area and craving a cappuccino, these downtown coffee shops are ready to take your order. Pro tip: Venturing downtown for an interview? Bringing coffee for the hiring manager from one of these cafes is worth major bonus points!
East Austin is a hot spot for coffee lovers thanks to the wide selection of specialty coffee shops. If you’re looking to sip a well-balanced espresso, Austin’s east side cafes are the best of the best.
With so much to explore in south Austin, you’re going to want a cuppa joe in hand for your next adventure. Before heading down to South Congress, stop by one of these specialty cafes for a seasonal beverage.
Austin’s centrally-located coffee shops are true neighborhood cafes where you feel like a regular even on your first visit. If the cozy vibes aren’t enough to bring you back for a second trip, the baked goods sure will! Seriously, these coffee shops know a thing or two about muffins and mochas.
The City of Austin decided it’s go time for Project Connect by passing Proposition A in a historic vote on November 3, 2020. Project Connect is the comprehensive plan expanding transit to promote equity, reliability, safety, economic development and cleaner air.
“We are grateful for their trust and vision for the future,” said CapMetro President and CEO Randy Clarke. “This YES vote is a huge step toward creating a more equitable and livable city, providing more and better ways for people to access jobs, education, health care and new opportunities.”
What’s to Come
Transparency Every Step of the Way
An important next step is the launch of the Austin Transit Partnership (ATP) to guide the Project Connect investment with transparency and accountability throughout the project. More details will be available at the upcoming CapMetro board meeting on Monday, November 23.
Economic and Environmental Advancements
Beyond its expanded transit system, Project Connect will bring economic and environmental benefits that will transform Central Texas and support our continued growth. Project Connect is expected to create thousands of jobs and every dollar invested in public transportation will generate $4 in return to the local economy. Moving toward a more sustainable future for our region, the expansion is designed to deliver nearly 300,000 trips each day, reducing the vehicle air pollution and our contribution to climate change.
Thank You, Austin
“I would like to take a moment to thank and honor the essential frontline workers, including our operators and support staff, for their heroic efforts to keep our city moving,” said CapMetro Board Chair Wade Cooper. “Your dedication and hard work have not gone unnoticed, and your contribution to Austin and Central Texas is vital.”
Realizing this transformational plan has only been possible through the collaborative efforts of our partners in government and in the community, as well as a huge number of individuals throughout Central Texas.
“We now have an approved plan, a schedule and the dedicated funding to move us to the next phase, and we remain committed to transparency as we begin building our expanded transit network,” said Clarke. “Project Connect will shape the future for our generation and many to come.”
Want to learn more about Project Connect? Check out more information on our website and be sure to follow along on Instagram and Twitter for updates in the coming weeks and months.
Cap-tivities Issue 5 is equal parts groovy and spooky thanks to our javelina friend Javier! Though he considers the world his “home” and follows his favorite bands around the country in his VW bus, he spends most of his days in Austin and uses CapMetro to get around to protect Mother Earth.
Javi is getting ready for Halloween and bringing you along for the ride with a spooky color-by-number, a costume party cut-and-play, spider web mazes and so much more!
Halloween looks pretty different this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate with a little socially-distant spooky sightseeing! To help you get in the hallow-day spirit, we’ve created a haunted Austin bus tour that includes some of our city’s most ghostly locations.
We designed this list to help you visit haunted spots around Austin that may be along your usual route, but you can also use our Trip Planner to outline a haunted Austin bus tour of your own. Simply enter your starting point and add any stops from our list that pique your interest!
Beware: some of these locations may be too spooky to enter! To keep you safe from supernatural and COVID-19 related terrors that may be hiding out, this tour is intended to take place outside the haunts.
Grab your mask, your CapMetro App and your bravest friend and prepare for a scare (or eight)!
302 W 24th St, Austin, TX 78712
Closest CapMetro Stop ID: 599 and 5864
Served by routes: 1, 3, 19, 20, 801, 803
About this spooky spot: Located on the UT Campus, the Littlefield House is one of the most haunted spots in Austin and in academia! Civil War veteran George Littlefield and his wife Alice, for whom the home was built in 1893, were generous donors of the university. Reports claim that Alice can be heard rattling about the home and even playing piano. While some may find the hauntings spooky, some members of the university revere Alice as “guardian angel.”
Austin’s Inn at Pearl Street
1809 Pearl St, Austin, TX 78701
Closest CapMetro Stop ID: 498
Served by routes: 1, 3, 19, 20, 642
About this spooky spot: This vintage boutique hotel has it all: charming ambiance, ghost hauntings, and…bees? Well, not anymore, but the 1914-built Austin’s Inn at Pearl Street was renovated in 1993 when, according to the website, one of the “largest bee colonies ever found in a private residence” was discovered in the walls of the home. Whether or not you find bee removal spooky, guests of the inn have reported hauntings including apparitions, music and other noises from vacant rooms, flickering lights and a lingering feeling of being watched.
713 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
Closest CapMetro Stop ID: 6315
Served by routes: 2, 6, 7, 10
About this spooky spot: Old theatres have a tendency to be haunted (this isn’t even the only one on our list!), and The Paramount hosts its own spooky cast of spirits. The 105-year-old theatre is the home to at least three ghosts, including a woman in a white dress searching for her soldier husband, an elderly gentleman smoking a cigar in the left opera box and a candy-loving former projectionist of the theatre who died during a 2000 showing of “Casablanca.”
604 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701
Closest CapMetro Stop ID: 5937
Served by routes: 2, 4, 6, 7, 10
About this spooky spot: Elegant downtown Austin hotel The Driskill is said to be one of the most haunted hotels in Texas. The supernatural rumors range from ghost brides walking the halls, a painting of a child that bears a sinister presence and even the spirit of the hotel’s own Jesse Driskill. The glamorous hotel is also said to have been President Lyndon B. Johnson’s favorite place in Austin and guests have claimed to see he and Lady Bird’s ghosts dancing in the ballroom.
Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill
303 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701
Closest CapMetro Stop ID: 4175 (Westbound) and 995 (Eastbound)
Served by route: 17
About this spooky spot: If you’d prefer to merge happy hour with the haunting hour, Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill is the spooky spot for you. The current restaurant resides in one of the oldest buildings in Austin and is said to be haunted by the spirits of flood victims from early 1900s. These old school ghouls have a sense of humor and have been reported to tap guests on the shoulder and cause other mayhem around the restaurant.
Oakwood Cemetery Annex
1601 Navasota St, Austin, TX 78702
Closest CapMetro Stop ID: 4183
Served by route: 18
About this spooky spot: No ghost tour is complete without a cemetery! Oakwood Cemetery, Austin’s oldest city-owned cemetery, holds a number of famous graves including one of the few survivors of the Alamo, 1880s Austin city marshal Ben Thompson and victims of the Servant Girl Annihilator, one of America’s first serial killers. Aside from its notable residents, many believe that some who are buried at Oakwood Cemetery haven’t quite moved on from this world and haunt the burial grounds.
2910 E 5th St, Austin, TX 78702
Closest CapMetro Stop ID: 1368
Served by routes: 4, 300
About this spooky spot: If you’re friends with an old Austin native, you may have heard the story behind our own Capital Metro office building on the east side. In 1931, Austin’s municipal abattoir – AKA slaughterhouse – opened in the very spot where our office now sits at the corner of East 5th and Pleasant Valley. The building served as a modern and hygienic place for Austinites to bring livestock to be killed, inspected and prepared for sale. At the time, Austin’s abattoir was the largest in the United States!
St. Edward’s University
3001 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
Closest CapMetro Stop ID: 5870
Served by route: 1, 801
About this spooky spot:St. Edward’s University is notorious for being one of the most haunted spots in Austin and St. Edward’s students and staff are notorious for sharing their close encounters with spirits from the other side! From a child spirit playing in the dorm rooms of Teresa Hall to the ghost of a hanged drama student haunting actors in the Mary Moody Northern Theatre, St. Edward’s lost souls are engaged members of the community, to say the least!
Which stop on our haunted Austin bus tour do you find most intriguing?
We’ve teamed up with Do512 for a four-week drive-in movie series in October all across Austin! Each week Do512 and CapMetro will partner to host a drive-in movie at a different location around Austin. These will be a safe, fun way to get people out to enjoy the fall evenings and watch a classic film favorite.
How to Attend
Each week, Do512 will select winners at random for a free car slot at the drive-in. Winners will be notified via email and receive a reminder so they can plan their night out! Check out the links between each showing below to enter for your chance to win.
Do512 and CapMetro will be following all City of Austin COVID Safety Recommendations. Attendees will not be allowed to roam outside their cars except to use facilities and will be required to wear a mask when walking to and from.
Week One: October 9 | The Sandlot
Lakeline Park & Ride | 6:00 p.m.
Enter here for a chance to win a spot for The Sandlot showing!
Week Two: October 16 | Space Jam
Tech Ridge Park & Ride | 6:00 p.m.
Enter here for a chance to win a spot for Space Jam showing!
Week Three: October 23 | Coco
Location TBA | 6:00 p.m.
Enter here for a chance to win a spot for Coco showing!
Week Four: October 30 | The Addams Family
Long Center For The Performing Arts | 6:00 p.m.
Enter here for a chance to win a spot for The The Addams Family showing!
Just like getting you where you need to go, we are navigating COVID-19 with care. CapMetro has adapted to the pandemic with enhanced safety and cleaning measures to help you ride without adding extra stress to your trip. Find out more how we’re riding with care.
How CapMetro is addressing COVID-19 safety concerns:
Electrostatic cleaning. This advanced cleaning process sprays electrostatically charged mist throughout the vehicle to ensure surfaces are sanitized.
Physical distancing protocols. In addition to adding plexiglass around the operator and signage prompting riders to “skip a seat,” schedules have also been adjusted to increase service and to help reduce the number of riders per trip.
Cashless payment. The CapMetro App allows you to pay for passes with the in-app digital wallet or using Apple Pay or Google Pay without having to exchange physical money.
Masks for staff and riders. While we encourage you to always remember your mask when leaving the house, CapMetro has them available in case you forget. Face coverings are required for all riders and staff on CapMetro buses and trains.
Vinyl seat upgrades. In addition to our new cleaning technology, we are upgrading our seats from fabric covers to vinyl, making them easier to clean.
Crowded vehicle alerts. Coming soon, our Trip Planner feature on mobile and web will provide alerts for “Crowded Vehicles” (over 50% capacity) to help you plan a safe trip.
How you can ride safely during COVID-19:
Wear a mask when riding and waiting to ride*
Follow physical distancing measures by skipping a seat
Avoid riding at peak times catch an earlier or later trip when possible
Download the CapMetro App to use cashless payment for your passes
Stay at home if you’re feeling sick or experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19
*If you have a disability that affects your ability to wear a face covering, please contact Martin Kareithi, our program manager of accessible services, to request a reasonable modification. Call 512-389-7583 or email email@example.com.
Click here to find more information about our COVID-19 response, along with up-to-date schedule changes. We look forward to seeing you on your next ride!
We’re celebrating back-to-school with a brand new issue of Cap-tivities! This month, our dinosaur stylish friend Saurio is bringing you dino-size fun with activities like a color-cut-play matching game, word puzzles and a tricky I Spy that will really test your eyes.
Saurio, a Shuvosaurus dinosaur from East Austin, will need your help getting around this issue of Cap-tivities because his short arms make it difficult to pick up the crayons!
La pandemia puso a prueba a Capital Metro y sacó lo mejor de nosotros. Adaptamos los niveles de servicio a las nuevas demandas para garantizar que las personas se sientan cómodas y seguras al viajar. Si bien la cantidad pasajeros se redujo hasta un 60%, ofrecimos casi 5 millones de viajes que permitieron que las personas lleguen a sus trabajos esenciales.
Nuestra prioridad fue garantizar la seguridad y el bienestar de nuestro personal y de nuestros clientes. Para ello, distribuimos más de 215 000 mascarillas, 65 000 guantes y cientos de galones de desinfectante para manos (¡tanto que ni siquiera podemos contarlo!).
Nuestro personal de oficina respondió a la nueva dinámica dando un paso adelante y colaborando. Mediante nuestro programa All Hands, el personal dedicó 13 146 horas a la limpieza de vehículos al mediodía, a la entrega de suministros de equipos de protección, a la asistencia con el control de temperatura y la instalación de carteles sobre el uso de mascarillas y el distanciamiento social.
Nos preocupamos por la comunidad
El impacto de la pandemia fue mayor en los más vulnerables de nuestra comunidad. Desde marzo, los conductores y los voluntarios del personal de CapMetro dedicaron más de 10 000 horas de servicio para repartir más de 600 000 comidas a nuestros vecinos más necesitados. Este programa es el resultado de nuestras sólidas alianzas con el Central Texas Food Bank, HEB, Good Apple y ATX Farmshare.
Como muchos de nosotros nos vimos obligados a trabajar y estudiar desde casa, el acceso a una infraestructura tecnológica sólida ha sido más importante que nunca. Para brindar un servicio de Internet confiable, utilizamos vehículos de MetroAccess en 10 comunidades de bajos ingresos para brindar wifi gratuito durante toda la primavera y todo el verano.
Vuelta al servicio
Con los cambios de servicios de agosto y a medida que CapMetro comenzó a reestablecer más servicios, tomamos todas las medidas para ofrecer una experiencia de transporte segura y positiva. Lo hicimos para lo siguiente:
Crear lugares seguros para el personal y los clientes.
Aplicar nuestros recursos de forma razonable y equitativa.
Recurrir a los datos para tomar decisiones.
Evaluar los resultados y adaptarnos.
Obtenga más información en CapMetro.org/COVID19.
Nuestra transformación a una flota completamente eléctrica comenzó a principios de este año con los primeros dos autobuses eléctricos en las calles del centro de Texas. Para fin de año, contaremos con 12 de ellos listos para usarse, incluidos los primeros dos autobuses eléctricos de 60 pies (los autobuses largos y articulados que ve en nuestras líneas de MetroRapid) en Texas. También hemos hecho un gran progreso a la hora de convertir una parte de nuestras instalaciones al norte de Austin en un predio para autobuses eléctricos con espacio para 180.
Nuestros autobuses eléctricos han reducido las emisiones de CO2 en 17,5 toneladas y las emisiones de N2O en 39,9 libras. Eso equivale al carbono capturado por casi 30 acres de bosques en un año.
Project Connect: Un nuevo plan de tránsito para Austin y el centro de Texas
Después de años de planificación y de participación de la comunidad, la inversión inicial de Project Connect se someterá a votación en noviembre. Un proceso en equipo entre la junta de Capital Metro y el Concejo de la Ciudad de Austin dio como resultado una inversión inicial en Project Connect que expandiría la capacidad del tránsito y ofrecería más opciones para conectar a las personas, los vecindarios y los empleadores.