CapMetro & City’s Teamwork Make Dream Work

A few years ago, Capital Metro and the city of Austin teamed up to make our streets work better for everyone who uses them, whether they’re on a bus, in a car, on a bike or on their own two feet.

Cover of Streets for Transit report

The two teams have worked together to install new transit lanes on West 5th, Lavaca and Riverside. But they’ve also completed projects throughout the city that have made our sidewalks more connected and accessible, our bike lanes more protected and plentiful, and our streets safer and more easily navigable.

This kind of close collaboration between city government and the transit agency helped make our Cap Remap bus network redesign so successful and played a part in the passage of both Project Connect‘s Prop A and Prop B’s Active Transportation and Safety Bond in 2020.

We work best when we work together, and Austin’s transportation system works best when it offers people choices for how to get around: buses and trains when they work for you, bikes and walking when possible and cars when that works better for the situation.

The combined team published a report chronicling all of our work this week called Streets for Transit.

Cap Remap Explainer: FAQ Edition 

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Cap Remap is coming in just a few more days. After two years of planning, months of preparation and a couple of weeks at bus stops throughout our bus network — we’ve talked to more than 7,600 of you, face to face — it’s nearly here. 

In that time, we’ve heard some questions from y’all about how we came up with the plan and why. We’ve answered them as best we could, but we also wanted to gather a few persistent questions in one place to provide you answers. 

Before we get to them, however, we wanted to make sure you’re aware that we are developing pilot programs that might serve some of the areas discussed below that aren’t best served by regular bus service using large, 40-foot buses. It’s not certain what form that will take, but please stay tuned for more info as the pilots are announced. 

 

Route-10

Why won’t the Route 10 go into Hancock Center anymore? 

In order to provide reliable and frequent service on Route 10, we changed the approach to serving Hancock Center so that the bus will stay on Red River instead of driving into the shopping center itself. In the past, this wasn’t possible because there wasn’t a way for our customers to safely cross Red River, but now there’s a pedestrian beacon that customers can use to stop traffic and safely cross the street. It will be a longer walk to Red River than to the current bus stop inside the shopping center. However, the walk from the store to the street is similar in distance to how we serve every other H-E-B location in Austin. In addition, the time it takes to enter the parking lot and travel back to the street would prevent the new Route 10 from providing the frequent and direct service the majority of our customers have requested. 

Does Cap Remap serve low-income and minority communities better than the current network? 

Yes. An independent third party conducted an equity analysis of the Cap Remap service changes, and the Federal Transit Authority subsequently reviewed that analysis. The FTA found that, across the entire system, Cap Remap “substantially improved service for minority and low-income individuals.” The total minority population within 5 minutes of a bus stop with High-Frequency service will increase from 60,000 currently to 110,000, and while less than 1 percent of our existing customers will be farther than a 10-minute walk to transit service, 80 percent will have access to High-Frequency service (compared to 50 percent currently). 

Continue reading “Cap Remap Explainer: FAQ Edition “

A Cap Remap Explainer: Rerouting onto Major Corridors

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The biggest improvement Cap Remap will bring to our bus system is the increase in frequency on so many routes. We will triple the number of Local bus routes in our High-Frequency Network, going from four to 12 (in addition to the two MetroRapid lines). 

Another big change will be the rerouting of some buses off neighborhood streets and onto busier corridors. This is being done for several reasons and will benefit the system overall, but it will definitely require some adjustments for our customers, many of whom will have to walk a couple of extra blocks to get to the better service. 

Our service planners like this kind of change because it allows buses to travel on busier streets that are more pedestrian friendly and conducive to transit use. It also increases the connectivity of the network since traveling on major corridors increases the transfer points between High-Frequency routes. 

Our bus operators like this kind of change because neighborhood streets tend to be narrower and often twist and turn in ways that connector corridors don’t. Put directly, it’s simpler and safer to drive on a street like 51st Street than on a neighborhood street like Rogge Lane. 

Another reality of Cap Remap is that we’re a public agency working with limited resources. To provide so much High-Frequency service throughout the city, we needed to make tough decisions in certain places, because we can’t provide that level of service everywhere. We believe that the overall plan will benefit the most people.  

Now let’s look at a few examples of what we’re talking about.  Continue reading “A Cap Remap Explainer: Rerouting onto Major Corridors”

A Cap Remap Explainer: New Signs

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A lot goes into making the largest and most sweeping changes to Capital Metro’s service.

In addition to all of the planning and all of the community outreach we’ve already done, there’s a lot of physical work that still needs to take place.

Like with bus stops. You ever think much about bus stops? We do. We’ve got about 2,600 of them now, and 350 of them won’t be in service beginning June 3. Another 115 or so brand new ones will begin to serve locations that don’t currently have bus service.

The thing about it is that someone’s gotta put up all those new signs and take down all the old ones. We also have to let y’all know that that’s happening and, of course, where you can get your bus once all the changes are in place.

But that work doesn’t happen overnight. And so you’ll begin to see some new signs at our bus stops pretty soon, and it’s important for you to understand what they’re telling you. Four new signs are already appearing at stops around town, and they’ve got four big messages about the changes to our service.

Green SignThe Green Signs

If you see these signs, that means some service at the stop is changing. Maybe a new route will serve that location, or maybe a current route is being removed. The routes listed in the table aren’t necessarily what serve that stop currently, but they’ll be there beginning June 3.

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading “A Cap Remap Explainer: New Signs”