CapMetro services to continue in Manor and Lago Vista  

Welcome to the CapMetro blog, where we regularly highlight CapMetro’s many offerings and its best-in-class workforce.

Our services will continue in the city of Manor and the city of Lago Vista after their communities voted in favor of Proposition A, which were ballot measures to continue their partnerships with us. 

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This is the fourth election since Project Connect was on the ballot in 2020 and the third election in 2022 where voters demonstrated that our communities value and need public transportation in Central Texas. In May 2022, constituents in Leander also voted in favor of continuing their partnership with us.  

We are appreciative of the support and are eager to continue connecting our region through a variety of services, such as Pickup, MetroAccess, bus and rail. 

Although our services are strongly utilized across the region, cities are faced with tough choices due to limited funding. We understand why these measures are placed on ballots, but time and time again, Central Texans have strongly voiced their support for sustainable, equitable and robust public transportation. As the region continues to grow, we are prepared to grow with it, by increasing and providing more services throughout our communities. 

We are committed to all our member cities and through our Build Central Texas program, we will continue strategically supporting them with public transportation at the forefront.  

We provide safe and reliable transportation across Central Texans, a responsibility we have never taken lightly. We are honored to continue serving the community as we work together to expand the public transportation system that can help solve the equity gap felt by so many throughout Central Texas.  

CapMetro welcomes – and encourages – your comments on our blog. Comments that are abusive in nature will be removed, in accordance with our social media policy.

‘Gone bananas!’ What’s up with CapMetro’s safety campaign? 

Welcome to the CapMetro blog, where we regularly highlight CapMetro’s many offerings and its best-in-class workforce.

By Blythe Nebeker and Gary Dinges

You may have seen CapMetro’s latest safety campaign while walking around town, riding a bus or train, or maybe on social media. It’s eye-catching, dad-joke worthy and something that’s making people of all ages do a double-take. Many are left wondering, how in the world did they come up with that? You can thank Bananaman.CapMetro internal communications specialist Megan Sexton unintentionally got the ball rolling.  

Meet Bananaman, the inspiration for the latest CapMetro safety campaign.

“This creepy banana plushie popped up on my Amazon as something I might be interested in,” she explained. “It was absolutely random. I had no clue why Amazon would think I needed something like that. But also, our team is kind of random in that same way. I thought it could be a silly thing to bring to the office.” 

It became a fun game for the Marketing and Communications Department to secretly move Bananaman around for new people to find, but no one could’ve predicted what he would inspire.  

As this year’s Safety Month approached, CapMetro’s team of designers was preparing to create a fresh batch of advertisements, so a brainstorming session was on the docket. But just like how all meetings usually begin, there was some small talk beforehand and that was focused, of course, on our beloved Bananaman.  

“The idea just popped into my head, ‘Hey, why don’t we use Bananaman as our safety mascot, and use him to tell important stories about transit safety around the city?’ From there, the creative team started riffing on all the possible situations to put him in,” said creative manager Paul Del Bosque.

Besides being an avid foodie, CapMetro senior creative communications designer Jordan Golembeski is known by his colleagues for always looking for opportunities to inject humor into his designs. So a campaign with food and humor was right up his alley.

“With something like safety, it’s very serious and not necessarily something you joke about,” he said. “But, if you make the campaign about it a little silly, the message will stick better.” 

And he would know. His master’s thesis was all about using humor to address serious topics.  

Back in 2017, he helped create a campaign to try and decrease the number of rear-end collisions that were happening involving our buses. Rather than add more reflector tape to the back of our vehicles, which was a suggestion, he took it in a different direction. He wanted to use humor to help emphasize the importance of keeping a safe distance behind our buses. It worked. The number of rear-end collisions dropped noticeably.

Humorous campaigns, such as this one from 2017, catch the attention of motorists.

But, that’s not the only example. The MarCom team has been behind plenty of creative campaigns over the years, including a Halloween-themed one branded as “Witches Be Trippin’.” 

The popular “Witches Be Trippin'” campaign is another example of the MarCom team’s creativity.

Fast-forward a few years, and the team was eager to produce another, in Golembeski’s words, “groanworthy” campaign.  


Has CapMetro gone bananas with its ads? Find out what makes this safety campaign so appealing #linkinbio #fyp #publictransit #austintexas

♬ original sound – Minions

And with the help of Corey Marquart, a creative communications specialist at CapMetro, who created the tag line “Safety is Appealing,” it was all coming together.  

“If you use objects that you wouldn’t normally use and turn it into a character, it’ll be more memorable for those who see it,” Golembeski said. “We then took it a step further, by adding puns. It might be a little ‘groanworthy,’ but people will likely remember the underlying message more because it makes them stop.”  

Within about a week of coming up with the idea, the team had something to present to the CapMetro Safety Department.  

“The idea morphed into using real bananas dressed up with goofy eyes, hair and facial expressions,” Del Bosque said. “We brought bunches of bananas into the office and started designing the characters for a photoshoot.” 

It was truly a collaborative effort – and it paid off. The Safety Department loved the campaign as much as the MarCom team did.  

Jordan Golembeski, left, and Brandon Guidry conducted a photo shoot early on for the banana campaign.
Banana cones can be found at CapMetro bus stops and rail stations.

The campaign garnered so much praise that it was extended beyond just a single month. Golembeski had been eyeing these banana cones for months, hoping one day CapMetro would have a use for them. This was the perfect opportunity.  

The campaign is doing exactly what CapMetro wanted it to do: catching the attention of Central Texans – even those who don’t currently use the service. So don’t be surprised if you continue to see the bananas make appearances around town. 

To learn more about the role Bananaman plays in our 24/7/365 commitment to safety, visit our safety page

An Austinite took to Reddit to praise our latest safety campaign. A total of 522 Reddit users weighed in on the post.

CapMetro welcomes – and encourages – your comments on our blog. Comments that are abusive in nature will be removed, in accordance with our social media policy.

June Safety Month: Safety & Security

We’re serious about safety – and that includes making sure customers are safe on board our services and at CapMetro facilities. CapMetro is changing how we respond to calls and how to promote customer and staff safety. Our multi-pronged approach features:

  • Public safety ambassadors who serve as the primary contacts for customers and employees and respond to safety matters that do not require a police officer
  • On-staff social workers to respond to quality-of-life issues on the system and provide mental health first aid training to CapMetro employees
  • More security cameras and safety infrastructure on vehicles and at facilities for faster identification and handling of issues
  • Transit-focused police officers for specific instances when law enforcement is truly needed

And you can help. If you see something, say something. We have four ways for you to report disruptive, unsafe or suspicious behavior you may see on board our vehicles or at our facilities.

  • Use the CapMetro App and choose “More” to select “Report Public Safety Issue” to make a report. The app also allows you to call 911 directly in case of an emergency.
  • Download the See Say Now app (iOS and Android) and choose CapMetro under “Transit.”
  • Use this webform.
  • Use the Text-a-Tip feature to send your report to 512-488-4200.

We can all work together to make transit safer for everyone. Safety is our top priority not just for June Safety Month, but every month and every day.

This video follows our Public Safety Ambassadors for a day along the CapMetro system.

June Safety Month: Game Day Safety

Austin FC season is in full swing and CapMetro is a great way to get to the game. Getting to and from the game safely is the most important goal of the night! According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, someone is struck by a train at a highway rail crossing every three hours. Trains can’t stop quickly. A train that is traveling 55 miles per hour can take more than a mile to stop, even with an emergency application of the brakes.

Follow these tips to stay safe around train tracks:

  • Stop if you see flashing red lights.
  • Only cross at a designated public crossing.
  • 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.

Be safe and be smart. If you are going to a game at Q2 Stadium, please look out for the flashing lights and rail crossing gate arms and NEVER trespass by walking along tracks outside of designated public crossings. Use sidewalks, even if it takes a bit longer.

Whether you take the train or bus, it’s important to stay alert amidst the festive atmosphere. It can be really easy to move and walk with the crowd but that doesn’t mean you’re protected from distracted drivers. Keep your head up and continue to look for traffic when the game is over. Don’t just spill into the street where you run the risk of getting hit.

If you are headed for some post-game festivities and have mapped your trek, make sure your eyes aren’t glued to your screen the entire time. Check your phone periodically and only when you’re safely on the sidewalk or a corner, out of the street.

Whether you take the train or bus, CapMetro is always a good choice for a safe ride.