Show me the way

Have you seen Capital Metro’s award-winning visitor’s map?  Here’s an electronic version. But to get the full experience, you can swing by the Austin Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (ACVB) to get your very own hard copy free of charge. We just found out this week that the American Public Transportation Association awarded our map first prize in the coveted AdWheel competition.

The AdWheel Awards recognize outstanding work in transit marketing and communications. The award demonstrates that we’re doing our part to help make sure that out-of-towners have a positive experience as they travel in our city.

“The Capital Metro visitor map is a great tool to help visitors navigate the downtown area – especially for visitors traveling by foot,” said ACVB Director of Retail and Visitor Services Cheri Winterrowd. “The map features comprehensive points of interest, is easy to read – and the downtown hotels have said it’s a great tool for them as well.”

This award is also a great honor for my hip colleagues down the hall who work so hard to provide the maps, schedules and other materials that make riding Capital Metro a breeze.

Everyday heroes

We’d like to share a wonderful email we received from a customer thanking MetroRail Field Supervisor William Brown and MetroBus Operator Vincent Moore, two of our everyday heroes who keep our systems running for you. (By the way, if you’re a regular MetroBlog reader then you may have seen Vincent in action before. Remember this video?)

Dear Capital Metro,

We are writing to tell you how much we appreciate the kind actions of two of your employees last week while were in Austin for the Texas Library Conference, April 12-15.

After our meetings at the conference center on Wednesday, the 13th, we decided to ride the MetroRail from the Hilton on 4th Street to the end, and then back to the hotel. You guessed it; there was no return ride, since that was the last trip out for the evening. Three lady librarians, stranded at the end of the line, and did not know how to get back. (You would think since we are librarians, we would have researched this a little better, wouldn’t you?) Even our fellow passengers assured us there would be a return train, were very friendly, and suggested other activities for our time in Austin.

Continue reading “Everyday heroes”

Making Your Day

Bus operator Abdel Tenouri and Linda S. Watson
Linda S. Watson thanks Bus operator (and international bus roadeo champion) Abdel Tenouri.

The leadership of StarTran, Inc., who employs 2/3 of our bus operators, arrived at Capital Metro HQ about 3:30 a.m. this morning to make bus operators’ day.

We proclaimed today Bus Operator Appreciation Day, and new CEO Linda S. Watson joined StarTran management in the wee hours to serve breakfast and personally thank our professional bus operators for their work that results in thousands of people in our community getting to work, to school, and to anywhere else they want to go, every day.


Why did we select today?  Continue reading “Making Your Day”

Talkin’ Dirty

Capital Metro’s shuttle service for the 2009 Austin City Limits Music Festival was very successful. We ferried 105,422 riders to/from Zilker Park over the course of the three-day festival. It’s always great to see so many people riding the bus, and from all over the country, too.  We ♥ to see a full bus!

10/4/2009 - Jay Janner/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
10/4/2009 - Jay Janner/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Of those 105K+ riders, more than 16,000 (muddy) people rode from the festival back to Republic Square Park on Sunday. I was not here to see it personally, but I heard our bus interiors were looking (and smelling) pretty shabby when they rolled back home after ACL ended Sunday night.

Perhaps this is a good time to briefly outline the stringent cleaning process we have here at Capital Metro that ensures your ride is a clean one. Continue reading “Talkin’ Dirty”

Don’t Leave Me

You step off the bus and walk the short distance to work. You’ve already had your coffee. Perhaps you were just promoted the day before. Or your kids are doing extremely well in school. Whatever the case may be, you feel good. You reach into your pocket for your wallet and, oh, my gosh, it’s not there.

You think you might have left it on the bus. “Yes,” you say to yourself. “I remember I pulled out my monthly pass.”

What to do if you leave a personal item on the bus? The first thing to do is contact customer service at 474-1200. This number is posted at every bus stop. If you remember the bus number, perfect. This works to your advantage because customer service can contact the driver a lot faster. If you don’t know the bus number, don’t worry. Tell customer service which route you were on and at what time. Customer service, along with a radio dispatcher, will do some digging for you.

Capital Metro will work quickly to return a lost item left on one of its buses with the owner, be it a valuable item, like a wallet, purse or cell phone, or just lost marbles that someone wants back.

Once customer service has located the right bus, a radio dispatcher will call the operator and ask her or him to search the bus for the lost item. The operator will do so at the next bus stop. The operator then reports back that the item is in his or her possession. This is communicated back to the owner and arrangements are made to return the items to their owner. The owner can wait for the bus to make its return trip; sometimes a street supervisor is sent to retrieve the item; or, the owner can pick-up the item at the downtown office at 4th and Congress.

Here is a friendly reminder. Just before you deboard the bus, look up at the advertisements. Notice the one with a picture of a set of keys, purse, cell phone and other items and these three words: “Don’t Leave Me.”