A TRANSIT PLAN FOR THE FUTURE
As the Central Texas community evolves, so do the transit needs and services provided by our agency. In an effort to address growth and development over the past five years as well as declining ridership, Capital Metro contracted with planning consultant, Transportation Management and Design, Inc. (TMD), to conduct an in-depth review of the transit system through 15-month study called Connections 2025. Capital Metro completes similar studies every five years, with the last plan finalized in 2010. The Connections 2025 Transit Plan was adopted by the Capital Metro board of directors on Feb. 27 and will help guide the agency’s service changes for the next five-year period.
Each implementation phase will require a subsequent public hearing process to sufficiently notify the community of upcoming service changes and consider feedback. We will also assess Title VI impacts of the proposed service changes and submit them to the Capital Metro board for review and approval.
Over the course of the study which began in late 2015, Capital Metro and TMD worked closely together to assess existing/projected future conditions and developed short (1 – 5 year), mid (5 – 10 year) and long (10+ year) range recommendations to design an efficient, effective transit system with a clear direction for future development. Connections 2025 focused on goals established by the board of directors and involved significant community input in identifying transit needs and opportunities. Overall, the plan aims to utilize both innovative and proven solutions to create a more effective and integrated system to address the region’s transportation challenges.
In response to feedback from thousands of people around Central Texas, Capital Metro’s updated network will take a frequency-first approach, tripling the number of bus routes running every 15 minutes or better. The agency follows industry peers TriMet in Portland, Sound Transit in Seattle, Denver Metro and Houston Metro by investing in key corridors to build core frequent service and ridership, while reducing waiting times.
Capital Metro’s new plan is designed to improve the rider experience – creating a 24/7 transit system that will see expanded MetroExpress and MetroRapid service, and more east-west options.
To date, Capital Metro has met with more than 100 organizations, participated in 125 community meetings with nearly 4,000 attendees, and received 6,500 survey responses related to Connections 2025. The plan has received support from the Downtown Austin Alliance, Rocky Mountain Institute, Urban Transportation Commission, AURA, Alliance for Public Transportation in Austin, Austin Chamber of Commerce, Vision Zero, Pedestrian Advisory Council, Bicycle Advisory Committee, Downtown Commission and Zipcar.
Feedback can always be submitted through the GO Line at (512) 474-1200 or by visiting Capital Metro’s Facebook and Twitter pages.