Happy and Safe Juneteenth 2013

BCD 13063A Juneteenth web graphicJuneteenth* weekend is a wonderful time of family and community celebration.

Austin’s annual Juneteenth Parade and Celebration hosted by the Greater East Austin Youth Association (GEAYA) takes place on Saturday, June 15, 2013. The parade route starts at 10am on MLK and Comal, and ends at Rosewood and Chestnut.

MetroRail, Capital Metro’s commuter rail with 9 stops between Downtown Austin and Leander, runs through a portion of Rosewood Park. The parade ends before the railroad crossing, and with a mix of physical barriers and personnel staffing, our security, safety, and community involvement teams work closely with the City of Austin, Austin Police Department and others to ensure celebration participants have safe passage as they travel to/from the parade route to festivities at Doris Miller and Rosewood Park.

Continue reading “Happy and Safe Juneteenth 2013”

Teens, Who and Where Will You Be this Summer?

Shakespeare wrote:

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts…”

Haul Pass logo

The summer, the Haul Pass, a new fare card for youth 18 and under, gives teens (and kids) unlimited bus and rail rides all summer long, plus discounts at Go Local partner businesses.

Austin is the stage. The Haul Pass is your ticket. What role will you play?

  • The Professional
    • Heads to a summer job, an internship, or volunteer work.
    • Checks the trip planner on the computer the night before work to plan the day. Always arrives 5 to 10 minutes before the scheduled departure.
    • Scans the QR code on the bus stop or texts the cross-streets or Stop ID to Dadnab (512-981-6221) to find out the next departure time
    • Keeps on budget, uses GoLocal discounts for food and well earned entertainment after a hard day at work.
  • The Scholar
  • systemmapcoverThe Explorer
  • The Artist
  • Community Organizer
    • Stays connected. #textingwhileriding
    • Searches newspapers and blogs for calendar listings of guest speakers and author talks and uses the trip planner to figure out how to get from spot to spot.
    • Keeps up with Project Connect (regional partnership exploring high-capacity transit options in Central Texas)
    • Gets friends to carpool to a Park and Ride, then journey together via Capital Metro to Barton Springs, parks and recreation centers, the mall, the movies, etc.
    • Supports local businesses, checking Go Local for businesses near destinations.
    • Convinces a parent into to try riding transit to work for a day, and consider joining a vanpool for commute. Or takes a family outing using the bus or train, like a ride across town for lunch with a grandparent, aunt or uncle.
  • The Athlete
    • An expert on loading a bike onto onboard bikeracks on MetroBus or MetroRailKnows how to do on the spot repairs after having built 2 bikes from scratch for free at Yellow Bike Project.
    • Crosstrains throughout the summer hiking, biking, swimming, boating, jogging and mixing it up with a little frisbee and hula hooping for kicks.
    • Walks to a bus stop or rail station to get that pedometer walking mileage in. 
    • Find lots of businesses on Go Local offering discounts for fitness and wellness, like yoga classes and rock climbing.
    • Explores Town Lake, Zilker Park, Pease Park, the YMCA, Austin Parks and Recreation, and more.
    • Uses the trip planner to figure out the best routes to get to practices, games, and the gym on time.
  • The Environmentalist.

The great thing about being a teen is you can be all these things. No need to permanently decide which route to take. And with unlimited bus and rail trips, you don’t have to.

So where will your Haul Pass take you this summer?

Tweet your adventures #haulpass

Introducing the Haul Pass: New Fare Card for Students

Haul Pass logo

The countdown has begun. School’s almost out. Parent and teens, it’s time to get ready for summer.

Whether it’s time for volunteering, working summer jobs,  internships, taking summer courses; or it’s time for play–attending summer camp, participating in recreational sports or arts activities; or it’s time to chill–with a dip in the pool, relaxing with a good book, grabbing a bite to eat and hanging out with friends and family–Capital Metro can help get you to the places you want and need to go.

Let us introduce you to the Haul Pass, our new summer fare card for students 18 and under.

Front of Hall Pass fare card

Haul Pass Features:

  • UNLIMITED Bus & Rail rides
  • 1 pass lasts three summer months
  • Go Local discounts
  • Valid June 1 – August 31
  • A great value at $45 (for a $96 fare card)
Limited quantity sold for a limited time only, so get them while they last!
The Haul Pass is available online at www.capmetro.org/haulpass or at the Transit Store, 323 Congress Avenue.

AAAHCT Helps Riders Stop Smoking During National Volunteer Week April 21-27, 2013

April 21-27, 2013 is National Volunteer Week.

AAAHCT Logo

As a part of their “Living Healthy on the Eastside” campaign, volunteer members of the Alliance for African American Health in Central Texas (AAAHCT) are on a mission to help Austinites stop smoking.

This week they’ll be hitting the streets, along with our MetroAmbassadors, walking and talking with riders at Capital Metro bus stops in East Austin and handing out free smoking cessation information brochures.

Want to know more about the Alliance or their Living Healthy campaign? Check out their blog http://www.atxeastsidehealthnet.blogspot.com/ or follow them on Twitter @AAAHCT

They’d also like to hear from you:

What’s your status?

  1. I will never start smoking.
  2. I do smoke, but have made up my mind  to quit.
  3. I have quit and there is no turning back.
  4. I am encouraging someone I love to quit.

To respond TEXT atxnotobacco with a space and then your response (1, 2, 3 or 4) to 84444 (text charges may apply).  For example, if you’ve never smoked, text the phrase “atxnotobacco 1” as your message to the number 84444.

Did you know that all Capital Metro facilities, bus stops, stations and properties are 100% smoke free?

The passenger boarding areas of Capital Metro transit centers, train stations and Park & Rides are tobacco-free. Please observe the signs that designate these areas as tobacco-free.

In addition, Capital Metro proactively discourages tobacco use within 15 feet of every bus stop for the health and safety of all riders waiting for the bus. Kindly do not use tobacco within 15 feet of your bus stop.

Capital Metro enacted tobacco-free policies at its facilities because it believes that ensuring a healthy work and traveling environment is key to providing quality, state-of-the-art transit services.

For more information on Capital Metro’s tobacco polices (including FAQs and free smoking cessation resources) visit our website at http://www.capmetro.org/rules/.

Want AAAHCT’s brochure? You can download and print your own copy here for free:

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Travel FREE to Washington DC: APTA 2013 Youth Summit

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Public transportation plays a significant role in finding solutions to the numerous challenges facing America today. Whether it’s more jobs, a cleaner environment, energy independence or a better quality of life; Public Transportation Takes Us There!

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is seeking a diverse group of students from across the country to participate in the 2013 APTA Youth Summit to Advance Public Transportation being held in Washington, DC, June 23 – 27. Students will explore the environmental benefits of public transportation; how communities as a whole can prosper with increased services; the role local and federal policies play in public transit usage; and career opportunities in the transit industry.

If you will be a high school junior or senior in the Fall of 2013, please submit an application today and join your peers from across America as they come together in Washington, D.C.

COMPLETED APPLICATIONS DUE: APRIL 22, 2013

Visit the APTA website for an application.

Completed applications should be emailed to: students@apta.com or faxed to 202-496-4323.

With this ALL EXPENSES PAID OPPORTUNITY*, you will:

  • Experience five days in the nation’s Capital
  • Meet lawmakers and congressional leaders
  • Participate in hands-on local transit tours
  • Discover the wide range of exciting career paths within the transit industry
  • Learn how public transportation is helping shape a brighter future

For more information, please contact: Program Manager – Educational Services, APTA, Cheryl Pyatt at 202-496-4875 or cpyatt@apta.com.

*All expenses paid by APTA.

Happy Girl Scout Day – March 12

Girl Scout Day celebrates the day the first Girl Scout group was created on March 12, 1912, when Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low assembled 18 girls from Savannah, Georgia for a local meeting. Today, Girl Scouts of the USA has a membership of over 3.2 million girls and adults.

We are especially proud of our local scouts’ role in history. Did you know the Girl Scouts of Central Texas and Capital Metro created the Girl Scouts first-ever Rail Safety Patch Program?

ImageTake a lead from the Girl Scouts and educate yourself about how to be safe around railroad tracks. Check out:

Capital Metro conducts Operation Lifesaver (OL) presentations FREE OF CHARGE to schools, community and educational organizations in the Central Texas region. To schedule a presentation, please contact Mr Celso Baez at 512-389-7559.

Have a safe and happy Girl Scout Day and Women’s History Month.

Ride With Us So You Can March — MLK Day Mon, Jan 21

Ride with us to the March and celebrate the legacy of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr while highlighting and uplifting diversity and multiculturalism in our city at the Austin Area Heritage Council’s 20th Annual Citywide Martin Luther King, Jr Community March & Rally on Monday, January 21, 2013.

The #2 bus (Rosewood) will run every 15 minutes until 4pm.

9:00 am March begins at the MLK Statue on the University of Texas

10:00 am – 10:45 am MLK Program at the State Capital; March continues

11:00 am – 4:00 pm March ends; Festival begins at Huston-Tillotson University
(Be sure to visit the Capital Metro booth!)

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Routes 2, 4, 18, 21/22 will get you to and from the MLK March & Rally and Celebration (including back to the parking garages near UT, H-T, and the State Capitol).

Regular fares apply. (Single Ride $1, Day Pass $2.00. Reduced Fare: Single Ride $.50, Day Pass $1. Children five and under with an accompanying adult, and emergency and military personnel in uniform ride Capital Metro bus and rail services at no charge.) Use Capital Metro’s online trip planner http://www.capmetro.org/planner/ or call the Go-Line at 512-474-1200 for information about routes and schedules.

Rider Alert:

Capital Metro will operate its Saturday bus schedule in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. There will be no MetroRail, UT Shuttle or E-Bus service.

MetroAccess customers needing to keep their subscription trips on Jan. 21 will need to call (512) 478-9647 to schedule them. The reservation line will be staffed on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Capital Metro administrative offices and the Transit Store will be closed Jan. 21; however the GO Line will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and customers will still have 24-hour access to the automated phone line and online trip planner.

For more information on the Martin Lither King, Jr celebration activities, visit http://www.mlkcelebration.com/

Ride with us to Harlem

Ride Capital Metro over to Harlem River Drive

…during Jazz at St James with headliner Bobbi Humphrey.


The 18th Annual Jazz Concert Series features the First Lady of Flute Bobbi Humphrey, John Mills Times Ten, James Polk Sextet Centerpiece, David Pulkingham, and Hope Morgan.

Schedule:

Friday, Nov. 2

5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Jazz Social Hour With David Pulkingham

7:00 p.m. Concert
Tickets $25 ($30 at the door) $10 for students with ID
The John Mills Times Ten followed by Bobbi Humphrey Quartet.
Doors open at 6:30.

Note: HT and UT students and alumni are encouraged to ride Capital Metro to Friday night’s reception and concert, with groups departing campus between 5:00-5:15 p.m.

  • UT students catch the #18 at 5:33 p.m. at 21st and Speedway (and ride free with your UT ID)
  • HT students catch the 5:28 p.m. MetroRail train at Plaza Saltillo (5th and Comal) and transfer at MLK Station to the #18 bus headed eastbound (HT students should see Ms. Ora Houston for transportation passes)
  • Please arrive to your stop at least 10 minutes prior to departure.

Saturday, Nov. 3

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
FREE
Workshop and Informance

5 – 7:00 p.m. Dinner
$30 per person
Jazz Banquet With Hope Morgan

7:00 p.m. Concert
Tickets $25 ($30 at the door) $20 for students with ID
James Polk Sextet – Centerpeace Featuring Pamela Hart followed by Bobbi Humphrey Quartet.
Doors open at 6:30.

Sunday, Nov. 4

11:00 a.m.
FREE
Jazz Mass with The Bobbi Humphrey Quartet

All events take place at St James Episcopal Church, 1941 Webberville Rd, Austin TX, which is serviced by bus routes # 6, 18, and 323. Friday and Saturday evening MetroRail riders can easily transfer to the #18 bus at the MLK Jr. Station.

For directions, please use our trip planner, Google Maps, or call the Go-Line 512-474-1200.

For tickets and other information, please visit http://jazzatstjames.org, or download their flier for the event.

Make Green Art

At Capital Metro, sometimes going green every mile, every day, takes a little creativity.

Take Nailah I. Akinyémi-Sankofa, artist and Executive Director of RunWay Underground, who turns our system maps into gift bags for attendees of RWU’s International African Fashion Week in Austin (pictured above), or Chandra Kring Villanueva who transformed used passes with origami at our Millionth Rider event at Crestview Station (below).

What creative ways can you give some of our old print materials a second life?

Schools, arts organizations, and artists are all encouraged to contact us  for a list of current print materials that are available for creative use. Examples of items that are often available are outdated system maps, service change brochures, and foam core signs.

For more information, please contact metroart@capmetro.org or call Simone Monique Barnes 512-609-1555.

Capital Metro’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2013 Budget

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Our fiscal year budget planning process is underway (our fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30). Our financial team and board members continue to be busy fine tuning our financial plans based on community feedback.

We’re holding steady in a tough economy

The total proposed FY2013 budget is $274.4 million, which includes both capital and operating budgets.

We have made great progress the past few years in strengthening our financial position and improving our business practices. We have changed our labor structure, discontinued free fares, made bus service more efficient, and adopted rigorous financial policies, all in an effort to improve the way we are doing business. And we’re transparent about how we do business—our financials are posted online, and updated regularly.

Now, with a tough economy that is slowly rebounding (more than 60% of our budget comes from sales tax), coupled with some major investments we’re making in our system, we’ve known for a while that FY2013 will be the toughest fiscal year in Capital Metro’s recent history. But the good news is that through sound management and board policy direction, the proposed FY2013 operating and capital budget was balanced without reducing service levels or increasing fares, and without reducing the fund balance as much as previously anticipated.

We want you know that Capital Metro is successfully responding to the challenges it has faced in recent years and is proactively helping Central Texas solve its transportation problems.

What we’re investing in progress

Our proposed FY2013 budget funds key strategic priorities, including labor structure, building our reserves, repair needs, safety initiatives to meet Federal mandates and Sunset Commission recommendations, and upgrades to our line that can no longer be deferred. For example,

  • We’re buying more than 50 new buses to replace our aging fleet–this means more new buses along our neighborhood routes
  • We’re investing in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), radio replacement, and Positive Train Control. (PTS, a federal unfunded mandate, is a system of functional requirements for monitoring and controlling train movements to provide increased safety.)

We’re investing in transportation solutions for all

During the budget development planning process, we’ve sought input from the community to ensure that our priorities are in line with the community’s transportation related concerns. Some of the most pressing ones we heard from social service agencies, our Access Advisory Committee, ADAPT, other members of Austin’s disabled community, and the general public at-large are related to fares, service, and accessibility. We want you to know that in FY2013, our budget includes:

  • No fare increase
  • No reductions in our overall service
  • Breaking ground on MetroRapid, a fast, new, high capacity service which will serve our busiest corridors (starting in 2014)
  • $2.4 million bus stop accessibility improvements
  • $250K contributed to the Basic Transportation Needs Fund, which supports non-profit organizations in assisting low-income transit dependent individuals’ access to transportation

Your Feedback Matters

Adopting a sustainable budget while investing in quality and innovation will help Capital Metro deliver on its promise to its customers and taxpayers to provide effective services that meet the Austin area’s transportation needs.

We encourage you to keep talking to us. We’re listening. Join us on

More information, including a copy of the proposed budget book and a webinar presentation with Frank Ordaz, our Director of Financial Planning, can be found at http://www.capmetro.org/budget2013/