Keeping our community safe during COVID-19

As our community responds to COVID-19, Capital Metro is taking necessary precautions to promote public health, social distancing, and stay at home policies ordered by governmental and medical authorities. During this challenging time, we have adjusted our schedule and enhanced bus cleanings to provide safe customer access to essential needs such as grocery stores, pharmacies and work.

We ask you to take these safety precautions to help us prevent the spread of illness:

  • Only use public transportation for essential connections to groceries/pharmacies, health care and essential work
  • If you think you might be getting sick, stay home and contact your healthcare provider; if you’re uninsured and are experience symptoms of coronavirus, call CommUnityCare at 512-978-8775. CommUnityCare will talk to you over the phone and send you to the appropriate location.
  • Use rear door boarding only, unless you wish to use the ramp for access by wheelchairs and other mobility devices; all fares have been suspended for the month of April
  • Skip a seat between you and other riders; it is advised to keep a distance of 6 feet between you and those around you
  • Always cover your mouth with the crook of your arm when you sneeze or cough in public; do not sneeze or cough into your hands

Let’s stay safe, calm and smart together! For more information concerning COVID-19 service updates, please visit capmetro.org/COVID19.

 

Let’s Come Together and Stay Safe

Lieutenant Jessica Horta-Perez
Austin Community College District Police

 

Capital Metro is a great option for college students to get to class and make their way around the city. Here are some safety tips to make sure we do it safely.

Sometimes it’s difficult to put our phones down but being aware of your surroundings needs to be a priority. Keep your head up and avoid using your phone while walking around town. If you are using earbuds make sure you are still able to hear those around you, especially when using crosswalks. For your own safety, avoid distractions when walking to the bus stop and train platform.

When going out at night wear bright clothing to make yourself visible to drivers. For everyone’s safety, never drive a vehicle, bike or scooter if you have been drinking. Remember that CapMetro is your safe ride home!

Let’s come together and follow these safety tips when making our way around Austin.

Road Safety Tips from a CapMetro ATXpert

By Kris Hafezizadeh, Executive Director of Transportation for Austin ISD and CapMetro ATXpert

After a great holiday season, we’re getting ready to go back to school. Soon students will be on the roads again, walking, biking and taking the bus … and not just the yellow school buses. They are also relying on Capital Metro to get to and from campus safely.

Thanks to CapMetro’s Kids Ride Free program, K-12 students can ride the bus free of charge!

To ensure students get to their destination safely, always be on the lookout as they board at bus stops, cross crosswalks and walk to school. Drivers and pedestrians have the responsibility to be careful on the road, and to be aware of school zones and crosswalks. When commuting to and from work, make sure you are following safety practices and being mindful of children on the road.

In addition to being careful when you are behind the wheel, there are other ways you can help us improve safety on the roads. Teach your kids and everyone in your community to always use crosswalks and cross with the signal. Set an example by teaching the younger members of our community to practice street smarts.

Start the new year off right by following safe road practices that help students and everyone in our community arrive at their destination.

Drivers Be Mindful of Students Returning to School

It is important for drivers to be careful every time they get behind the wheel, and it takes on added importance when school is back in session. Children will be hitting the streets, walking, biking and riding the bus. And they’re not just riding in big yellow school buses. There are plenty of students who take Capital Metro — which is free for riders younger than 18 — to get to and from school or to activities after school.

Kids in Austin ISD go back to school Aug. 20, so take extra care and be aware of children crossing to bus stops or entering or exiting CapMetro and school buses.

Also, be aware of school zones and crosswalks. Stop when crosswalks are occupied if the crosswalk is marked with a sign, even if there is no light and no stop sign.

There will be a lot of youngsters making their start at school, so they won’t always have the experience of watching for traffic or knowing when to cross. That’s why it’s important for drivers to be extremely cautious and watchful for our  students who might still be learning pedestrian safety.

The new school year is always a time for adjustment. With some added awareness, we can all help get the school year off to a safe start.

Safety Tips for College Students

Welcome back to the new school year! There is a lot to be excited about for new students starting their college experience, and for returning students continuing to make memories.

But with events, activities, festivals, and of course, football games filling your fall, Capital Metro wants to make sure all sports and festival fans are keeping themselves safe going to and from these events.

It can be really easy to move and walk with the crowd. A herd mentality starts to take over. That doesn’t mean you’re protected from distracted drivers. Keep your head up and continue to look for traffic when events let out. Don’t just spill into the street where you run the risk of getting hit.

If you are headed for some post-event festivities and have mapped your trek, make sure your eyes aren’t glued to your screen the entire time. Check your phone periodically and only when you’re safely on the sidewalk or a corner out of the street.

College provides a lot of fun and there are plenty of memories to be made. Keep yourself and your friends safe to enjoy them. Remember, CapMetro is always a good choice for a safe ride.

 

Don’t Take Shortcuts: Use the Crosswalk

We all have places to be and we all want to get there as quickly as possible. If there’s a shortcut, we typically take it.

But there’s one shortcut you should never take, and that’s crossing the street in the middle of the block. It’s illegal, but most of all it’s dangerous.

The distance across six lanes of traffic may seem like nothing compared to a trek to the corner, crossing the street and then walking to where you need to be. But the risk is never worth it.

Crosswalks provide pedestrians an extra level of protection from oncoming traffic.  Vehicles are required to stop when pedestrians are in the street, however, crosswalks and clearly marked intersections provide a visual reminder for drivers that pedestrians are part of the equation. Plus, drivers expect to see pedestrians at crosswalks. They know to be careful when approaching an intersection. The same is certainly not always true midblock.

There is too much riding on your safety to risk crossing heavily trafficked lanes, all in the name of saving some time. It’s just not worth it.

Simple tips can keep kids safe on CapMetro

Capital Metro is a great, affordable way for kids to get out and have some fun this summer with all kids under 18 riding for free.

Whether you’re escorting your kids, or they ride CapMetro themselves, it is important to reinforce some safety messages to get them securely from Point A to B.

On CapMetro buses 

Always cross at a crosswalk. The bus stop may be in the middle of the block, but it’s safer to go to the corner and cross with the traffic light or at a clearly marked intersection. When crossing, encourage your kids to look left, right, then left again. Don’t cross until it’s clear and remind them to keep checking while crossing. If there’s a light, wait for the “walk” light before crossing. If it’s a four-way stop with signs, have your kids make eye contact with drivers to ensure they have been seen before attempting to cross.

Kids need to stay focused on their surroundings, so they should take out their earbuds to concentrate on the traffic and their environment when traveling to the bus stop. Kids should also stay on the sidewalk if it’s available. If there isn’t one, remind them to move against the flow of traffic. This makes it easier to see oncoming vehicles and for those vehicles to see them.

Once on board, children should find an available seat as soon as possible or hold onto the passenger rails until a seat becomes available. When exiting, wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before leaving your seat and heading for the door.

Children (and adults) should never chase a bus. Another one is usually a few minutes away. Also, just like in school, never cross in front of a bus, into traffic.

On MetroRail

Kids need to keep their eyes up and look out for MetroRail trains which are faster and quieter than freight trains. MetroRail trains also aren’t required to blow horns in designated quiet zones.

Tracks should only be crossed at designated crossings. Remind kids they need to stay clear from walking alongside tracks as well. The area 25 feet on each side of the tracks between Downtown Station and Gracy Farms crossing is CapMetro right-of-way and off-limits. Anyone in that space is considered trespassing. The right-of-way extends to 50 feet on either side of the tracks from Gracy Farms to Leander.

Following these guidelines can help everyone, especially kids, have a fun and safe summer using CapMetro to get around.