Staying Safe this Summer!

Kick off the summer with a safe 4th of July celebration! We know that the warm weather is exciting but remember to stay safe while having fun. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy 4th of July and the rest of the summer in a safe and secure way.

Keep a distance. There are plenty of things to do outside. However, make sure you are still practicing social distancing by keeping at least 6 feet from other people. If you are going to celebrate, make sure you are taking care of yourself and those around you.

Wear a face covering. Austin-Travis County have recently implemented revised orders which include requiring businesses to enforce the use of face coverings among employees and visitors (with few exceptions). If you will be out in public, including riding CapMetro, remember to bring your face covering with you! We have a tutorial on how to make a face covering at home and tips on how to wear them.

Don’t drink and drive. Did you know that for more than 20 years, drivers with alcohol concentrations over the legal limit have been involved in about one-third of all traffic fatalities in the U.S? Have a plan before taking your first drink! Don’t drive a motor vehicle, bike or scooter if you are impaired. CapMetro offers fare-free service after 5 p.m. on Independence Day. Let us be your sober driver home.

At CapMetro we care about your safety! Let’s take care of each other by following health officials’ recommendations and being safe on the road.

Making a Safe Return to the Road

As our community continues to get back on the road during National Safety Month, we want to remind everyone to be safe while driving, walking and riding scooters or bikes. Preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council show that despite Americans staying home and driving less, the emptier roads have become more lethal in comparison to last year. In Texas, the number of roadway deaths in the first 3 months of 2020 increased by 6%. Whether it has been a while since you were outside, or you became used to traveling on emptier roads, follow these safety tips to ensure we all stay safe while traveling.

Drivers: Stay alert and on the lookout for pedestrians, people riding bikes or scooters, and CapMetro vehicles. Please slow down and obey speed limits, respect traffic signs, and avoid distractions.

When you approach railroads, be cautious. Stop, look both ways and listen for a train before crossing. Respect flashing red lights, do not drive around the lowered bar and never stop on the tracks. Remember to also stay alert for buses as they stop for passenger boarding.

Pedestrians and runners: As you exercise or walk outside, pay attention to your surroundings and traffic. Stay alert and make sure you can hear potential warnings from drivers or cyclists over the sound of your favorite song or podcast. If you are going to be in higher traffic areas, consider pausing the music to avoid any distractions. Wear brightly colored clothing to be more visible to vehicle and bus drivers, and always use crosswalks.

Scooter riders and cyclists: Wear a helmet and ride with the flow of traffic. Use bike lanes whenever available, and respect traffic signs and signals. Avoid any distractions such as using your phone or listening to music and podcasts. Stay alert for pedestrians and never use a scooter or bike when impaired.

June is National Safety month and CapMetro is your safe ride for any necessary trips. Stay healthy by practicing good hygiene, covering your face, keeping your distance from others in public and staying home if you feel sick in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. Let’s take care of each other and follow all safety tips!

Face Coverings: Tutorial and Tips

Even with the governor’s recent announcements, CapMetro is requiring our customers to wear a face covering on our vehicles. Following safety recommendations will help prevent the spread of COVID-19. As Austin Public Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found earlier, covering our nose and mouth when we are outside our homes is important because an infected person can transmit COVID-19 to others without showing any symptoms.

Here is a simple tutorial to make a face covering using only a bandana and two rubber bands/hair ties.

According to health authorities, your cloth face covering should:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for breathing without restriction
  • Be able to be laundered and dried without damage or change to shape

Remember that medical grade (N95) and surgical masks should be only used by medical professionals and first responders. Let’s follow all safety recommendations and stop the spread! For more information concerning COVID-19 service updates, please visit capmetro.org/COVID19.

 

Stop the Spread: How You Can Help our Community

We continue to implement measures to protect our operators and customers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic – but we need your help. When using CapMetro to access essential needs or to get to an essential job, follow Austin Public Health’s orders:

  • Wear a face covering. This measure helps prevents asymptomatic carriers from spreading the virus. Cloth face coverings should include multiple layers of fabric and should be washed after every use. Face coverings are required on all CapMetro vehicles.
  • Even if you are wearing a face covering, keep your distance. Continue to maintain 6 feet from other people when outside your home.
  • If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, even mild ones, do not leave your home for anything other than receiving medical care.
  • Keep washing your hands frequently.

At CapMetro we have implemented additional measures to protect you and our operators. Fares are free right now, sanitizing and cleaning procedures have been enhanced, we have placed special signage that encourages social distancing and we have added a chain near the front of the vehicles to provide a barrier between our drivers and customers. In addition, our operators are being provided with face coverings, hand sanitizer and gloves.

Let’s follow all safety guidelines and stop the spread! For more information concerning COVID-19 service updates, please visit capmetro.org/COVID19.

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.