Drop in & Learn about Cap Metro’s 2019 Budget

Budget Outreach

Capital Metro operates on public funding, and we take that responsibility seriously. Part of maintaining financial transparency includes letting the public see our budget to ensure we are using your money wisely

And beginning next week we’re going to do just that, and you’ll have four chances to hear about our proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2019 and ask questions. Wherever you are — north of the river or south, downtown or on the internet — we’ve got an option for you to participate. So please do!

We posted the entire budget online last week, and you can review it in full. So, come prepared with questions and comments. Members of our staff will be there to answer your questions, either about the budget or just about anything else Capital Metro does.

Cap Metro Helps You Get Ready for School

Back to SchoolSummer’s still in full effect, but school’s coming up quick. AISD is holding its Back to School Bash tomorrow at the Palmer Events Center. It’s a fantastic event that helps families get ready for the new year, and Cap Metro wants to help you get there.

That’s why we’re thrilled to work with the district to help families get down to the shores of Lady Bird Lake and the event.

The festival takes place from noon to 3 p.m., and we’ve got a lot of routes that serve Palmer. Even better, it’s easy to connect to those routes from your neighborhood school. So, if you want to avoid the traffic, the parking fees and the headaches, hop on a bus.

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve distributed free Day Passes at 10 Austin schools that will also provide free Park & Ride services for the bash. If you got a pass, ride free to the event. If you didn’t, take Cap Metro down to Palmer and avoid the hassle of parking and traffic.

  1. Bedicheck | 6800 Bill Hughes Rd, 78745 | Routes 10 & 333
  2. Mendez | 5106 Village Square, 78744 | Routes 7 & 331
  3. Reagan | 7104 Berkman Drive; 78752 | Routes 10, 300, 337
  4. Ann Richards | 2206 Prather Lane; 78704 | Routes 3, 103, 300, 803
  5. Harris | 1711 Wheless Ln; 78723 | Routes 10, 337
  6. LASA/LBJ 7309 Lazy Creek Drive; 78724 | Routes 20, 233, 337, 339
  7. Lamar | 6201 Wynona Ave; 78757 | Routes 3, 337, 803
  8. Lee | 3308 Hampton Rd; 78705 | Route 10
  9. McCallum | 5600 Sunshine Dr., 78756 | Routes 1, 337, 801
  10. St. Elmo 600 W St Elmo Rd; 78745 | Route 10

To plan your trip to the Back to School Bash (or anywhere else), visit capmetro.org/planner.

Will You Go to Prom with Us?

Pride Prom

Pride Month is here, and the Austin Public Library is jumpstarting it with Pride Prom next Thursday, June 7. It’s gonna be great.

DJ Girlfriend will be there for the dancers, and there’ll be a Drag Makeup Station for anyone wanting to get dolled up. There will also be a Lip Synch for Your Library competition that somehow let’s people pretend to sing Carly Rae Jepsen or Janelle Monae in support of their local library branch? (Sign up for that here, it sounds cool.)

You can also get your picture taken at the traveling photo booth and even register to vote. But, while you’ll be able to glitter-sticker a pronoun button when you walk in, the library respectfully requests that you “Please do not bring loose glitter into the library or wear glitter-showering items.”

Still, all of that will lead into a drag show with M.C. Honey St. Claire and performers Eaton Johnson and Althea Trix, and that’ll be cool too.

The reason you’re reading about it here the Cap Metro Blog though is because there’s no need for you to rent a limo for this prom night. Cap Metro is working with Austin Public Library once again to arrange for park-and-ride services for those going to prom. All you gotta do is park at one of the three library branches listed below, go inside to request your free Local Day Pass, hop on a bus and then get yourself down to the new Central Library. (Which is amazing.)

The event launches the library’s 2018 Summer Reading Program for adults and will be held in the new library’s 1st floor Special Events Center.

YOU MUST REGISTER FOR YOUR FREE RIDE AT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS:

Recycled Reads | 5335 Burnet Road | Routes 3, 803

Pleasant Hill Branch | 211 East William Cannon Drive | Routes 1, 801

Little Walnut Branch | 835 West Rundberg Lane | Routes 1, 801

To plan your trip to Pride Prom (or anywhere else), visit CapMetro.org/planner.

Cap Remap Explainer: FAQ Edition 

Cap Remap_Facebook Post Alt

Cap Remap is coming in just a few more days. After two years of planning, months of preparation and a couple of weeks at bus stops throughout our bus network — we’ve talked to more than 7,600 of you, face to face — it’s nearly here. 

In that time, we’ve heard some questions from y’all about how we came up with the plan and why. We’ve answered them as best we could, but we also wanted to gather a few persistent questions in one place to provide you answers. 

Before we get to them, however, we wanted to make sure you’re aware that we are developing pilot programs that might serve some of the areas discussed below that aren’t best served by regular bus service using large, 40-foot buses. It’s not certain what form that will take, but please stay tuned for more info as the pilots are announced. 

 

Route-10

Why won’t the Route 10 go into Hancock Center anymore? 

In order to provide reliable and frequent service on Route 10, we changed the approach to serving Hancock Center so that the bus will stay on Red River instead of driving into the shopping center itself. In the past, this wasn’t possible because there wasn’t a way for our customers to safely cross Red River, but now there’s a pedestrian beacon that customers can use to stop traffic and safely cross the street. It will be a longer walk to Red River than to the current bus stop inside the shopping center. However, the walk from the store to the street is similar in distance to how we serve every other H-E-B location in Austin. In addition, the time it takes to enter the parking lot and travel back to the street would prevent the new Route 10 from providing the frequent and direct service the majority of our customers have requested. 

Does Cap Remap serve low-income and minority communities better than the current network? 

Yes. An independent third party conducted an equity analysis of the Cap Remap service changes, and the Federal Transit Authority subsequently reviewed that analysis. The FTA found that, across the entire system, Cap Remap “substantially improved service for minority and low-income individuals.” The total minority population within 5 minutes of a bus stop with High-Frequency service will increase from 60,000 currently to 110,000, and while less than 1 percent of our existing customers will be farther than a 10-minute walk to transit service, 80 percent will have access to High-Frequency service (compared to 50 percent currently). 

Continue reading “Cap Remap Explainer: FAQ Edition “

Saying Goodbye to Pickup – 20,000 Rides Smarter

Pickup
A year ago, Capital Metro brought ride hailing to public transportation with our new Pickup service. We partnered with Via to launch the service as an experimental pilot with the goal of exploring an alternative on-demand transportation model.

It’s been a great success, allowing customers to arrange on-demand transit service from their home to a doctor’s appointment, a trip to Capital Plaza, to and from MLK Station or anywhere else within its service zone. It’s taken riders north of 183 to Wal-Mart and Luby’s and served kids going to Reagan High School and the St. John Library Branch. It was so successful that we’ve been able to provide more than 20,000 trips over the past year. And it was all free!

20.000This pilot program was always intended to be limited, though, and so Pickup is ending soon. We’ve been able to learn so much about how new shared riding services can complement public transit in Austin. As our research period has come to an end, Pickup’s last day of service will be Saturday, June 2.

Until then, it’s still available 6 days a week – between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays – in the Mueller and Windsor Park Neighborhoods.

On behalf of the entire Pickup team, we would like to thank you for the support over the past year! Also, know that Pickup’s success has paved the way for expanding Capital Metro’s on-demand service starting in 2019. Stay tuned for more news!

12th & Chicon Exhibit Unveiling a Success

12th & Chicon Unveiling
Jeff Travillion & Randy Clarke unveil the bus stop exhibit at 12th & Chicon Streets.

On May 12, Capital Metro and our partners hosted more than 50 members of the community to unveil our new historical art exhibit decorating the bus stop at 12th and Chicon Streets. The unveiling was held as a part of the East 12th Street Merchants Association’s 12th on 12th series.

President/CEO Randy Clarke joined Jeff Travillion, a Cap Metro board member and Travis County Commissioner, at the event, along with City Manager Spencer Cronk, city council member Ora Houston and representatives from Huston-Tillotson, APD, the city of Austin and the East 12th Street Merchants Association. Native East Austinite and community leader Creola Burns was the M.C. for the event and has been integral to the exhibit’s revitalization.

12th & Chicon_Creola & Travillion
Travillion and Creola Burns view the plaque.

The exhibit tells the story of the neighborhood and honors the history of African-Americans in East Austin. For the past 18 months, Cap Metro has worked with several community partners to revamp the bus stop on the southeast corner of 12th & Chicon, and the exhibit celebrates the East Austin neighborhood’s “Heritage, Pride, Prosperity.”

Cap Metro’s website tells a little bit more of the story and showcases some fantastic photographs from the collections of neighborhood families and our partners like the Austin History Center and Huston-Tillotson University.

We’d love to hear your own personal story of East Austin and the 12th & Chicon neighborhood. Please leave comments below this post, which we hope will serve as a place to share memories.

12th & Chicon_Creola & Randy

A Cap Remap Explainer: Rerouting onto Major Corridors

Cap Remap_Facebook Post Alt

The biggest improvement Cap Remap will bring to our bus system is the increase in frequency on so many routes. We will triple the number of Local bus routes in our High-Frequency Network, going from four to 12 (in addition to the two MetroRapid lines). 

Another big change will be the rerouting of some buses off neighborhood streets and onto busier corridors. This is being done for several reasons and will benefit the system overall, but it will definitely require some adjustments for our customers, many of whom will have to walk a couple of extra blocks to get to the better service. 

Our service planners like this kind of change because it allows buses to travel on busier streets that are more pedestrian friendly and conducive to transit use. It also increases the connectivity of the network since traveling on major corridors increases the transfer points between High-Frequency routes. 

Our bus operators like this kind of change because neighborhood streets tend to be narrower and often twist and turn in ways that connector corridors don’t. Put directly, it’s simpler and safer to drive on a street like 51st Street than on a neighborhood street like Rogge Lane. 

Another reality of Cap Remap is that we’re a public agency working with limited resources. To provide so much High-Frequency service throughout the city, we needed to make tough decisions in certain places, because we can’t provide that level of service everywhere. We believe that the overall plan will benefit the most people.  

Now let’s look at a few examples of what we’re talking about.  Continue reading “A Cap Remap Explainer: Rerouting onto Major Corridors”