Transit Improvements We Can All Appreciate

More people are riding transit and that alone is good for everyone.  Every new transit rider is one less person driving alone, one less car adding to traffic and fewer carbon dioxide emissions—a single commuter who switches to using public transit will reduce 5,000 pounds of emissions annually. From October 2011 to June 2012, Capital Metro saw ridership increase by over one million trips from the previous time frame a year ago. Bus ridership increased by 3.9 percent, or roughly 898,000 trips and MetroRail ridership grew by over 49 percent, or roughly 133,000 trips.

Total ridership is on pace to exceed 33 million passenger trips in 2012, with a projected increase to 34 million in 2013. Capital Metro also celebrated MetroRail’s millionth passenger trip in August.

Capital Metro’s popular Night Owl bus service now provides increased frequency for routes 483, 484, 485 and 486, effective August 19, after August Service Changes went into effect. Capital Metro has realigned several routes in order to provide this increased frequency to allow increased ridership. The old night owl service map has being replaced with this new service map. For example, night owl buses connecting downtown to South Lamar, South Congress, E. Riverside and IH-35 South will run every half hour, instead of every hour. Check Capital Metro’s website for more details on the August 2012 changes, including how the change affected UT shuttles and other bus routes. Information is also up about proposed January 2013 changes. Public involvement opportunities for January Service Changes have begun and will continue throughout September. The Capital Metro board of directors will review the proposed changes at its monthly meeting Sept. 24, if approved, the January Service Changes will take effect Jan. 13.

In August, Austin City Council approved adding two transit priority lanes to help reorganize travel on Guadalupe and Lavaca streets from Cesar Chavez to MLK Boulevard to reduce conflicts and improve flow for autos, buses, and bikes. Curious as to how that would work? Click here for a video demonstration of how such lanes could operate. Primarily, the lanes will be used by public transit vehicles, but cars will also be allowed to drive in them for right turns.

These designated transit lanes, along with transit signal prioritization along the routes, will enable faster transit services and also separate bus and auto traffic to allow traffic to flow more efficiently. You can look forward to MetroRapid bus routes beginning in 2014. MetroRapid construction will begin later this month, more details available on Capital Metro’s MetroRapid construction webpage. And speaking of faster service, has CapMetro improved travel times on the RedLine by 20% for the average commuter. Capital Metro’s MetroRail service operates at a 99 percent on-time rate.

One Response to Transit Improvements We Can All Appreciate

  1. Austin is a large city but sometimes traffic could be a problem. The transit improvement will encourage more people not to use their own cars, minimizing traffic and there will be better flow of traffic. However, this is not to say that using private cars is unacceptable. Perhaps having a chauffeur service Austin on special occasions would be a fantastic idea.