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This week, the Capital Metro board of directors took a deep dive into the numbers of our Connections 2025 study. On Monday, we reviewed the financial process, along with operating and capital costs at a special work session. Missed the meeting? Check out the presentation or view the meeting video recording online.

What’s new?

Timeline change to February
 
In order to review more financial data and additional details on the proposed innovation zones, the board has extended the study timeline to include a final work session on Feb. 17. The final Connections 2025 plan will be voted on at next month’s board meeting on Feb. 27. As always, board meetings are open to the public and can be streamed online.
Capital Metro Board of Directors – Work Session
February 17
Capital Metro Board of Directors – Action Item for Approval
February 27
Capital Metro
2nd Floor Board Room
2910 E. 5th St
Austin, TX 78702

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Getting Noticed!

generalalertYou may have noticed new colorful graphics appearing on Capital Metro’s Facebook and Twitter pages. We’ve developed these special graphics to notify riders about a variety of situations that can affect bus and train service — and your riding experience. It’s our goal to get this information out to our customers as soon as we learn of service impacts from bus and rail operations departments. And as a situation evolves, we provide updates. (more…)

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This year, the Central Texas community came together to show its overwhelming support for the fifth annual stuff-the-bus-2016-totalStuff the Bus food drive. Donations in both food and cash set a new record for the campaign, with enough collected to equal 175,633 meals, far exceeding the goal of 50,000 meals. All donations benefit the Central Texas Food Bank.

(more…)

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backgroun1

Yesterday, the Connections 2025 team presented a project update to our board of directors at a special work session. Check out the presentation at connections2025.org.

As we’ve been talking about tweaks and tunes to specific areas in the Draft Transit Plan, we wanted to take the time to talk about the overall vision for Connections 2025. This roadmap is not a series of routes, as we describe service today, but rather a full network designed together to benefit our riders. Frequent and connected.

What’s new?

chart4Innovation Zones!

What’s that?

Last month, we highlighted four areas (Steck/Mesa, Tarrytown, Southwest Austin, and Bee Cave Road/Walsh Tarlton) in our Draft Transit Plan proposal we’ve revisited based on community feedback. These are areas in our network where we don’t see the ridership demand to justify running a full-sized bus in areas where passenger subsidies are 4-5 times our system average. Our team has developed this new concept, “Innovation Zones” as an option for providing alternative transportation service in areas where we are recommending to eliminate or consolidate bus service in the Connections 2025 plan. “Innovation Zones” would be pilot areas where we’d operate using new services, like: flex routes, transportation network companies (TNCs), micro-transit, vanpools, carshare or destination shuttles. We haven’t ironed out all the details yet, but will continue developing these “Innovation Zones” with input from our community.

Phasing and Implementation Plan

The Connections 2025 team is proposing major changes to be implemented as soon as possible, with the Frequent Network kicking-off in Fiscal Year 2018 – this is major. It means there would be very real, significant route improvements on the ground somewhere between October 2017 and September 2018. In FY 2019, we propose putting those “Innovation Zones” in place. FY 2020-2025 would be the implementation of longer-term projects including the two new MetroRapid routes, increased MetroRail frequency, additional Park & Ride capacity and transit service along IH-35.

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What’s next?

The board will convene in January for an additional work session prior to taking a final vote on the Connections 2025 Transit Plan.

Will the changes happen overnight? No, the Plan would serve as the road map for our service changes over the next five years. Following the board approval of the overall Plan, we’d host additional community outreach and would need subsequent board approval for all individual route changes prior to implementation.

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new-fares-chartNext month, Capital Metro will reduce fares for MetroRapid and MetroFlyer routes by eliminiating the Premium fare category.

Effective Jan. 8, 2017, all Local, MetroRapid and MetroFlyer service will cost $1.25 for a Single Ride, $2.50 for a Day Pass, $11.25 for a 7-Day Pass and $41.25 for a 31-Day Pass.   

Premium passes will no longer be sold in retail outlets after Thursday, Dec. 15, however tickets will still be available for purchase at the Transit Store or on the CapMetro App.   (more…)

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trib-graphic

Source: Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune recently posted an article on the various ways in which the state’s largest transit agencies are trying to increase their ridership numbers. It focused heavily on the system plan Houston Metro implemented last year and the success the agency has seen since, a 3.3 percent increase since September 2015.

The article noted that Capital Metro is the only other major transit agency in the state to see an uptick in ridership during that time. Our 0.5 percent bump isn’t as significant as Houston Metro’s, but it’s a bright spot in our ridership, driven in part by the successful launch of six High-Frequency Routes in June 2015.

What’s even bigger news, though, is what’s going to happen over the next few years as we begin to implement the transformation of our own bus system, called Connections 2025. The revamp has been in the planning stage for the past year, and we’ve received a ton of input from the community, both from our riders and those who haven’t yet taken advantage of our services. (more…)

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austin-collective_robertThe people of Austin are fascinating. Their stories and how they get where they’re going, connects them. Capital Metro, Austin’s transit agency, has teamed up with some of the city’s most talented photographers and filmmakers to bring the stories and transit experiences of some of its riders to life. (more…)

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