Expanding Transit Options

We’ve written in the past about park & rides, and how they’re a great way to let people drive where there’s not much traffic, on their local streets, and use transit on crowded arterials that come into the city.Screen shot 2016-03-14 at 4.37.53 PM

With that in mind, it’s great to hear that Capital Metro and the City of Hutto have adopted a transit plan, Capital Metro’s first plan to be adopted outside its service area, that will include Express bus service between a planned Hutto park & ride facility and two stops in Austin. The park & ride is planned to open in the fall of 2017.

“The unprecedented growth we’re seeing in Central Texas requires innovative transportation solutions, so this is a huge milestone for the future of regional transit,” said Capital Metro President/CEO Linda Watson. “Transit Development Plans are critical for expanding outside our service area, and I applaud Mayor Holland and the Hutto City Council for taking this step to ensure mobility options between Hutto and Austin.”

This is a great option for all involved: Hutto commuters get a way to make that “last mile” connection to their homes and still enjoy transit service. That means fewer cars on roads that are increasingly serving outward growth, and for Hutto commuters it means an option beyond sitting in growing traffic every day.

With more and more people moving outside of Austin, more options like this are needed. Estimates show that the region’s population is forecasted to increase 123% by the year 2035.

Capital Metro says it’s working on similar transit development plans with surrounding areas, including Georgetown, Pflugerville, and Buda.

Photo via Capital Metro

2 Responses to Expanding Transit Options

  1. Susan Pantell says:

    How much does the Park & Ride cost, and who is paying for it?

    • Kate Harrington says:

      It is our understanding that Capital Metro and Hutto worked out what they both see as fair cost sharing for both the park & ride and transit services, then riders will also pay the usual fare rates for a Commuter Pass. We don’t know the exact cost of the park & ride, but Capital Metro has said that it is working with Hutto to define an inter-local agreement and identify a Park & Ride location. It is also important to point out two issues critical for the region that this deal begins to solve: (1) many cities in the region have long-term obligations on their $.01 sales tax that is the traditional way to get transit service into a city, so this helps resolve that we new financial arrangements and (2) the entire region suffers from I-35 congestion so Capital Metro is now offering an option to Hutto commuters, but also relief for the region on its worst traffic corridor.