Be Patient and Stay Safe: Vehicle and Pedestrian Rail Safety 

Did you know that, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration, a person or vehicle is struck by a train at a highway rail grade crossing every four hours? Trains can’t stop quickly. A freight train that is traveling 55 miles per hour can take more than a mile to stop, even if an emergency application of the brakes is applied.

 

In 2019, Texas ranked as the state with the most collisions in the U.S. with a total of 251 highway-rail grade crossing collisions. As a result, 31 people lost their lives and 123 were injured. Never try to beat a train! Follow these tips to stay safe and help us reduce the number of incidents at rail crossings:

  • Stop if you see flashing red lights
  • Only cross at a highway-rail grade crossing
  • Only cross if gate arms are up, lights have stopped flashing and bells have stopped ringing

In 2019, the state of Texas also ranked as the state with the second highest pedestrian rail trespassing casualties with a total of 100, out of which 44 lost their lives and 56 resulted in  injuries. If you are walking near a train, remember:

  • Only cross at a designated public crossing. Crossing at any other place is trespassing, illegal and dangerous
  • Never walk around or behind lowered gates at a crossing
  • Only cross if gate arms are up, lights have stopped flashing and bells have stopped ringing
  • Look both ways before crossing tracks

Don’t become part of the statistics. Follow these tips and help us reduce the number of highway-rail grade crossing collisions and trespassing casualties. Remember, be patient and stay safe!

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.