Reaching Higher: News & Recent Highlights

Reaching Higher

Ridership on the Rise!

One year in, Cap Remap has done what it promised — created a more frequent, more reliable and better connected bus system. It’s improved the customer’s experience by tripling the number of routes that come every 15 minutes, 7 days a week and by increasing bus stop accessibility, with new sidewalks and more bus shelters for previously underserved communities.

Ridership Since Cap Remap:

  • Up 8.9% in July 2019
  • Up 4.5% for the full year
  • Up 11 of 12 months

Austin & Manor Get a Pickup

We brought the on-demand service Pickup back for CapMetro customers in Austin and Manor.

Residents of four Austin neighborhoods got to benefit from Pickup in August 2019:

  • Pickup East ATX
  • Pickup Exposition
  • Pickup Northeast ATX
  • Pickup Walnut Creek

Pickup Manor replaced a low-performing circulator route and was a hit right away, already increasing the route’s daily ridership numbers by 600%!

Electric Bus

A Busy 2019 Brings Great Results

It’s been an incredibly productive time for CapMetro, with a healthy mix of hard
work and big rewards:

  • Approved the purchase of the first four electric buses in Central Texas.
  • Received $2.6 million grant enabling us to increase the size of our electric bus fleet to 10.
  • Began work on a new bus yard for electric buses, with charging stations for 214 vehicles.
  • Broke ground on our new Downtown Station!
  • Added new track and other improvements that will increase MetroRail’s capacity.
  • Partnered with Austin Parks Foundation to increase summer service to Barton Springs.
  • Named 2019 Agency of the Year by the Texas Transit Association!

OCC

And the Hits Just Kept on Coming

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

  • Launched the first bus-only contraflow lane in partnership with the city of Austin.
  • Provided free rides for federal employees during government shutdown.
  • Opened new MetroRapid Stations along both lines, including Broken Spoke & 31st Street.
  • Re-launched MetroBike Shelter program with no annual fee.
  • Built new Operations Control Center, for more efficient and effective bus operations.
  • Received national safety award from American Public Transportation Association.

Project Connect

Project Connect

More Options • Better Transit • Serving More People

Project Connect will build on the foundation of Cap Remap and provide Central Texas a modern system of reliable and efficient public transit.

  • 2 lines of congestion-proof transit to better move people through downtown and connect ABIA to the larger system.
  • Fully electric fleet that provides dramatically lower emissions and modern technology to maintain our high quality of life.
  • More Park & Rides and Express Routes: Plus mobility hubs and neighborhood circulators throughout the region.

MetroRapid

New MetroRapid lines that will serve the entire city, including these corridors:

  • Tech Ridge
  • Cameron/Dessau
  • Burnet
  • Loyola
  • Manor
  • MLK
  • 7th Street
  • Pleasant Valley
  • South Lamar
  • Manchaca

The Community’s Plan

For Project Connect to work, we need your help. Here’s what we’ve been up to in the community:

  • 101 — community meetings held across 20 zip codes
  • 2,288 — visits received to our virtual open houses
  • 595 — comments collected from those visits

In Action

A Long-Term Vision Already in Action

Project Connect is a generational investment that is already improving Central Texas today!

  • Westgate Transit Center opened in June, removing up to 200 cars from the road.
  • In March, Downtown Station began renovations that will increase the frequency and capacity of MetroRail service!
  • A new facility in North Austin will make space for our all-electric bus fleet of the future.

Cap Metro Wins FTA Grant to Study Development along Green Line

Commissioners Court_2-12-2019

Capital Metro President and CEO Randy Clarke spoke today to the Travis County Commissioners Court about an upcoming study of the MetroRail Green Line, a proposed commuter rail service between Austin and Manor. 

The study will be funded by a $600,000 grant provided by a grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) won by the agency in December 2018. It will examine the potential for transit-oriented development (TOD) along the Green Line, which is one of several corridors identified as potential Project Connect services, the long-term vision for a regional public transportation system.

The Green Line would operate on 15 miles of track owned by Capital Metro. It would travel east from Downtown Station toward Johnny Morris Road and the Colony Park area of eastern Travis County before reaching Manor.

 

Cap Metro Achieves PTC Milestone

PTC

By Dave Dech, VP of Rail Operations

Capital Metro has been working to put in place a positive train control (PTC) system along the 32-mile MetroRail line. We have now met an important threshold by completing all of the statutory requirements to qualify for an extension to the federally mandated deadline of Dec. 31.

PTC is a technological upgrade of the nation’s rail lines designed to create an additional layer of safety to rail. Congress mandated the improvements back in 2009 and gave rail operators until the end of this year to implement PTC.

The good thing is that Capital Metro has met all of the statutory requirements, which enables us to request the extension. Essentially, that means we’ve demonstrated sufficient progress on the project to convince the government that we’re on our way to full implementation. The Federal Railroad Administration is now reviewing our request, and we expect to receive notice of approval within 90 days. Until then, Capital Metro will continue to operate and continue work on PTC implementation. That means that customers will still occasionally experience disruptions to MetroRail service during this work.

Cap Metro is among many rail operators across the country to request this extension, including Caltrain in the San Francisco Bay area and New Jersey Transit. It allows the agency another two years to fully implement the PTC system, a goal that we are committed to reaching.

New Rail Schedule Rolls Out March 19

Rail-Schedule_3-19-2018

Capital Metro will put in place a new MetroRail schedule next week for evaluation. We’ll operate on this new schedule beginning the week of March 19 and evaluate how the service performs. The new schedule was developed in response to recent service disruptions on the MetroRail Red Line.

 

Please refer to these schedules, beginning March 19:

The agency is currently working on two major construction projects along the 32-mile rail line. These projects are an investment in the future of MetroRail, and will pay off with doubled frequency and capacity. Capital Metro is building additional passing points along the MetroRail route that will enable the service — once the new Downtown Station is completed — to double its frequency and capacity. The other project is implementing a federally mandated positive train control system, which will ensure the long-term safety and security of the service.

The projects will continue throughout 2018, and some service disruptions can be expected for the remainder of the year. During the week of March 19, though, we will evaluate the new schedule, which should minimize service disruptions. To ensure the transition will be seamless, routes for rail connector buses have been adjusted as well.

So, About those MetroRail Delays …

flowersMetroRail riders — and probably anyone within regular earshot of MetroRail riders — have noticed that the service has had difficulty as of late keeping to its schedule. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused and for the disruption to your plans. But let us try to explain what’s happening, what’s causing the delays and what we’re trying to do to remedy the situation.

First, the delays themselves.

Since January, MetroRail trains have experienced delays of anywhere between 5 and 45 minutes. It hasn’t happened every day, but often enough. And, once it starts happening, it’s difficult to get back on schedule, and so brief delays in the morning rush hour can turn into lengthier delays by the evening. The best thing to do is to use the Next Departure feature on the CapMetro App and on our website to determine when your train’s gonna be there.

But what’s causing all this, you’re asking yourself.

Well, here’s the deal … it’s not just one issue, unfortunately. The delays stem from two separate projects that are under construction at the same time. We’re building additional passing points along the MetroRail route that will enable us — once our Downtown Station is completed — to double the frequency and capacity of the service. We are also implementing a federally mandated positive train control system, which will ensure the long-term safety and security of the service.

Continue reading “So, About those MetroRail Delays …”

Bridge work to affect MetroRail service

LEANDER STATIONTrain service will be affected in June when Capital Metro makes scheduled upgrades to the MetroRail Red Line on a bridge between Lakeline and Leander Stations. But don’t worry, Leanderites — Leandereans? Leanderthals? Leanderers? Leandermenandwomen? — we’ve got you covered whatever y’all call yourselves.

The last morning departure from Leander to Downtown Station and the first afternoon train from downtown to Leander will not run between Monday, June 5 and Friday, June 30. Capital Metro will instead provide bus service between Lakeline and Leander Stations for those affected by the stoppage.

Continue reading “Bridge work to affect MetroRail service”

Feel the Need for Speed?

F1-banner

The Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix is returning to Austin Nov. 15 – 17, and Capital Metro is in on the action! 

During Formula 1’s premiere in Austin in 2012, the total weekend attendance was over 260,000. As a result of its expanded MetroRail service last year, Capital Metro saw a dramatic surge in weekend ridership, including a 435 percent increase over a typical Saturday.

This year, F1 fans can again take advantage of Capital Metro’s expanded MetroRail service during the weekend.  Trains will operate from northwest Austin to downtown on the following schedule:

  • Friday, Nov. 15: 6 a.m. – 12:30 a.m. (Saturday morning)
  • Saturday, Nov. 16: 8 a.m. – Midnight (Service to all MetroRail stations except Leander)
  • Sunday, Nov. 17: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Service to all MetroRail stations except Leander)

MetroRail’s route is divided into two fare zones. The cost to ride one zone is $1, or $2.75 if you cross the fare zone boundary between Howard and Kramer stations. You can buy a MetroRail pass at ticket vending machines on station platforms or at the Transit Store, located downtown at 209 W. 9th Street.

The Nov. 15 – 17 weekend will prove to be a busy one, not only because of F1 but also because of Austin Fan Fest and the Nov. 16 UT football game. Buses will run as usual throughout the weekend, though riders can expect some route changes in the downtown area. Detours will begin on Nov. 14. Access all downtown routes – with the exception of MetroAirport – along Guadalupe and Lavaca from Nov. 15 – 18.

MetroAirport service from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to downtown will run its regular schedule from early in the morning until late at night.

Plan your fun! Find the latest F1-related transit information including routes, schedules, detours and a helpful trip planner at capmetro.org/f1.