Stay Well & Ride Safe

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CapMetro responded quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic and has implemented several measures to protect our staff and support the goal of maintaining public health. As the state begins to relax our stay-at-home restrictions, your actions are vital to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and maintain public safety on CapMetro vehicles. We’re asking customers to continue to act responsibly to protect themselves, their families and the community at large.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we need your help:

  • Wear a face covering: This is required for all customers riding CapMetro vehicles.
  • Maintain safe social distancing when waiting at a transit facility and boarding a vehicle.
  • Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
  • Continue rear-door boarding.
  • Maintain safe social distancing when possible while riding CapMetro.
  • Stay home if you can.
  • If you feel sick, please stay home and do not use CapMetro services.

CapMetro strongly recommends you take these extra safety precautions to protect your health and the wellbeing of others. We’ll get through this, but we have to work together and do what we can to help others.

If you choose to ride CapMetro vehicles, please make sure you are considering what is best for the safety of you, your family and your community. Let’s practice these safety measures so we can all return to a more normal life soon.

 

Stop the Spread: How You Can Help our Community

We continue to implement measures to protect our operators and customers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic – but we need your help. When using CapMetro to access essential needs or to get to an essential job, follow Austin Public Health’s orders:

  • Wear a face covering. This measure helps prevents asymptomatic carriers from spreading the virus. Cloth face coverings should include multiple layers of fabric and should be washed after every use. Face coverings are required on all CapMetro vehicles.
  • Even if you are wearing a face covering, keep your distance. Continue to maintain 6 feet from other people when outside your home.
  • If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, even mild ones, do not leave your home for anything other than receiving medical care.
  • Keep washing your hands frequently.

At CapMetro we have implemented additional measures to protect you and our operators. Fares are free right now, sanitizing and cleaning procedures have been enhanced, we have placed special signage that encourages social distancing and we have added a chain near the front of the vehicles to provide a barrier between our drivers and customers. In addition, our operators are being provided with face coverings, hand sanitizer and gloves.

Let’s follow all safety guidelines and stop the spread! For more information concerning COVID-19 service updates, please visit capmetro.org/COVID19.

Keeping our community safe during COVID-19

As our community responds to COVID-19, Capital Metro is taking necessary precautions to promote public health, social distancing, and stay at home policies ordered by governmental and medical authorities. During this challenging time, we have adjusted our schedule and enhanced bus cleanings to provide safe customer access to essential needs such as grocery stores, pharmacies and work.

We ask you to take these safety precautions to help us prevent the spread of illness:

  • Only use public transportation for essential connections to groceries/pharmacies, health care and essential work
  • If you think you might be getting sick, stay home and contact your healthcare provider; if you’re uninsured and are experience symptoms of coronavirus, call CommUnityCare at 512-978-8775. CommUnityCare will talk to you over the phone and send you to the appropriate location.
  • Use rear door boarding only, unless you wish to use the ramp for access by wheelchairs and other mobility devices; all fares have been suspended for the month of April
  • Skip a seat between you and other riders; it is advised to keep a distance of 6 feet between you and those around you
  • Always cover your mouth with the crook of your arm when you sneeze or cough in public; do not sneeze or cough into your hands

Let’s stay safe, calm and smart together! For more information concerning COVID-19 service updates, please visit capmetro.org/COVID19.

 

CapMetro & the Shelter-in-Place Order

Shelter-in-Place

Even with today’s shelter in place emergency order from local authorities, CapMetro’s service remains an essential business and will continue to provide critical service for essential needs.

Adjusted Service Schedule

Designed to serve our community’s larger needs. We served 40%-60% fewer riders, which means people are doing what they need to: staying home.

“Skip a Seat” Signs

  • Give other customers some space while on the bus or train.
  • Board through the rear door to protect operators and other riders.
  • Those using wheelchairs and other mobility devices are allowed to still use the front door.
  • Please respect the fare system.

Enhanced Cleaning Procedures

Hired 50 part-time cleaners to help clean and sanitize the buses throughout the day. Some admin sta­ff will assist.

Safely Equipped Operators

CapMetro operators have hand sanitizer and gloves. We’re following Austin Public Health and the CDC on masks, but operators may wear them if they choose.

Supplemental Leave Policy

Ensures sta­ff members can take care of themselves and their loved ones and not worry about their employment status.

If you are sick, we ask you not to travel. If your travel isn’t essential, we ask that you follow the order and not ride Capital Metro.

CapMetro & COVID-19

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In response to the rapidly evolving situation involving COVID19, Capital Metro continues to implement measures designed to protect our staff, promote public health and ensure that we continue to provide service to all parts of our community.

These measures have included:

  • All bus operators are provided with a bottle of hand sanitizer and latex gloves. The agency is following guidance from Austin Public Health and the CDC with respect to masks. While operators are not being issued masks to wear while driving, they may do so if they choose.
  • We enhanced our cleaning operations more than two weeks ago, which included the daily sanitizing of all hand touch surfaces. We will soon increase those cleaning procedures even further, with disinfecting of vehicles taking place throughout the day. To help us achieve this, we’ve hired 50 part-time cleaners. No experience is needed, and training will be provided. Work will start as early as tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24.
  • Customers must board their bus through the rear door to protect the health and safety of our bus operators and customers. During this emergency situation, we trust that our customers will continue to respect the agency’s fare system.
  • We have placed “skip a seat” signs on all CapMetro vehicles to encourage customers to leave some space between each other and practice social distancing.
  • We have developed a new policy that would provide up to three weeks of supplemental sick leave for employees of CapMetro and our contractors. This would apply if the employee or a member of their household is affected by COVID-19.
  • We’re also starting a new CapMetro Family Care team, whose sole purpose is to be an additional resource to answer questions, provide comfort and find solutions for those who are impacted by this crisis.

CapMetro Implements Temporary Service Changes

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In response to the COVID-19 emergency, CapMetro services will operate a modified schedule, seven days a week beginning Wednesday, March 18.

Service Impacts

Capital Metro will implement changes to its service designed to protect employees, promote public health and ensure that we continue to provide service to all parts of our community.

Capital Metro services, including MetroBus, MetroRapid, MetroExpress and MetroRail will operate on a modified schedule.

You can read about those service changes at CapMetro.org/COVID19.

Customer/Employee Care & Safety

To further ensure customer and bus operator health and safety, we ask that customers board their bus through the rear door. We also ask that they respect the agency’s fare system during this emergency situation.

Capital Metro designed these new measures to improve social distancing for our employees and customers, while still providing necessary transit to critical services.

Prevention and Awareness

We are following guidance from Austin Public Health and continue to monitor the situation.

In addition to our daily cleaning procedures for all CapMetro vehicles and transit facilities, we are applying a disinfectant to common hand contact areas, such as poles and handrails, armrests, door handles and stop request buttons.

Later this week, we will install special signs encouraging social distancing on our vehicles.

Along with these efforts, we need your help:

  • Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Maintain good hygiene.
  • Limit your non-essential travel as much as possible, especially to locations with many people.
  • Limiting your contact with others is the best way to stay healthy.

If you think you might be getting sick, please stay home and contact your healthcare provider.

Visit Austin Public Health’s information page for up-to-date, detailed information: austintexas.gov/COVID19.

CapMetro Community Update

As a primary source of transportation for many in our community, CapMetro must address the COVID-19 situation while maintaining safe, critical transit services and a safe work environment.

PREVENTION & AWARENESS

  • We implemented enhanced daily cleaning procedures on March 2 for all CapMetro transit vehicles and facilities by applying a disinfectant to common hand contact areas such as poles and handrails, armrests, door handles and stop request buttons.
  • Safe hygiene messages developed by Austin Public Health were added to all CapMetro vehicles, and we’ve included these hygiene reminders at our bus and rail stop digital signs where available. CapMetro has also emphasized these messages on its social media channels.
  • While it is not logistically feasible to add hand sanitizers to hundreds of buses and thousands of stops, our customers and employees are encouraged to practice regular hand washing to reduce the risk of public spread.
  • We asked our customers to stay home if they are feeling sick and to follow guidelines from Austin Public Health.

RESPONSE MANAGEMENT

  • We activated an internal Coronavirus Task Force to provide around-the-clock assistance to the Capital Metro service area and can act swiftly should we be alerted to a case of coronavirus affecting our employees or service.
  • Our senior leadership team has met daily to prepare to address the evolving situation.
  • Additionally, we have been in discussion with transit industry leaders throughout Texas and nationally to ensure we are collaborating on best practices for monitoring the COVID-19 impact.
  • Capital Metro is working closely with Austin Public Health, and we are following its guidance on recent developments on COVID-19.

EMPLOYEE CARE & SAFETY

  • The health and safety of all personnel remains our primary concern. We continue to maintain safe, clean work environments.
  • All staff are being encouraged to stay home if sick.
  • CapMetro’s leadership team, management of contracted services and union leadership are working together to support any employee who needs to take sick time away from their duties or if we have to reduce service levels.
  • CapMetro has developed contingency plans for remote staffing and systems redundancy for operations and administrative functions as a part of our business continuity plan.

SERVICE IMPACTS

  • In coordination with The University of Texas, Capital Metro stopped running all UT Shuttle routes at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 13, and we will not run this service during Spring Break. We will continue to work with UT to adjust service based on campus activities.
  • CapMetro is in close coordination with centers that care for vulnerable populations. Therefore, MetroAccess clients who have questions specific to their service can review an informational question-and-answer update tailored to their needs at CapMetro.org/MetroAccess-FAQ

FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS

  • CapMetro will continue to analyze and modify its operations with guidance from Austin Public Health and the impact of personnel availability.
  • CapMetro has developed continuity of operations plans, and should there be a need to modify service or fare policies we will share these updates on our website, send to local media and publish to our MetroAlerts subscribers.


We thank you for your patience and support as we deliver critical transportation services for our community.

Let’s Come Together and Stay Safe

Lieutenant Jessica Horta-Perez
Austin Community College District Police

 

Capital Metro is a great option for college students to get to class and make their way around the city. Here are some safety tips to make sure we do it safely.

Sometimes it’s difficult to put our phones down but being aware of your surroundings needs to be a priority. Keep your head up and avoid using your phone while walking around town. If you are using earbuds make sure you are still able to hear those around you, especially when using crosswalks. For your own safety, avoid distractions when walking to the bus stop and train platform.

When going out at night wear bright clothing to make yourself visible to drivers. For everyone’s safety, never drive a vehicle, bike or scooter if you have been drinking. Remember that CapMetro is your safe ride home!

Let’s come together and follow these safety tips when making our way around Austin.

CapMetro Public Health Statement

generalalertCapital Metro is following guidance from Austin Public Health and continues to monitor the situation involving the corona virus and COVID-19. In addition to daily cleaning procedures of all CapMetro vehicles and transit facilities, we have begun applying a disinfectant to common hand contact areas such as poles and handrails, armrests, door handles and stop request buttons.

To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including flu and COVID-19, please follow standard hygiene measures.

Reaching Higher

Reaching Higher_Feb 2020

Thanks a Billion!

CapMetro reached a huge milestone in January: 1 billion rides!

Our mission is to connect people and communities to jobs and opportunities, and CapMetro has been transforming Central Texas lives for the past 35 years. We look forward to the next billion!

Clean Air

Cleaner Air for Our Tomorrow

Our first electric buses rolled out in January with artwork created by kids from Campbell Elementary.

Our 1 billion customers have saved more than 445,000 tons of greenhouse gases that would’ve been in the air if they’d driven alone. As more people choose CapMetro, cleaner air will be the result!

Thanks a Billion!

Ridership Keeps Climbing!

As of February, ridership has increased for 16 straight months. In addition to our new bus network, customers are also responding positively to:

  • 125 additional bus shelters
  • Improved Next Departure estimates
  • 110 new digital information signs at MetroRapid stations & transit centers
  • 3,000 feet of sidewalk improvements
  • New solar-powered lighting at stop & stations

More Riders

Add It Up

There’s so much happening with transportation in Central Texas! Get a load of this:

  • Launched Pickup in Leander & kept adding ridership to other Pickup zones
  • Recognized with Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for our 2019 annual financial report
  • Lauded by World Safety Organization with the 2019 Concerned Corporation Award
  • Earned two awards for improvements to real-time data
  • Named a Gold Level Partner and received the Mayor’s Healthiest Workplace Award
  • Received national safety award from American Public Transportation Association

The Community’s Plan

Project Connect-English

Project Connect will transform the region’s transportation system. But for it to work, we need your help. That’s why we’ve gone out to talk to the community to see what you want from Project Connect. So far:

  • 34,838 people participated!
  • 543 meetings hosted and/or attended
  • Received 5,154 visits to our virtual open houses
  • Collected 2,489 comments from those visits

You can follow along with Project Connect’s outreach through our Engagement Dashboards online.