CapMetro & the Shelter-in-Place Order

Shelter-in-Place

Even with today’s shelter in place emergency order from local authorities, CapMetro’s service remains an essential business and will continue to provide critical service for essential needs.

Adjusted Service Schedule

Designed to serve our community’s larger needs. We served 40%-60% fewer riders, which means people are doing what they need to: staying home.

“Skip a Seat” Signs

  • Give other customers some space while on the bus or train.
  • Board through the rear door to protect operators and other riders.
  • Those using wheelchairs and other mobility devices are allowed to still use the front door.
  • Please respect the fare system.

Enhanced Cleaning Procedures

Hired 50 part-time cleaners to help clean and sanitize the buses throughout the day. Some admin sta­ff will assist.

Safely Equipped Operators

CapMetro operators have hand sanitizer and gloves. We’re following Austin Public Health and the CDC on masks, but operators may wear them if they choose.

Supplemental Leave Policy

Ensures sta­ff members can take care of themselves and their loved ones and not worry about their employment status.

If you are sick, we ask you not to travel. If your travel isn’t essential, we ask that you follow the order and not ride Capital Metro.

CapMetro & COVID-19

COVID-Banner

In response to the rapidly evolving situation involving COVID19, Capital Metro continues to implement measures designed to protect our staff, promote public health and ensure that we continue to provide service to all parts of our community.

These measures have included:

  • All bus operators are provided with a bottle of hand sanitizer and latex gloves. The agency is following guidance from Austin Public Health and the CDC with respect to masks. While operators are not being issued masks to wear while driving, they may do so if they choose.
  • We enhanced our cleaning operations more than two weeks ago, which included the daily sanitizing of all hand touch surfaces. We will soon increase those cleaning procedures even further, with disinfecting of vehicles taking place throughout the day. To help us achieve this, we’ve hired 50 part-time cleaners. No experience is needed, and training will be provided. Work will start as early as tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24.
  • Customers must board their bus through the rear door to protect the health and safety of our bus operators and customers. During this emergency situation, we trust that our customers will continue to respect the agency’s fare system.
  • We have placed “skip a seat” signs on all CapMetro vehicles to encourage customers to leave some space between each other and practice social distancing.
  • We have developed a new policy that would provide up to three weeks of supplemental sick leave for employees of CapMetro and our contractors. This would apply if the employee or a member of their household is affected by COVID-19.
  • We’re also starting a new CapMetro Family Care team, whose sole purpose is to be an additional resource to answer questions, provide comfort and find solutions for those who are impacted by this crisis.

CapMetro Implements Temporary Service Changes

COVID-Banner

In response to the COVID-19 emergency, CapMetro services will operate a modified schedule, seven days a week beginning Wednesday, March 18.

Service Impacts

Capital Metro will implement changes to its service designed to protect employees, promote public health and ensure that we continue to provide service to all parts of our community.

Capital Metro services, including MetroBus, MetroRapid, MetroExpress and MetroRail will operate on a modified schedule.

You can read about those service changes at CapMetro.org/COVID19.

Customer/Employee Care & Safety

To further ensure customer and bus operator health and safety, we ask that customers board their bus through the rear door. We also ask that they respect the agency’s fare system during this emergency situation.

Capital Metro designed these new measures to improve social distancing for our employees and customers, while still providing necessary transit to critical services.

Prevention and Awareness

We are following guidance from Austin Public Health and continue to monitor the situation.

In addition to our daily cleaning procedures for all CapMetro vehicles and transit facilities, we are applying a disinfectant to common hand contact areas, such as poles and handrails, armrests, door handles and stop request buttons.

Later this week, we will install special signs encouraging social distancing on our vehicles.

Along with these efforts, we need your help:

  • Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Maintain good hygiene.
  • Limit your non-essential travel as much as possible, especially to locations with many people.
  • Limiting your contact with others is the best way to stay healthy.

If you think you might be getting sick, please stay home and contact your healthcare provider.

Visit Austin Public Health’s information page for up-to-date, detailed information: austintexas.gov/COVID19.

CapMetro Community Update

As a primary source of transportation for many in our community, CapMetro must address the COVID-19 situation while maintaining safe, critical transit services and a safe work environment.

PREVENTION & AWARENESS

  • We implemented enhanced daily cleaning procedures on March 2 for all CapMetro transit vehicles and facilities by applying a disinfectant to common hand contact areas such as poles and handrails, armrests, door handles and stop request buttons.
  • Safe hygiene messages developed by Austin Public Health were added to all CapMetro vehicles, and we’ve included these hygiene reminders at our bus and rail stop digital signs where available. CapMetro has also emphasized these messages on its social media channels.
  • While it is not logistically feasible to add hand sanitizers to hundreds of buses and thousands of stops, our customers and employees are encouraged to practice regular hand washing to reduce the risk of public spread.
  • We asked our customers to stay home if they are feeling sick and to follow guidelines from Austin Public Health.

RESPONSE MANAGEMENT

  • We activated an internal Coronavirus Task Force to provide around-the-clock assistance to the Capital Metro service area and can act swiftly should we be alerted to a case of coronavirus affecting our employees or service.
  • Our senior leadership team has met daily to prepare to address the evolving situation.
  • Additionally, we have been in discussion with transit industry leaders throughout Texas and nationally to ensure we are collaborating on best practices for monitoring the COVID-19 impact.
  • Capital Metro is working closely with Austin Public Health, and we are following its guidance on recent developments on COVID-19.

EMPLOYEE CARE & SAFETY

  • The health and safety of all personnel remains our primary concern. We continue to maintain safe, clean work environments.
  • All staff are being encouraged to stay home if sick.
  • CapMetro’s leadership team, management of contracted services and union leadership are working together to support any employee who needs to take sick time away from their duties or if we have to reduce service levels.
  • CapMetro has developed contingency plans for remote staffing and systems redundancy for operations and administrative functions as a part of our business continuity plan.

SERVICE IMPACTS

  • In coordination with The University of Texas, Capital Metro stopped running all UT Shuttle routes at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 13, and we will not run this service during Spring Break. We will continue to work with UT to adjust service based on campus activities.
  • CapMetro is in close coordination with centers that care for vulnerable populations. Therefore, MetroAccess clients who have questions specific to their service can review an informational question-and-answer update tailored to their needs at CapMetro.org/MetroAccess-FAQ

FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS

  • CapMetro will continue to analyze and modify its operations with guidance from Austin Public Health and the impact of personnel availability.
  • CapMetro has developed continuity of operations plans, and should there be a need to modify service or fare policies we will share these updates on our website, send to local media and publish to our MetroAlerts subscribers.


We thank you for your patience and support as we deliver critical transportation services for our community.

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.

CapMetro Public Health Statement

generalalertCapital Metro is following guidance from Austin Public Health and continues to monitor the situation involving the corona virus and COVID-19. In addition to daily cleaning procedures of all CapMetro vehicles and transit facilities, we have begun applying a disinfectant to common hand contact areas such as poles and handrails, armrests, door handles and stop request buttons.

To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including flu and COVID-19, please follow standard hygiene measures.

Reaching Higher

Reaching Higher_Feb 2020

Thanks a Billion!

CapMetro reached a huge milestone in January: 1 billion rides!

Our mission is to connect people and communities to jobs and opportunities, and CapMetro has been transforming Central Texas lives for the past 35 years. We look forward to the next billion!

Clean Air

Cleaner Air for Our Tomorrow

Our first electric buses rolled out in January with artwork created by kids from Campbell Elementary.

Our 1 billion customers have saved more than 445,000 tons of greenhouse gases that would’ve been in the air if they’d driven alone. As more people choose CapMetro, cleaner air will be the result!

Thanks a Billion!

Ridership Keeps Climbing!

As of February, ridership has increased for 16 straight months. In addition to our new bus network, customers are also responding positively to:

  • 125 additional bus shelters
  • Improved Next Departure estimates
  • 110 new digital information signs at MetroRapid stations & transit centers
  • 3,000 feet of sidewalk improvements
  • New solar-powered lighting at stop & stations

More Riders

Add It Up

There’s so much happening with transportation in Central Texas! Get a load of this:

  • Launched Pickup in Leander & kept adding ridership to other Pickup zones
  • Recognized with Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for our 2019 annual financial report
  • Lauded by World Safety Organization with the 2019 Concerned Corporation Award
  • Earned two awards for improvements to real-time data
  • Named a Gold Level Partner and received the Mayor’s Healthiest Workplace Award
  • Received national safety award from American Public Transportation Association

The Community’s Plan

Project Connect-English

Project Connect will transform the region’s transportation system. But for it to work, we need your help. That’s why we’ve gone out to talk to the community to see what you want from Project Connect. So far:

  • 34,838 people participated!
  • 543 meetings hosted and/or attended
  • Received 5,154 visits to our virtual open houses
  • Collected 2,489 comments from those visits

You can follow along with Project Connect’s outreach through our Engagement Dashboards online.

Llegando Mas Alta

Llegando Mas Alto_Feb 2020

¡Mil Millones de Gracias!

CapMetro alcanzó una enorme meta en enero: ¡Mil millones de viajes!

Nuestro objetivo es conectar a los usuarios y a las comunidades con trabajos
y oportunidades, y CapMetro les ha cambiado la vida a los residentes del
centro de Texas durante los últimos 35 años. ¡Ansiamos llegar a los próximos
mil millones!

Clean Air

Aire más limpio para el futuro

En enero comenzaron circular nuestros primeros autobuses eléctricos
con dibujos hechos por los niños de la escuela primaria Campbell.
Mil millones de usuarios impidieron que se emitan más de 445,000
toneladas de gases de efecto invernadero que habrían contaminado
el aire si hubiesen conducido sus propios vehículos. ¡Mientras más
personas elijan CapMetro, el aire estará más limpio!

Thanks a Billion!

¡Cada vez más pasajeros!

Hasta febrero, la cantidad de pasajeros ha aumentado durante 16 meses
consecutivos. Los usuarios están respondiendo de forma positiva no
solo a nuestra nueva red de autobuses, sino también a lo siguiente:

  • 125 casetas de autobuses nueva
  • Cálculos más precisos de próximas salidas
  • 110 nuevos carteles digitales para transmitir información en las estaciones de MetroRapid y en los centros de tránsito
  • 3,000 pies de mejoras en las aceras
  • Nuevo sistema de iluminación con energía solar en las paradas y en las estaciones

More Riders

Seguimos creciendo

¡El transporte en el centro de Texas se encuentra muy activo!
Eche un vistazo a esto:

  • Activamos el servicio Pickup en Leander y seguimos sumando pasajeros en otras zonas de Pickup.
  • Recibimos el Certificado de Reconocimiento por Excelencia en Informes Financieros por el informe financiero anual que presentamos en 2019.
  • La World Safety Organization nos galardonó con el Premio a las Empresas Comprometidas de 2019.
  • Obtuvimos dos premios por las mejoras que implementamos en relación con la información en tiempo real.
  • Obtuvimos el título de Asociado de Oro y recibimos el Premio del Alcalde al Lugar
    de Trabajo más Saludable.
  • Recibimos el premio nacional de seguridad de la American Public Transportation Association.

El plan de la comunidad

Project Connect-Spanish

Project Connect transformará el sistema de transporte de la región. Pero para que funcione, necesitamos su ayuda. Es por eso que salimos a conversar con los miembros de la comunidad para saber qué es lo que esperan de Project Connect. Hasta ahora:

  • ¡Participaron 34,838 personas!
  • Se realizaron 543 reuniones.
  • Recibimos 5,154 visitas en nuestras juntas públicas virtuales.
  • Obtuvimos 2,489 comentarios de esas visitas.

Puede seguir la promoción de Project Connect mediante nuestros tableros de registro de participación en linea.

Thanks a Billion!

MetroRailReturns_11x17It turns out you can get a lot accomplished in 35 years! Capital Metro celebrates our 35th anniversary this year, but even before we hit that mark, we’ve reached another milestone: 1 billion rides! 

This month, one of our customers got on board the bus and took what was CapMetro’s 1 billionth trip since our formation in 1985. A lot has changed since then. To begin with, when CapMetro launched, we received about 225 buses from from the city of Austin. Today, there are more than 540 of our vehicles out on the streets and rails. And CapMetro provided about 7.75 million rides in our first full year and more than 31 million in 2019. 

Ridership has been on the rise for the past year and a half, which is important for a lot of reasons, but its relationship to transit’s climate benefits will only increase in relevance as we move forward. By taking transit, our 1 billion customers have avoided adding the more than 445,000 tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that otherwise would’ve resulted if they’d driven alone in their cars. That’s important, but our buses are going to be on the roads no matter what. So, each additional rider who gets on a bus or train adds to CapMetro’s contribution to the battle against climate change. And, when Project Connect’s vision of an entire fleet of zero-emissions vehicles becomes a reality, that will increase exponentially. 

So, Central Texas … thanks a billion!

Creative Action: Change Through Art in Austin Schools

Creative-Action_Art

Somewhere out there in the whole wide world you may wish there were an organization doing after-school, in-school, and community-based programs that teach the arts, build community and help kids develop socially and emotionally.

You’re in luck.

There are organizations doing important work like that in schools. Here in Austin, one that’s doing great work is Creative Action.

Capital Metro has partnered with AISD’s Lee Lewis Campbell Elementary Media & Performing Arts Institute and Creative Action to ask students to create environmentally focused art to adorn Austin’s first pair of zero-emissions electric buses. We spoke with Christa Berry, Creative Action’s Chief Marketing & Development Officer, to learn what Creative Action does and how the Electric Bus Artwork Contest came to be.

What is the role of Creative Action in the Austin Community?

Every Creative Action program uses arts learning to help young people become creative artists, critical thinkers, courageous allies and confident leaders so they may contribute to and live in a more equitable world.

Creative Action is the largest arts education organization in Central Texas, leading the way for the innovative application of the arts to support positive youth development.

We deliver more than 800 weekly programming hours in six urban, suburban and rural area school districts, reaching more than 20,000 youth annually and the adults who care for them.

Since our founding in 1997, we have reached 200,000+ youth and adults; delivered 250,000+ hours of arts enrichment programming; employed 600+ teens to produce original art; held 1,000+ performances; and employed 800+ local artists.

How did this partnership between you and CapMetro come about?

CapMetro is a long-time supporter of Creative Action and has been particularly supportive of Color Squad, our visual arts teen program.

Each year we choose a different social justice issue or theme and launch a youth-driven, arts-based collective impact project as part of our mission to help young people become courageous allies who stand up for equity and use their creative voice to make a difference in the community.

This year, our efforts will focus on climate change and environmental justice, inspiring students and community members to DREAM GREEN by practicing sustainability at school and at home and advocating for environmental justice.

CapMetro’s zero-emissions electric buses came about in parallel with our DREAM GREEN impact project, so we saw it as the perfect alignment to expand our existing partnership.

Can you tell us about the opportunity you saw to merge student art with the launch of Capital Metro’s first pair of zero-emissions electric buses?

We saw the opportunity to help launch CapMetro’s zero-emissions electric buses as a way to merge arts-based learning with your vision for a sustainable future.

Students at our Spark School, Lee Lewis Campbell Elementary Media & Performing Arts Institute, will use their artistic skills to design bus wraps for the new buses while learning about environmental sustainability.

This collaboration illustrates what can come from an innovative application of creative expression.

Students involved will further develop their 21st century skills and social and emotional competencies, critical skills for developing personally and making positive contributions to their communities.

What matters most when working with children to create art?

What matters most is the sense of freedom and possibility that’s sparked through art-making.

Watching each child create, you see them expressing something unique about themselves, their personality, their thinking, their culture and their place in the world.

While they are working, experimenting, revising and crafting, children are free to make hundreds of choices about innumerable details, using their senses, feelings and ideas to create a work that is entirely new, vibrant and vital.

The nature of art-making and collaboration reminds us that we are all learners regardless of age, and that the most exciting discoveries are when we learn more about ourselves and our community.

If you had one wish for the Austin Community – what would it be?  

For us, the arts provide young people with a dynamic pathway for developing the academic, social and emotional skills for success.

As participants express themselves and build critical 21st century skills through hands-on creative projects, they also connect with their peers, their local communities and the global community beyond Austin.

Our one wish would be that all youth in the Austin community have equal access to arts education.

The new Capital Metro bus electric fleet launches this month.

Learn more about Creative Action!