Holiday Food Drive Challenges the Community to “Stuff the Bus”

STB-bus-placard_finalEarlier today, Dec. 10, Capital Metro joined Whole Foods Market and the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas in announcing our holiday food drive partnership–Stuff the Bus!

We have teamed up for the first time ever to ask the community to help “Stuff the Bus” to assist area residents in need during the holiday season. The food drive is being held Dec. 14-16 at Whole Foods Market in downtown Austin.

The goal of the three-day event is to fill a full-size Capital Metro bus with 20,000 pounds of non-perishable food items, benefitting the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. According to the food bank, 20,000 pounds of food equates to approximately 16,000 meals to families in need throughout the community.

“The donated food from Stuff the Bus will be a tremendous help in feeding the hungry right here in central Texas,” said Hank Perret, Capital Area Food Bank of Texas President/CEO. “We cannot thank our partners at Capital Metro and Whole Foods enough for their outstanding commitment to bettering the lives of our friends and neighbors in need this holiday season.”

Donations are welcome anytime between 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Capital Metro bus, located at the corner of 6th and Bowie in front of the Whole Foods Market culinary center entrance. Volunteers from all three organizations will be on hand to accept food items and load them onto the bus.

The food bank encourages donations of healthy, non-perishable food items, such as canned meats and tuna, canned vegetables, pasta, beans, healthy cereal and peanut butter. During the drive, participants may also purchase pre-packaged food donations at Whole Foods Market in $5, $10 and $20 increments.

“We are honored to participate in the Stuff the Bus campaign with Capital Metro and Capital Area Food Bank,” said Whole Foods Market Lamar interim store team leader Wade Taylor. “Nourishing our communities is what Whole Foods Market is passionate about, and we are excited to rally with our guests around this great cause.”

Several Capital Metro bus routes are located within a block of whole Foods Market, including:

  • #1L/1M North Lamar/South Congress
  • #3 Burnet/Manchaca
  • #4 Montopolis
  • #21/22 Exposition/Chicon
  • #101 N. Lamar/S. Congress Ltd.

“Capital Metro is so pleased to be a part of this wonderful holiday effort,” said Capital Metro President/CEO Linda Watson. “We’re especially looking forward to working together with our partner organizations for the benefit of all Central Texans during this very special and giving time of the year.”

The three-day event will feature live music by local bands on Friday, Dec. 14 from 5-8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15 and 16, from 12-4 p.m. at the donation site.

Capital Metro will also sponsor the Whole Foods Market Kid’s Club on Saturday and Sunday from 12-4 p.m. Employees and MetroAmbassador volunteers will be on hand to show children how to make colorful paper tree ornaments from recycled transit maps, ribbons and other materials.

People are invited to join the “Stuff the Bus” cause on Facebook or follow the event on Twitter at #StuffTheBus.

Here are a few pictures of our major partnership announcement news conference with Whole Foods Market and the Capital Area Food Bank–to see some more pics of the fun, check out our Facebook album:

The three partners coming together to announce the big food drive.
The three partners coming together to announce the big food drive.

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Capital Metro President/CEO Linda Watson being interviewed by FOX.
Capital Metro President/CEO Linda Watson being interviewed by FOX.

Holiday Sing-Along & Downtown Stroll: Saturday, December 1

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The Downtown Austin Alliance and KUT 90.5 invite visitors to start their holidays downtown THIS SATURDAY, Dec. 1, during the annual Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll!

The evening starts at 6 p.m. when crowds gather on the south steps of the Capitol to sing the songs of the season during John Aielli’s Holiday Sing-Along. As the clock chimes 7 p.m., the countdown to the lighting of the Capitol tree begins – this year featuring a new 40 foot tree with lights programmed to local Holiday music.

From 7 to 9 p.m. Congress Ave. will be abuzz with holiday cheer during the Downtown Stroll. Shops, restaurants, galleries, and museums will be open late and will feature art installations, special activities, offers or refreshments to visitors. Highlight of this year’ s Stroll include:

  • Congress Avenue Lights: a project that will light all 136 trees on The Main Street of Texas from Lady Bird Lake to the Capitol, 365 days a year.
  • Congress Avenue will be illuminated with site-specific projections by Austin-based video, gaming and light artists, curated by artist and VJ Stephen Fishman
  • Holiday Gals with Marcia Ball, Christine Albert and Sarah Elizabeth Campbell at Frost Bank Plaza
  • Santa at the State Theatre and Classic Holiday Cartoons at the Paramount
  • And more! Check downtownaustinholidays.com for a full schedule of events
metrorail-75px The DAA encourages you to stroll downtown with Capital Metro’s commuter train MetroRail! Plan your train or bus trip at http://www.capmetro.org/planner/.

All events are free and open to the public, but if you can please support fellow members of the community by bringing non-perishable food or cash contribution to support the Capital Area Food Bank. Celebrate the Season Downtown!

Capital Metro Partners with Restore a Voice for F1

The checkered flags are ready and tickets to the race are sold out as Formula 1 races into Austin this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, bringing in a record number of visitors to Central Texas.

But, local organization, Restore a Voice says the international stage also brings an elevated threat of human trafficking this week.

To raise awareness, Restore a Voice has partnered with Capital Metro to bring six of these ads to the public:

1 Formula 4 Freedom. Racing to Stop Human Trafficking.
If you’re looking to pay for company we’re already booked you a room.

And 50 of these, viewable inside Capital Metro buses:

All ads will be up through December 31.

Larry Megason, executive director of Restore a Voice told us that he hopes folks seeing the ads will gain awareness of the human trafficking is happening in Austin, even during Formula 1.

Larry Megason, Restore a Voice executive director

“We hope that it will drive people to our website where they can get some information about (human trafficking) that is happening in our city and globally,” Megason said. “There is an issue in our city and we want people to know about it.”

As listed on the ads, the U.S. National Human Trafficking hotline is available at 888.373.7888

Joining the Costume Party Downtown on Halloween?

Even though Halloween’s on a Wednesday, don’t let that be a drag. We know you’ve come to know the trusty E-Bus as your ride Downtown on the weekends, now take advantage of that tonight!

Capital Metro wants to help you reach the big party down as safely and conveniently as possible. That’s why we’re running E-Bus service on a Wednesday, which usually doesn’t happen, but we’re making an exception to help get all those Honey Boo Boo and Psy look-alikes to 6th Street.

Hours will be the same as E-Bus weekend service (8:30 p.m. until 3 a.m.). Catch a ride using routes #410 West Campus, #411 Riverside, and #412 Main Campus. Regular fares will apply. UT students ride free with valid school ID and ACC students ride with the Green Pass.

All you Halloween go-ers can also ride Capital Metro’s local service to and from the downtown area until around midnight. Night Owl service will run its usual schedule until 3 a.m.

We hope all our riders have a good time tonight. Use Capital Metro as your safe ride this Halloween!

We want to see all those elaborate costumes! Post your Halloween pictures as you ride transit today–rail, bus, E-Bus. Tweet them to @CapMetroATX or post to our Facebook wall!

If you’re just trying to go about your daily commute tonight: Capital Metro riders who plan to use the #4 Montopolis, #21 Exposition and #100 MetroAirport routes should take notice of anticipated 6th Street closure detours due to Halloween events from around 8 p.m. until 3 a.m. More detailed route and detour information can be found in the Capital Metro website ‘Service Alerts’ section. 

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.

Volunteering with Olympian Marlen Esparza

The folks at Capital Metro take great efforts in staying connected with the local community in our service area. We care to help the people who use our services.

That’s why we’d like to give major props to our two worker-bees — Juan and Celso — who helped raise awareness of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Fit Pit Boxing event and volunteered last week alongside 2012 Olympian Marlen Esparza in teaching some Central Texas kids a new skill.

With a crowd of about 24, local boxers and Olympic Medalist Marlen Esparza taught some boxing basics.

“Marlen was there to give some motivational words on the hard work it takes to be the best,” said Capital Metro’s Community Involvement Team Coordinator Juan Wah. “Marlen was great! Coach Art and the Fit Pit staff did great helping teach the Bigs and Lils the basics of the sweet science.”

Check out some pictures of the fun!

Capital Metro Wins National Award

These bus/train ads have been up and down Austin streets for a few months now. They’re all about going downtown and grabbin’ a ride on MetroRail to get you where you need to go. If you’ve noticed them, you’re not alone — they’ve caught the attention of the American Public Transportation Association.

Earlier this month, Capital Metro found out we won the APTA AdWheel Award for this “Go Downtown” campaign we started in March when we began running Friday and Saturday night service! APTA contests are no joke, so this award means a lot to our team and lands us some major props in the industry.

The campaign mission originally was solely intended to encourage and inform riders like you about the new night rail service, but it’s cool too that someone else noticed our efforts because there were a  lot of very creative people who invested many hours into making the “Go Downtown” project shine.

Each year, APTA honors members’ marketing and communications efforts with the AdWheel Awards. Awards are presented in five main media categories: print, electronic, campaigns, social media, and special events. Recipients are honored in a special ceremony at APTA’s Annual Meeting, held each October.

So, thanks APTA for recognizing Capital Metro’s efforts through this award — it means a lot to us, but more importantly, we hope riders like you are continuing to enjoy Friday and Saturday night service and know we appreciate you for riding Capital Metro! Next time you see these cool ads around town, you’ll know they’re actually award-winning.

Twitter Name: Now @CapMetroATX

Tweet, Tweet!

For those of you who follow our Twitter activity (or may want to), you may have noticed our recent change of account names.

In the past, we have communicated to followers using two separate Twitter accounts: CapMetroNews and CapMetroRail. Having two accounts made sense leading up to the opening of MetroRail, but now it’s just sort of confusing. People tweet us with rail-related inquiries at CapMetroNews and with bus issues at CapMetroRail. Plus, having two accounts sometimes contributes to a delay in us responding.

Going into our new fiscal year in October 1, we wanted to use that date as a benchmark for turning over a new leaf in our Communications efforts — including Twitter.

Going into the future, we have changed the name of our CapMetroRail account to @CapMetroATX. This will be our one and only account where we’ll provide bus and rail service updates as well as relevant news and rider tips. Over the next two weeks we’ll phase-out our CapMetroNews account.

We know by following one sole account, you may get more info than before. So, how can you filter the info you get notifications about, if you want?

By using certain apps, you can make settings to only get notified of certain hashtags, versus receiving all our Tweets.

We’ll be operating via these hashtags:

#MetroRailAlert: for specific delay alerts on MetroRail

#MetroBusAlert: for all bus-related service alerts

So, for example, if you began following our rail account and only wish to continue receiving rail-related messages, set-up your account to send only messages including the #MetroRailAlert hashtag.

How to set specific alerts up? This useful YouTube video helps you use TweetDeck for setting-up hashtag notifications:

If you’re not into Tweet Deck, there’s also Boxcar for push notifications as well.

This change may take some getting used to, but it’s for the better — to provide improved communications and customer service. So, jump right it, follow us at www.twitter.com/CapMetroATX.

Tweet you soon!

Capital Metro is the Best Ride to Austin City Limits

We know you music lovers are focused on finding the best shows and sets during the Austin City Limits music festival — we don’t blame you. We want to help you get there as fast and easily as possible.

That’s why we’re partnering with ACL again this year to bring you FREE shuttle service from Republic Square to the music’s doorstep — at Zilker Park.

It’s easy. From Oct. 12 – 14 all you need to do is get to Republic Square. Walk, ride your bike, catch a bus, use the train. We’ve even cranked out this super-easy-to-use map to help you choose the best bus route for you. Check it out.

How to get to the shuttles:

– Take several regular Capital Metro routes, including routes 4, 21 and 22 (check map for other routes)

– Take MetroRail into downtown Austin (Friday/Saturday)

After ACL:

– Use Capital Metro’s Night Owl and E-Bus routes, (run until about 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights)

During ACL, regular bus service will be detoured for route #30/Barton Creek around the area on 4th and Barton Springs west of Lamar.

Use the Trip Planner or check our ACL webpage for planning your weekend travels.

Hassle-free. Cheap. Safe. You rock. We’ll roll.

Austin Poets to be Featured on Entire Capital Metro Bus Fleet next month

On Saturday, Sept. 29, (10 a.m. – 12 noon) the Austin Poetry Society will announce the Poetry with Wheels contest winning poems at Nature’s Treasures, 4103 North IH-35. The winning poems, like this one below will be posted onboard Capital Metro’s entire fleet of buses in October.

– 70 poets entered
– 314 poems submitted
– 20 poems selected (both English and Spanish) for display on buses 

The first five completed poetry signs for installation on Capital Metro buses will be unveiled. The event is hosted in conjunction with the Austin International Poetry Festival, a four-day event taking place Sept. 27-30, at venues throughout Austin that attracts hundreds of poets from all over the world. The event is free and open to the public.

Capital Metro partnered with the Austin Poetry Society (APS) to bring poetry onboard its buses. 

“The partnership with Austin Poetry Society will provide a lasting benefit for our riders, who can be delighted every time they board one of our buses with thoughtful, artistic poetry,” said Capital Metro President/CEO Linda S. Watson. “Capital Metro supports the arts and has been exploring avenues of incorporating more art on our fleet and at our facilities.” 

Riders should begin to enjoy the poems onboard buses beginning in October, when the first batch of 420 signs will be installed across the bus fleet. The signs will feature 10 winning poems submitted in the contest and an additional two poems penned by Austin elementary students in a separate APS partnership with Badgerdog Literary Publications. The Austin Poetry Society anticipates producing a second batch of signs featuring another 12 poems next spring.