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”

New MetroRapid Service Kicks-Off Today

Today marked the first day of the new MetroRapid service!

Vehicles started rolling out into service early this morning and we have over 200 employee volunteers at stations and onboard this week helping you navigate the new service.

MetroRapid’s new amenities:

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  • Frequent service
  • Fewer stops
  • New vehicles
  • Wi-Fi
  • Mobile app
  • Traffic priority lanes
  • Unique stations
  • 3-position bike rack
  • Traffic signal priority technology

As you prepare for tomorrow’s workday/school day commute, make sure you’re up-to-date on all the recent changes, effective today at Capital Metro:

New MetroRapid service, Route 801

New fare system

Changes to some bus routes

New mobile app

Check out some of today’s MetroRapid Day #1 action!

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1st MetroRapid vehicle rolls out into town
Cyclist tries out the new 3-bike rack
Cyclist tries out the new 3-bike rack

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One of the 200 volunteers out at MetroRapid stations this week
One of the 200 volunteers out at MetroRapid stations this week

Thank you for riding Capital Metro!

Dump the Pump Day – June 21

This Thursday, we’re asking you to dump the pump and ride Capital Metro. June 21 is National Dump the Pump Day and there has never been a better time to make the switch to public transit. There are a multitude of benefits to riding transit.

Saves money

Riding transit is an affordable option. According to the American Public Transportation Association’s June Transit Saving Report, a two-person household can save, on the average, almost $10,000 a year by downsizing to one car.

Capital Metro has some of the lowest fares in the nation. A 31-day local pass costs just $30. Use this fuel savings calculator to find out how much money you could be saving by riding public transit.

Saves the environment

Taking public transit is the most effective action you can take to reduce your carbon footprint. Riding Capital Metro saves 4,800 pounds of carbon per year and far exceeds the combined benefits of using energy-efficient light bulbs, adjusting thermostats, weatherizing one’s home, and replacing a refrigerator.

Calculate your carbon savings riding public transportation.

Saves your health

Riding Capital Metro is also a healthy choice. Studies have shown that regular transit riders tend to be healthier because of the exercise they get walking to and from bus stops, train stations and their homes or offices.

It might be hot in June, but a short walk will do you good. Cool off in our well air-conditioned vehicles and enjoy a relaxing ride home, rather than a stressful drive in rush hour traffic.

The concept behind Dump the Pump started right here at Capital Metro, and now it is a national event to raise awareness of all the benefits of public transportation. So what are you waiting for? Ditch the car and get on the bus, train or carpool this Thursday.Try it and you might like it.

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.