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Capital Metro has been taking community feedback on the Connections 2025 Draft Transit Plan since late August. We’ve heard from thousands of Central Texans across our region. Now, we’re beginning to make adjustments to the proposal based on your feedback. Today, staff presented potential changes to the Capital Metro board of directors.

We’ve heard from many UT students about the proposal to replace Route 663 with other routes. Over the past two months, we’ve talked with students online, by email and on campus at the UT Shuttle Bus Committee and Student Government. We even wrote a blog post to give you more information on our proposal. Our Planning Team has been working hard to understand the UT community’s concerns while also staying mindful of best practices and transit design principles.

Before you read on, it’s important to remember that any changes to Route 663 will not happen immediately. The only change our board of directors has approved is for Express route service on MoPac, beginning in early 2017. Once Capital Metro is ready to make changes to Route 663 service, we would go through a new round of community meetings before implementation, this could be later in 2017, or beyond.

We’ve now adjusted our proposal to reinstate Route 663: Continue Reading »

backgroun1.PNGThis week, we’re posting updates on Capital Metro routes that we’re revisiting based on community feedback. Today, we presented our Board of Directors some Connections 2025 Draft Transit Plan potential route changes at their November Work Session. We’ll review these briefly at the November board meeting and take public comments. The board will further evaluate to make a final decision.

Before we dive into the details, let’s get a refresher on this year-long process. In early 2016, we hosted a series of open houses designed to gauge our community’s priorities for Connections 2025. We heard you ask for more frequency, reliability and connections. In May, we hosted another round of open houses to talk about the tradeoffs between frequency and coverage. We took that feedback into consideration when designing the Draft Transit Plan that prioritizes frequency while maintaining 98% of current service coverage.   Continue Reading »

blog-333Southwest Austin users of Route 333 have provided lots of feedback to the Connections 2025 team on our proposed elimination of service on Eskew Dr and Convict Hill Rd out to ACC Pinnacle. Because of this feedback, our team has taken a second look at the service changes proposed in the area.

As a reminder, during February, March and May of this year, we held public outreach all over the community and online and received thousands of responses about the types of changes they would like to see made to the transit system. More frequent service was by far the number one request we heard.  Knowing that more frequent service is more expensive to operate, and given the realities of our budget, we have to make some difficult decisions: we can provide more frequent service on major corridors and ask people to travel further to access it, or we can provide more service to more places (called “coverage” service) but with less frequency.

Proposed changes to routes in the Southwest Austin area are examples of these sorts of difficult tradeoffs.

About the tradeoffs: A reality of the Connections 2025 Draft Transit Plan is that some people will need to change the way that they make their normal trips – which may now involve a transfer or a walk – but what you’re getting in return is a significant bump in frequent service across our service area (increasing from 6 to 17 routes) that positively benefits the community at large, overall.

What’s the proposal? The original proposal would eliminate Route 333 service west of Brodie.  Instead, Route 333 would serve the Walmart at MoPac, then operate on Brodie Ln to William Cannon, and across William Cannon to the neighborhoods east of I-35 with 15-minute frequency 7-days per week.  This change was proposed due to low ridership in the Convict Hill and Eskew areas, and to take advantage of stronger demand east of Brodie where the density is more supportive of transit.  On an average weekday, there are 2.9 boardings/hour on Convict Hill and 3.4 boardings /hour at Eskew – our system average is 26 boardings /hour.  Another metric we use for performance is subsidy per passenger boarding, our system average is $4.23. In the segment at Convict Hill, the subsidy per boarding is $20.28, Eskew – $17.35 and William Cannon – $4.89. Under the original proposal, service to ACC Pinnacle would still be available via Route 315 on Ben White.

Will the proposal change? After receiving neighborhood feedback, the team revisited the original proposal. After reexamining land uses, ridership, and subsidy-per-boarding, we presented to alternatives to our original proposal to the Capital Metro board of directors:

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Potential Alternative A

  • Frequent service on Route 333 east of Arbor Trails
  • Every other weekday trip to ACC Pinnacle

Potential Alternative B

  • Create weekday on-call zone to serve gap in service anchored at ACC Pinnacle and/or the H-E-B at Brodie/William Cannon

What’s next? Connections 2025 is still a draft plan at this time that continues changing based on feedback. Our team is carefully reviewing each and every response we receive as we work on finalizing this plan. The Capital Metro board will further evaluate the Connections 2025 Draft Transit Plan and will decide on a course to move forward with.

We continue taking feedback at Feedback@connections2025.org as the Draft Transit Plan has not been finalized. We anticipate our board of directors to vote on Final Transit Plan in December.

Visit Connections2025.org to see the updated Connections 2025 Draft Transit Plan interactive map revised today.

 

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Long, long ago, they were once thriving, bustling bus stops dotting the city of Austin until, one day …

 

The mysterious disappearing act

Every city with transit has them. Ghost stops are inactive bus stops that still reveal traces of their former existence. These stops are now inactive because routes have changed over the years and no longer serve specific locations. Then, POOF! They vanish into thin air.

 

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The Capital Metro board of directors voted unanimously today to eliminate the Premium category of the agency’s fare structure, which will take effect Jan. 8, 2017. Currently, the Premium fare includes two MetroRapid routes and nine Flyer routes, all of which feature fewer stops compared to Local service.

With this change, all Local, MetroRapid and Flyer 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.

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Going Digital

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When was the last time you encountered a telephone booth?  Some of us remember when they were a ubiquitous part of any public space. Times have changed and now 85 percent of us carry a smartphone everywhere we go. These smart devices make everything — from contacting loved ones, to posting on social media, to checking entertainment options, to shopping — more convenient.

Photo: paradoxtravel.blogspot.com

 

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A big thanks to those who have commented on the Connections 2025 Draft Transit Plan so far. The draft plan, which proposes a new transit network to address the region’s growth, is based on what we heard in community meetings earlier this year: a desire for more frequency, more reliability and more connections.

Now, we are busy reviewing more than 1,000 comments received this month through Connections 2025 open houses, webinars, an online community survey, bus stop outreach and community events.

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There’s still time to comment – survey deadline extended to Oct. 15!

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