The South Congress Transit Center Opens for Business

This morning (and several days last week) Capital Metro staff were stationed at some key bus stops to help riders get on the right buses after the significant service changes that became effective yesterday.

One of the outreach locations was the new South Congress Transit Center on Ben White west of Congress, whose central clock tower is reminiscent of Austin’s historic moon towers.

The new facility has a kiss and ride drop off area and some limited parking (including motorcycles and scooters) for customers, with priority parking for RideShare carpoolers.

Six routes serve the new facility: 1L, 1M, 9, 101, 328, and new route 202. Capital Metro plans to add more routes in the future. This morning, in addition to handing out Krispy Kreme donuts to celebrate the opening, Capital Metro staff directed riders to the correct bus bays and answered other questions.

Some of the other amenities at the South Congress Transit Center include bike racks, emergency call boxes, vending machines, and native plant landscaping.

As one of my favorite transportation planners here summed it up, “The facility looks really great.” Here, here! I hope customers like it, too.

SUV Driver Seeks Commute Solutions

Today the Austin American Statesman printed a letter to the editor from an SUV driver who decided to take the bus for her 13-mile trip to work. But she was frustrated about the transfers and the significant time added to her commute.

Certainly the bus schedules aren’t going to work for everyone. And you should indeed consider the time vs. money trade off when you’re deciding on the best way to get around. But it’s important to remember that the bus is not the only way to dump the pump. Our RideShare program provides alternatives to help reduce the number of single occupancy vehicles on the road. In addition to managing Capital Metro’s popular vanpools and hybrid carpools, RideShare can help match you with others looking to form carpools.

Talk to your neighbors and co-workers too. If the bus doesn’t work for your daily commute, perhaps there’s someone you live near or work with who is in the same situation. Sounds like a perfect match for a carpool.

Many employers are taking a closer look at ways to ease their employees’ pain at the pump. Telecommuting, compressed work weeks or flexible work hours may be an option. Our RideShare staff can assist with setting up employer-sponsored transportation solutions.

Just like the bus schedules, these ideas may or may not work for you. But it’s good to know that there are options out there.

Getting back to the point of having to transfer too many times, in future posts we’ll update you on Capital Metro’s Comprehensive Operational Analysis which will directly address the issue of bus routing and alignments throughout our system.