Leave Your Car at Home and Become a Two-Timer

Two Timer LogoTraffic congestion in Central Texas is bad and getting worse. Drivers stuck in traffic on I-35 or MoPac know this only too well. In fact, Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s recently released Urban Mobility Scorecard shows that in 2014 a peak-hour trip in the Austin area took 33 percent longer than that same trip would take in less congested traffic.

Furthermore, the Austin Mobility Report, published by the Austin Chamber of Commerce in 2013, shows that traffic will worsen significantly in the coming years if people don’t shift from riding in single occupancy vehicles. The study noted that 74,000 people driving alone each day during rush hour would need to move into alternate modes of transportation in the coming years just to keep traffic flowing as it is today!

HectorThat’s why Capital Metro has launched a new initiative we hope you’ll try: leave your car at home and take transit twice a week, or in other words, become a regular “Two-Timer.” If you’re not sure how to take public transportation in Austin, no worries. We’re happy to show you just how fun and easy it can be. Three videos show how easy it is to use the CapMetro App to plan and pay for your trip, and monitor in real-time when the next bus will depart—all designed to provide new levels of flexibility and convenience. Continue reading “Leave Your Car at Home and Become a Two-Timer”

Travel FREE to Washington DC: APTA 2013 Youth Summit

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Public transportation plays a significant role in finding solutions to the numerous challenges facing America today. Whether it’s more jobs, a cleaner environment, energy independence or a better quality of life; Public Transportation Takes Us There!

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is seeking a diverse group of students from across the country to participate in the 2013 APTA Youth Summit to Advance Public Transportation being held in Washington, DC, June 23 – 27. Students will explore the environmental benefits of public transportation; how communities as a whole can prosper with increased services; the role local and federal policies play in public transit usage; and career opportunities in the transit industry.

If you will be a high school junior or senior in the Fall of 2013, please submit an application today and join your peers from across America as they come together in Washington, D.C.

COMPLETED APPLICATIONS DUE: APRIL 22, 2013

Visit the APTA website for an application.

Completed applications should be emailed to: students@apta.com or faxed to 202-496-4323.

With this ALL EXPENSES PAID OPPORTUNITY*, you will:

  • Experience five days in the nation’s Capital
  • Meet lawmakers and congressional leaders
  • Participate in hands-on local transit tours
  • Discover the wide range of exciting career paths within the transit industry
  • Learn how public transportation is helping shape a brighter future

For more information, please contact: Program Manager – Educational Services, APTA, Cheryl Pyatt at 202-496-4875 or cpyatt@apta.com.

*All expenses paid by APTA.

Feds say we’re “doing it right”

Capital Metro recently received a positive review from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) triennial review. Since we are a federal funding recipient, we have to go through a review every three years with the FTA. In FY 2012, we conservatively estimate to receive around $36.1 million in federal funds.

So what’s the big deal, you ask? Well, a positive review is a reflection of the good work we’re doing here at Capital Metro. We have a responsibility to provide a vital community service and staff works hard to deliver quality transportation choices. Capital Metro President/CEO, Linda Watson believes this is further confirmation that “Capital Metro is on the right track” and that we are conducting business with integrity, transparency and fiscal accountability.

The review is one of the FTA’s management tools for the responsible administration of federal transportation grants. It scrutinizes the agency in 24 different areas including procurement, finance, maintenance, safety, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In its cover letter to Capital Metro, FTA Regional Administrator Robert Patrick congratulated the transit authority for its diligence in providing quality transportation in the Austin area.

The review was conducted by a third party contractor of the FTA, Advanced Systems Technology and Management, Inc. The review team congratulated President Watson on having a good team and “doing it right.”

From the beginning, Watson has made it my goal to create a high-performing organization and position the agency so that it is a significant and valued contributor to the growth and development of the region. We’re making strides to meet the needs of central Texas. Feel free to browse through the review, which is posted online along with a lot of other financial and audit information.

Proposed June 2012 Service Changes

Capital Metro changes service three times a year, in conjunction with UT and AISD academic calendars. The following is a summary of proposed changes for June 2012:

Summer reductions – UT Shuttle service is reduced during the summer to reflect ridership and enrollment. Ebus service and select trips targeting high-ridership middle schools are suspended until August.

MetroRail schedule adjustment – 1 morning round-trip and 1 afternoon round-trip would be added (including a much-desired 5:55pm Downtown departure). A midday trip would be shortened from Lakeline to Howard to accommodate freight rail. Travel times would also be reduced by 15 percent.

Route realignment to improve customer access – CR Cameron Rd shuttle would be realigned to the Mueller redevelopment (Dell Pediatric Research Institute and Moasic Apartments). Route 18 MLK, Jr./Enfield would be realigned out of MLK Station. A stop would be added at MLK at Alexander Ave.

Schedule adjustments due to high ridership – Saturday frequency on Route 1L/1M North Lamar/South Congress would be improved from 16-20 to 13-18 minutes. This improvement will benefit many weekend customers. It’s important to note that service improvements to Route 1L/1M North Lamar/South Congress on Saturdays would be made possible by the following service reductions:

Schedule adjustments due to low ridership – Early morning frequency on Route 5 Woodrow/South Fifth would be reduced from 40 to 50 minutes. Select trips on Route 935 Tech Ridge would be consolidated to improve efficiency. We have seen a strong correlation between gas prices and commuter ridership and will continue to monitor both closely. Select trips on Route 135 Dell Limited would be eliminated as a result of Route 935 changes. Route 499 Day Labor would be eliminated.

A critical component of the service change process is public involvement. Customer feedback helps Capital Metro fine-tune the service change package and ultimately improve service.

Click here for more information on all of the service change proposals, including details on how to provide feedback.

Roadify: New Transit iPhone App

roadify logoRoadify is a new app on the public transportation scene just in time for SXSW. Roadify is a tech startup encouraging SXSW attendees using mass transit to test their iPhone product.

The mission of this iPhone app is to combine public transportation data into one easy-to-use platform in real-time. But, their app is intended to take your transit experience to the next level by pulling in updates from other Roadify users and Twitter feed and show them on one screen along with stop times.

The Twitter feed you see includes all Tweets related to Capital Metro, so you get to see what conversation is ongoing about Capital Metro online. But, you don’t get route-specific Tweets, just everything that’s trending at the moment.

The interface is easy to navigate once you’ve chosen the city you want and choose Metro as your transportation you can then pick individual routes for their times. The only downside is you’ll have to look up which route number you want before hand to be able to find the time for it.

Anyone who downloads the app can tell us if this mix gets confusing or is as easy-to-use as they say should be for riders.

Roadify is aiming to provide public transportation data across the United States, but has been focused on New York City transit, so we’ll have to see how it works in Austin.

We’re always trying to get the latest tools out there for our riders to get to their destinations on time and as easy as possible, so if you try this app let us know how you like it and share your experience. We’ve included the Roadify app on our MetroLabs page, where we have a number of third-party transit apps for you to try.