Bus-Only Shoulder Bill to be Heard in Senate Committee Monday; House status

House Bill 2327, the bill that would let Capital Metro operate buses on highway shoulders, was left pending in the House Transportation Committee after it came up late Wednesday afternoon. This has been fairly common practice in most committees for many bills; the committee could act on the bill at their next meeting or subsequent ones.

A big, big thanks to the many organizations and individuals who signed cards or submitted letters in support: the City of Austin, Glenn Gadbois, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Gerald Daugherty, Envision Central Texas, the Downtown Austin Alliance, Alliance for Public Transportation, Real Estate Council of Austin, CARTS, the Texas Transit Association, Sinclair Black, CTRMA, David Richardson, and Lone Star Rail.

On the Senate side, the companion bill filed by Senator Jeff Wentworth, SB 1102, will be heard in the Senate Transportation & Homeland Security Committee this Monday, April 11 at 10:00 AM or upon adjournment/recess of Nominations in Room E1.028 of the Capitol. To learn how you can register your support of this bill, keep reading!

Continue reading “Bus-Only Shoulder Bill to be Heard in Senate Committee Monday; House status”

Bill Authorizing Bus-Only Lane Pilot Program to be Heard in House Transportation Committee Tomorrow Morning

Wouldn't this be awesome, commuters? Imagine this is Mopac at 5 p.m., and the bus you're on could carefully pass up the traffic on the shoulder?

Tomorrow, House Bill 2327, which has been filed by Representative Ruth Jones McClendon of the San Antonio area, is scheduled to be heard in the House Transportation Committee tomorrow morning. Senator Jeff Wentworth has filed the bill on the Senate side; his is Senate Bill 1102. (Keep reading to learn how you can register your support of these bills!)

Rep. McClendon’s bill, HB 2327, would authorize TxDOT to implement a pilot program in Travis, Bexar, Denton and El Paso Counties whereby public transit agencies would be allowed to safely use improved highway shoulders for bus passage on authorized sections approved by TxDOT. For Capital Metro, we believe this could be safely and effectively implemented on IH-35, MoPac, and 183—our region’s most congested corridors.

Continue reading “Bill Authorizing Bus-Only Lane Pilot Program to be Heard in House Transportation Committee Tomorrow Morning”

More federal grant funds for Central Texas!

HUD Regional Administrator C. Donald Babers & Congressman Lloyd Doggett (photo from Envision Central Texas)
HUD Regional Administrator C. Donald Babers & Congressman Lloyd Doggett (photo from Envision Central Texas)
More great news! Just last week, Capital Metro was awarded $2 million in federal grant funds so that we could purchase some new buses. This afternoon, a group of local partners, which includes Capital Metro, was one of only 45 grantees across the country selected to receive $3.7 million in federal funds to develop new regional planning tools. The award was announced today at City Hall. In addition to Congressman Lloyd Doggett, the event was attended by HUD’s regional administrator C. Donald Babers. Continue reading “More federal grant funds for Central Texas!”

Capital Metro wins $2 million in federal grant funds! Still searching for more…

Good news! Last Monday, the Federal Transit Administration announced that Capital Metro’s was one of 152 applications selected to receive funds under their State of Good Repair competitive grant program. While you still have to submit a strong project to win any competitive funds, it helps to have the support of our Austin-area congressional delegation. Continue reading “Capital Metro wins $2 million in federal grant funds! Still searching for more…”

Local Delegation Moves MetroRapid Funding Forward

Great news! Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed their Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill for FY2011 and it included $24.23 million for Capital MetroRapid!

The Senate Appropriations Committee also passed their version of the bill last week, and the same was previously requested by President Obama in his FY2011 budget. While there are a few more steps left before final budget approval, the recent action is very encouraging and moves Capital Metro that much closer to the finish. Continue reading “Local Delegation Moves MetroRapid Funding Forward”

Dirty mattresses: gone and good riddance (Rock art: for you, my heart weeps)

Stinky mattress

A few months ago, Capital Metro was called out by one of our neighbors for some mess along the rail line over near Plaza Saltillo. Unfortunately, us fine folks here at CMTA hadn’t been keeping up with our property but non-fine folks weren’t helping with their illegal dumping either. So dirty mattresses, broken-down furniture, old railroad ties and other assorted debris had accumulated. But, now, ta-da! We recently finished cleaning the egregious stretch from IH-35 to 7th Street and stinky mattresses are no more.

Continue reading “Dirty mattresses: gone and good riddance (Rock art: for you, my heart weeps)”

Obama to Congress: Fund MetroRapid!

As we all know, Capital Metro could always use some good news and the good news is (insert drum roll here)…we actually have some darn good news! Really!

Yesterday, President Obama (yes, THE President of the United States himself, Mr. Barack Obama) proposed his FY 2011 budget and it included $24 million in *additional* federal funds for Capital Metro’s MetroRapid project. Yahoo! Continue reading “Obama to Congress: Fund MetroRapid!”