Oct. 31 MetroRail Track Flooding in Pictures

Capital Metro would like to thank all of the patient MetroRail riders who planned their commutes around the disruption in service on Oct. 31 due to heavy flooding. It was a doozy, but our incredible rail operations team was able to work throughout the night, inspecting and repairing all of the sections of track affected to ensure they’d be safe to travel the next day.

Check out some pictures below of the impact and check out this video from local TV station, KXAN, who went on-site to check on our repairs. See it for yourself!

McNeil Merrilltown Xing Towards Abbott


Capital Metro Wins Rail Safety Grant

transit-trainCapital Metro is among eight transit agencies that were awarded Operation Lifesaver (OLI) rail safety project grants. This grant is part of Capital Metro’s ongoing commitment to safety and will enable our agency to further our efforts in keeping safety our top priority.


What are our plans for the grant?

We’ll target middle school students, by blitzing them with educational materials, a youth-produced video and a 15-month outreach campaign involving peer mentors and lesson plans for educators, a new website and school outreach events.

“Capital Metro has the highest commitment to safety and is very pleased to receive an Operation Lifesaver Rail Transit Safety Education Grant, which will be used for an innovative, yearlong rail safety education program for middle school students,” said Capital Metro President/CEO Linda S. Watson. “This grant affirms our continuing relationship with Operation Lifesaver, and will allow us to partner with Creative Action, the largest provider of after school arts programming in Central Texas, on a totally unique rail safety video that the students themselves will create. Studies show that young people are leaders in public transit usage, and this project will encourage our local students to lead the way in transit safety, as well.”

Read all about Operation Lifesaver and what the other seven agencies will do with their grants at: http://oli.org/news/view/operation-lifesaver-announces-grants-to-eight-transit-agencies

Teens, Who and Where Will You Be this Summer?

Shakespeare wrote:

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts…”

Haul Pass logo

The summer, the Haul Pass, a new fare card for youth 18 and under, gives teens (and kids) unlimited bus and rail rides all summer long, plus discounts at Go Local partner businesses.

Austin is the stage. The Haul Pass is your ticket. What role will you play?

  • The Professional
    • Heads to a summer job, an internship, or volunteer work.
    • Checks the trip planner on the computer the night before work to plan the day. Always arrives 5 to 10 minutes before the scheduled departure.
    • Scans the QR code on the bus stop or texts the cross-streets or Stop ID to Dadnab (512-981-6221) to find out the next departure time
    • Keeps on budget, uses GoLocal discounts for food and well earned entertainment after a hard day at work.
  • The Scholar
  • systemmapcoverThe Explorer
  • The Artist
  • Community Organizer
    • Stays connected. #textingwhileriding
    • Searches newspapers and blogs for calendar listings of guest speakers and author talks and uses the trip planner to figure out how to get from spot to spot.
    • Keeps up with Project Connect (regional partnership exploring high-capacity transit options in Central Texas)
    • Gets friends to carpool to a Park and Ride, then journey together via Capital Metro to Barton Springs, parks and recreation centers, the mall, the movies, etc.
    • Supports local businesses, checking Go Local for businesses near destinations.
    • Convinces a parent into to try riding transit to work for a day, and consider joining a vanpool for commute. Or takes a family outing using the bus or train, like a ride across town for lunch with a grandparent, aunt or uncle.
  • The Athlete
    • An expert on loading a bike onto onboard bikeracks on MetroBus or MetroRailKnows how to do on the spot repairs after having built 2 bikes from scratch for free at Yellow Bike Project.
    • Crosstrains throughout the summer hiking, biking, swimming, boating, jogging and mixing it up with a little frisbee and hula hooping for kicks.
    • Walks to a bus stop or rail station to get that pedometer walking mileage in. 
    • Find lots of businesses on Go Local offering discounts for fitness and wellness, like yoga classes and rock climbing.
    • Explores Town Lake, Zilker Park, Pease Park, the YMCA, Austin Parks and Recreation, and more.
    • Uses the trip planner to figure out the best routes to get to practices, games, and the gym on time.
  • The Environmentalist.

The great thing about being a teen is you can be all these things. No need to permanently decide which route to take. And with unlimited bus and rail trips, you don’t have to.

So where will your Haul Pass take you this summer?

Tweet your adventures #haulpass

What’s Up with the Train’s Wi-Fi?

So recently, there has been some buzz around issues with the Wi-Fi on the train. Specifically people have been complaining about how slow the connection has been and how it can cut out at certain points on the route and how the system overall was a piece of __insert your own expletive here___. Being a sensitive soul and one that doesn’t like to see a good thing turn sour I did a little digging to figure out what the extent of the problem is and what can be done about it.

Continue reading “What’s Up with the Train’s Wi-Fi?”

Rail Transition

It’s been about one month since Capital Metro hired the new passenger and freight rail contractors, and we’ve reached some key milestones along the way.


Herzog Transit Services has filled 58 of its 60 positions and has selected Terry Bruner for the position of General Manager.  He has more than 30 years of experience in the railroad industry and has worked for Herzog since 1996.  Most recently, Bruner served as Transportation Manager of the Trinity Railway Express in Dallas-Ft. Worth.  His first day as MetroRail General Manager was Dec. 21.

Continue reading “Rail Transition”

Bold action on rail contract

The follwing editorial is running in Sunday’s Austin American-Statesman:

Capital Metro’s bold action on rail contract is welcome

Sunday, December 13, 2009

With its back against the wall, Capital Metro might have yielded to new contract demands by the company that has run its commuter and freight rail operations since 2007.

Continue reading “Bold action on rail contract”

Rail Safety Poster Winners

Tonight, at the AISD board meeting, 12 Central Texas students will be honored for the artwork they submitted in the Capital Metro Rail Safety Poster Competition.

Becca Coplen, an eighth grader at Canyon Vista Middle School, is the grand prize winner for the middle school category.

Earlier this year, Capital Metro and its volunteer coalition GROW (Grassroots Rail Outreach Working Group) invited students to submit artwork in a rail safety poster competition. Three winning designs (one each representing elementary, middle and high school campuses) will be printed and hung in every school campus and public library located within two miles of the Capital MetroRail tracks.

Kayleigh Treanor, a senior at Austin High School, won the grand prize in the high school category.

Six first-place and six second-place designs were chosen. First-place winners will each receive a laptop computer donated by Dell. Second-place winners will each receive a pair of running shoes donated by RunTex.

Cindy Carrosco, a fifth grader at Blackshear Elementary School, won the grand prize in the elementary school category.

The poster contest is part of an ongoing rail safety effort that began more than two years ago and has blanketed the community with messages about rail safety. When the Capital MetroRail Red Line begins service on March 30, train traffic along the tracks will increase significantly, and MetroRail trains are faster and quieter than freight locomotives.

1st Place Winners

Kayleigh Treanor, Austin High School, Grade 12
Becca Coplen, Canyon Vista Middle School, Grade 8
Cameron Henderson, Kealing Middle School, Grade 6
Cindy Carrosco, Blackshear Elementary School, Grade 5
David Hernandez, Blackshear Elementary School, Grade 3
Jaylin Mason, Blackshear Elementary School, Grade 1

2nd Place Winners

Rene Salazar, San Juan Diego Catholic High School, Grade 11
Kristin May, Running Brushy Middle School, Grade 8
Gustavo Lang, Running Brushy Middle School, Grade 6
Gerardo Torres, Blackshear Elementary School, Grade 5
Jonathan Garcia, Blackshear Elementary School, Grade 3
Stella Behal, Maplewood Elementary School, Grade 2

Honorary Participant
Cristal Garcia Marchan, Metz Elementary School, Grade 5

The students will be recognized today, March 9, at 6:15 p.m. (before the AISD Board Meeting) in the Board Auditorium at the Carruth Administration Center, 1111 W 6th. St., Room B-100.

During the Citizen’s Communication portion of the Board Meeting (roughly 7:15), Capital Metro will acknowledge the contest winners and their schools.

Welcome to Crestview Station

In addition to the event at MLK, Jr. Station today, we’ll also be at Crestview Station from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., showing off the MetroRail train, helping people navigate the station and the new ticket vending machines, and generally getting Austinites ready to ride!

Eight of the nine MetroRail stations are ripe for transit oriented development, and a TOD is already up and running at Crestview Station. Midtown Commons is the transit oriented development adjacent to the Crestview Station. The development is still in progress. You can already lease retail/office space there, and the leasing office for the residential units has just opened.

When you swing by today to tour the train, you can sign an apartment lease to live next door!

Crestview Station Open House
6920 North Lamar Blvd.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
very limited parking available at the adjacent TOD

Welcome to MLK, Jr. Station

Capital Metro continues the MetroRail Station Open Houses today. Today you have your choice of two stations: MLK, Jr. and Crestview, both from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Yesterday the group of Capital Metro staff who are volunteering at the open houses took a bus to MLK, Jr. Station to be trained on the use of the ticket vending machine and to tour the station. I snapped a few photos–it’s beautiful!

This station has a musical theme, with musical notes portrayed in the metal guardrails and on the glass canopy shelter above. The station paving stones are made to look like piano keys.

The MLK, Jr. Station is one of two stations that will have rail connector bus routes direct to major centers of employment. There will be two connectors from MLK, one to UT and another serving the Capitol Complex.

MLK, Jr. Station Open House
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
1719 Alexander Ave.
very limited parking along Alexander