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!

Facebook Contest: Two Austin Film Fest Badges up for Grabs

You may have heard about our MetroRapid groundbreaking yesterday…maybe you’ve also been one of the early birds to watch our new YouTube video…below:

But, do you know that Capital Metro has two Austin Film Festival badges to give away? It’s true! How can you snag one? Click here Our contest is ongoing until Sept. 30!

We want to see your transit-inspired artwork. It doesn’t have to be fancy or require an extreme amount of work. Think about what transit means to you…Where do you ride to? How many places have you been to on the bus? Where are you looking forward to riding MetroRail? Take a picture, Instagram it, draw something, sketch, doodle, crayon, stamp, collage, etc. Anyway you want.

Once you have your idea and have a creation, take a picture of it and upload to our Facebook contest page. Take this for example:

Here’s an example I of a picture I took on 9/11 of a bus, then added filters. Preface: I have no artistic talent to claim!

It’s that simple. Capture a transit moment and submit it. After we have some entries on our Facebook page, others will be able to vote on each photo. The earlier you submit, the more time you have to wrangle-in those votes!
Start now!

We’ll award the top two entries. Each of our winners gets one Austin Film Fest badge! Each badge is worth over $100 bucks.

Now, go onto our Facebook page and look for the green tab at the top and enter your art baby.

To Our Riders: “You’re One in a Million”

In celebration of Capital Metro’s ridership increase over the past year, we will be partnering with Randolph Brooks Credit Union, Black Star Co-op and Midtown Commons in hosting our “You’re One in a Million” rider appreciation party on Aug. 10.

From October 2011 to June 2012, Capital Metro saw ridership increase by over one million trips from the previous time frame a year ago. Bus ridership increased by 3.9 percent, or roughly 898,000 trips and MetroRail ridership grew by over 49 percent, or roughly 133,000 trips. Total ridership is on pace to exceed 33 million passenger trips in 2012, with a projected increase to 34 million in 2013.  The increase in ridership is the direct result of streamlining and improving connectivity of routes throughout Capital Metro’s 522 square-mile service area, and also the dedication of area residents and visitors in choosing public transit.

All transit riders are invited on Friday! To thank passengers for riding, Capital Metro will hold customer celebration events at several MetroRail stations on August 10.

Early morning commuters at the Downtown, Howard, Lakeline and Leander stations will be treated to fresh donuts, hot coffee and “You’re One in a Million” buttons, courtesy of Randolph Brooks Credit Union.

Crestview Station will become party central from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with balloons, banners and a rousing welcome from local band Conjunto Los Pinkys and Friends as each train pulls in. Through a Capital Metro partnership with Black Star Co-op at Midtown Commons, all transit riders who present a valid Capital Metro pass or ticket will also receive $1.50 off any house beer. In addition to the fun atmosphere, various lucky passengers will be selected at random from arriving trains and buses to win 7-Day Capital Metro passes. Crestview Station is located at 6920 North Lamar Boulevard in Austin.

“This event is to show how much we appreciate our riders,” said Capital Metro President and CEO Linda S. Watson. “At Capital Metro we strive to provide dependable, beneficial transit options for the community; we will continue to build on our ridership success into the future as we look at more ways of extending transit throughout the region.”Crestview Station

Crestview Station symbolizes a central hub of transit within Capital Metro’s service area where MetroRail and our busiest bus routes combine; in the future it also will be a location on MetroRapid Lamar route.

Riders are strongly encouraged to ride transit to the event, since there will be no parking available at Midtown Commons. MetroRail riders can get off at the Crestview Station and bus riders can take routes 1L/1M, 101 to the celebration. Use our Trip Planner to get step-by-step directions for using Capital Metro routes.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news. See you there!

Details

Date: Friday, August 10, 2012

Location: Crestview Station, 6920 North Lamar Blvd.

Time: 4:00pm-7:00pm

Take your valid Capital Metro bus/rail ticket to Black Star Co-op on Aug. 10 to get $1.50 off house beer.

A special thanks to our partners:

MetroRapid demo bus on display today

A vehicle very similar to what Capital Metro will use for our new MetroRapid service is making a stop in Austin on its way to the West Coast, and will be available for public viewing, TODAY, Tuesday, October 18 from noon to 6:30 PM, at the Downtown Station (located outside the Austin Convention Center on 4th St. between Neches & Trinity).  Stop by to see the next big thing for Austin transit! (see more pictures behind the jump)

Check out our new MetroRapid project website, too, to learn more about this high-tech mode of transportation.

Continue reading “MetroRapid demo bus on display today”

Learn more about MetroRapid

A conceptual design of an articulated 60-foot MetroRapid bus. The new service will include 22 sixty-foot buses and 18 forty-foot buses.

Capital Metro recently learned we will be receiving a total of about $37.6 million from the Federal Transit Administration to bring a new mode of transportation to Austin. Capital MetroRapid will be a swank, speedy bus service that uses technology to keep traffic lights green (or to turn a traffic light from red to green) to allow the bus to cruise along its route.

But what is it all about, and how does it work? We’ll answer those questions and many others during a one-hour free webinar tomorrow, from noon to 1 p.m. Register to attend here. Vice President of Planning Todd Hemingson and MetroRapid Project Manager Ken Cartwright will give an overview of the MetroRapid project, including the routes planned, the amenities onboard and at the boarding stations, next steps/timeline, etc. A full 25-30 minutes will be reserved for an interactive Q&A. Type your question into the webinar interface, and the presenters will answer as many as they can.

Get involved (from the convenience of your computer)! Register to attend the free interactive meeting.

 

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”

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!”

Rapid Bus Demo


You may have seen this bus rolling around Austin recently and thought to yourself “what is that?”. It’s a 2008 Nova LFX demo bus and it’s just one of several different models that Capital Metro is considering for MetroRapid. Our transit planners and operators have been testing it out on the streets of Austin the past few days. So far, many are impressed by the way it looks, rides and drives.

The 62-ft articulated bus has 56 seats but it can be manufactured to have up to 62 seats. This particular bus has three wide doors. It’s very roomy and quite comfortable. You might think the size limits its turing ability, but that’s not the case. The bus can manuever around the same as a 40-ft bus.

This type of bus would be assigned to only the MetroRapid routes. The first two routes will be along North Lamar/South Congress and Burnet/South Lamar. Click here for more info on MetroRapid.