Spreading the word about rail safety

Now that midday service has begun, we continue to push our rail safety message in the community, especially among children.  Some of our outreach efforts include speaking to school children and parents about the dangers of railroad tracks.

Our Rail Safety Outreach Coordinator Alissa Schram has been busy today. This morning she gave a rail safety presentation to students at Pease Elementary and an hour later she was on Fox 7 talking about rail safety.  Check it out.

Let’s Move Austin Day

Despite the wet forecast this weekend, you should get out of your house and get moving. On Saturday, Jan. 29 the City of Austin is teaming up with the YMCA to host the Let’s Move Austin Day featuring fun and free healthy activities for all ages.

Visit any of the seven Austin area YMCA locations between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday for a range of special activities, including free sampler group exercise classes, wellness orientations, indoor swimming, sports, active games for kids and more.

As a member of the Mayor’s Fitness Council, Capital Metro supports the city-wide effort to improve the health and lives of our community. Capital Metro has taken steps to help protect the health of its employees and customers, such as the recent tobacco-free initiative.

The Let’s Move! campaign was created by First Lady Michelle Obama to improve the health of our communities and help solve childhood obesity. Austin is taking the challenge head on and has already become an official Let’s Move City.

For more information visit austinymca.org and letsmoveatx.org.

ACC Green Pass Success

Austin Community College’s Green Pass program has proven to be a success. Just last month, Green Pass riders made 87,000 trips on Capital Metro buses for a total of 513,510 trips since the beginning of the year.

That success is leading to a continuation of the partnership between Capital Metro and ACC. Yesterday, our board of directors approved a new interlocal agreement with ACC that will allow their students, faculty and staff to continue riding Capital Metro services for free until the end of August 2012. The ACC board of trustees is expected to approve the agreement at their next meeting on Nov. 1. Continue reading “ACC Green Pass Success”

New Fare Proposal

Just a few hours ago, I was downtown at the open house meeting about the new fare proposal. Sixteen people showed up today to share their thoughts and concerns about the proposed fares. That’s a decent turn out considering the poor attendance at some of our meetings in the past.

If you haven’t heard already, Capital Metro is proposing a new simplified fare structure that would increase some fares and passes, standardize MetroExpress and MetroRail fares and eliminate free fares.

The base fare of $1.00 would not change. As you can see below the new fares would be structured into three easy-to-understand categories: Regular (MertroBus, MetroRail – single zone) Premium (MetroExpress, MetroRail – all zones) and Reduced (half fare for those who qualify). Continue reading “New Fare Proposal”

Note from Linda S. Watson

A note from Capital Metro President and CEO Linda S. Watson:

I am very excited to be back in Texas, especially in Austin, the greatest city in the state!  In the first few weeks on the job as Capital Metro’s president and chief executive officer, I have already learned a great deal about the transit authority. I understand Capital Metro has been through a lot in the past years but I’m ready to push the bar higher, so the agency can achieve great things for our community.

I’ve developed seven key objectives for Capital Metro. They’re not secrets—they’re the same major goals the agency has been working on for months.

1) Work in partnership with the Board of Directors – When I was at LYNX in Orlando, I worked hard to rebuild trust in the community and stability within the organization. I am happy to say that we had great success and made good, constructive changes but it would have not been possible without the support and partnership I developed with the board.  I will do the same here; we have a great group of board members who are respected leaders in our community and care about transit. Continue reading “Note from Linda S. Watson”

She’s almost here…

Linda Watson, our new president and chief executive officer, stopped by the office for a few moments today.  The building is buzzing with excitement as we wait for our new leader to take the helm.  She officially starts on Monday.

Ms. Watson talks to a group of bus operators in the break room.

Ms. Watson is busy settling in and getting better acquainted with the Austin area.  Today, she scoped out the vacant CEO office that will soon be filled with her transit books, awards and family photos.

Starting next week, she’ll have a line out the door of staff waiting to greet her and help her dive right into the important issues facing the agency. Between the requests for meetings by employees, elected officials and community leaders, her calendar is filling up fast.

Ms. Watson is returning to Texas after her most recent gig as the chief executive officer of LYNX, the transit authority in Orlando.  Click here to read more about her background and the search process that brought her to Capital Metro.

Welcome aboard!

MetroAccess Policy Options

The Capital Metro Board of Directors is considering changes to MetroAccess policies and amendments to Capital Metro’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Plan.  MetroAccess is a paratransit service that provides demand response van and sedan rides for people whose disabilities prevent them from being able to ride regular bus and rail service.

Internal and external reviews, such as the recent Sunset Advisory Commission Report, have recommended that we make changes that would reduce the high costs of MetroAccess service. Currently, the service is nearly 20 percent of Capital Metro’s operating expenses and serves just over two percent of Capital Metro’s ridership.

If you’re interested to know more about the service and the challenges we face with trying to control costs while continuing to provide a valuable service to our customers, watch this video.

Vodpod videos no longer available.