Capital Metro Moved More People Than Ever in 2012


We’ve crunched all the numbers for 2012, and here’s the bottom line: Capital Metro knocked it out of the park in 2012.

During 2012, we provided an average 112,000 rides each weekday—enough passengers to completely fill both the Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium and Disch-Falk Field combined.

The proof that central Texans are choosing Capital Metro as a preferred way to get around lies in our numbers–in 2012 we provided over 34 million boardings–more trips than the population of Texas!

Across the nation, more people are turning to public transit as the preferred transportation choice, but Capital Metro’s growth rate far exceeds the national trend. Here at home, our fixed-route bus ridership is boasting a 22-month growth streak, and MetroRail ridership has tripled in two years.

See the growth in our bus ridership for yourself–2011 compared to 2012 below:


2012 was a big year for MetroRail too! We’ve got more people riding the rails every single day with an average 2,200 boardings each weekend.

In 2012, MetroRail hit a milestone of its one millionth passenger trip, and ridership increased nearly 50 percent in 2012 over 2011.

Rail’s popular! See the ridership spike:


Capital Metro made progress in 2012 by analyzing service and making changes towards creating a more efficient system.

Going into 2013, we’re excited to keep  driving progress by working hard at planning for the region’s future with high-capacity transit solutions, like MetroRapid, that will move more people at less cost and with less impact to the environment.

We are also focused on the regional planning effort, Project Connect, that has developed a high-capacity transit vision to keep all of us in Central Texas moving and connected.

How are we driving progress? Check out this super sweet video that breaks it down:


I’m really intrigued by a new transportation outreach project here in Austin. It’s called SNAPPatx (Social Networking and Planning Project), and it uses social media to get people talking about transportation. It also–and this is really the fascinating part–will track the types of transportation conversation trends that emerge through twitter, blogs, facebook, etc., and use the data to inform, shape and improve Austin’s Strategic Mobility Plan.

That idea really resonates with me at the moment, because we’re knee-deep in public meetings for the fall 2010 service change. Capital Metro has a pretty thorough outreach process for service changes. We start out by publishing the information on board the buses, on our Web site, and sometimes here on the blog. We encourage riders to call or email us with their feedback. Then we hit the street to talk to specific groups, neighborhoods and stakeholders that may be impacted by the proposed changes.  The Planning Dept. and our Business & Community Development team host open house events prior to the Capital Metro board making decisions, paying attention to geographic spread and accessibility. Finally, there’s a public hearing with the board. (In this case, there’s actually two: the second public hearing is April 15, noon to 1 p.m.) It’s a good process, although, admittedly, perhaps a bit old school. It’s hard to draw people to the meetings, for example, no matter how well the agency advertises.

And that’s the beauty of SNAPPatx–the focus is on soliciting input from people who don’t, won’t or can’t show up to “meetings.”

The SNAPPatx Web site aggregates all the local tweets, blogs, status updates, etc., that have to do with mobility in Austin. You can comment or reply to other people’s ideas, or you can post your own and watch it show up in the live stream.  It’s a project of the Texas Citizen Fund, who snagged a $98,000 grant from the Federal Transit Administration to innovate/harness social media to facilitate a community dialogue.

I hope SNAPPatx is really successful, not only because the city needs a rockin’ good strategic mobility plan, but also because if it works, it  might be a model that could be replicated successfully for future Capital Metro outreach efforts.

Follow SNAPPatx on twitter or become a fan on Facebook. There’s a blog, too.