Now that the new MetroRapid 803 route is running, we asked readers to give us their impressions of the new line. Are people using it to commute? If so, what’s the experience been? What are the pluses, and what are the issues that could use some attention? We got some very thoughtful responses, which we’ve included here.
“Well I’ve only gotten to take the Rapid about a couple times because I guess it’s so fast I can’t catch up to one! Just kidding. I ride a Capital Metro bus at least once a day whether it’s to get to work or school, back home and to any social activities. Living in South Austin off of Manchaca and Dittmar, the Rapid does not stop over there. However most of my friends and the events I attend are either downtown or in North Austin so the Rapid does come in handy then. It has a luxurious feel to it, having more room with spread out seats it makes me never want to be squished in a regular bus again. Not to mention the WiFi, which makes it convenient to be productive. It is definitely a few steps up for public transportation. My only suggestion is to have routes that go to more of the outer parameters of Austin.”
“My home stop was the UT West Mall so I had already experienced the 801 when I decided to ride the 803. I am a frequent Route 3 rider. My friend also works on the route so I was ecstatic for MetroRapid because I knew how fast and luxurious it would be!
Before it took almost an hour to reach Domain on the 3 and it would be overcapacity sometimes, whereas the 803 cut that travel time down to around 40-45 minutes and with the extra capacity I had the opportunity to enjoy the WiFi. The ride experience is much improved on the 803 with frequency based service, a plus because I am always late, stations (with shade!) and more comfortable buses. I absolutely love it!”
“Honestly, the 803 and the reduction in #3 service that accompanied it are close to the last straw for me. I live in the neighborhood with the highest transportation use in Austin, as a percentage of residents, but in the last year and a half Cap Metro has radically altered the routes here (eliminating the Northcross Transit Center, separating the 5 and 3 stops, changing the bus times more than once, etc.), and on top of that, so reduced the level and convenience of service downtown by moving the buses off of Congress to a few stops on two different streets, while charging us more (particularly with upcoming fare hikes) for the privilege, that I’m seriously considering abandoning public transit altogether, or at least for my daily commute. I’ve used Cap Metro for more than eight years now, so I have been very loyal even through the big fare increases and reduction in service that accompanied the Red Line. If they’re losing people like me, I can’t imagine how many people they’re losing who are less committed to using public transit.”
image via Capital Metro