Major Bus Network Overhaul Coming for Cap Metro

On Nov. 14 Capital Metro’s board of directors approved some of the biggest changes the agency has ever ever made to its bus service, which will affect more than half its routes.

The changes, part of Capital Metro’s 2025 Transit Planning process, will expand the high frequency network from six to 14 routes, increasing bus frequencies on those routes to 15-minute intervals, seven days a week. Other routes will become more direct, with less winding through neighborhoods, making the whole system more grid-like. East-west connections will also improve when the changes take effect on June 3, 2018.

The increased frequency and more direct routing – as well as the new Express routes that have started using the MoPac Express Lanes – will make transit an appealing option for more commuters.

“I couldn’t be more excited about this agency’s future,” said Linda Watson, Capital Metro’s president and CEO. “The changes envisioned in the Connections 2025 plan and approved by the board today will ensure Capital Metro continues to bring the best possible service to the people of Central Texas.”

The board of directors approved the Connections 2025 Transit Plan in February, and it will guide the direction of Capital Metro’s service planning for the next 10 years. Connections 2025’s central idea is to emphasize increased frequency as the best method of improving service and increasing ridership.

Before June 3, 2018, Capital Metro staff will continue outreach to the community in an effort to educate riders and the public in general about the changes.

While the impending bus network overhaul will be the most significant of the changes coming from Connections 2025, several of the plan’s recommendations have already been put in place and proved successful. The agency eliminated the Premium fare level in January, making MetroRapid service available for the price of a Local bus. In August, frequencies on MetroRapid routes were increased to 10 minutes during the day, Monday to Friday, and 15 minutes at most other times. Those changes have driven significant ridership increases on that service.

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Mobility We’re Thankful For

It’s that time of year when we all reflect on what we’re grateful for, and we at Movability have a long list!

This year we launched a new membership program, and the response has been tremendous. With a new structure in place that has helped our staff better serve our members’ needs, as well as new offerings, we’ve added more than 20 new members and welcomed back renewing members. The new program allows members to engage at the level that is right for them, whether that’s through networking events or custom mobility consulting. With so many employers on board, our member events like trainings, educational webinars, and networking get-togethers have more impact for those involved.

The leadership and vision our members themselves have is another thing we’re thankful for. Whether it’s Merck, which has made developing a mobility policy as part of its new presence in Austin a priority, or established Austin employers like Endeavor Real Estate, which wants to better serve its clients and help employees boost their job satisfaction by spending less time in traffic, our members are doing great work. And together they are part of the solution to reduce the negative impacts traffic congestion has on time, budgets, and health.

Our founding partners have also done some noteworthy work this year. Capital Metro has put some of its 2025 plan into place with more frequent service on many routes and a new fare structure. It’s also started some new bus lines that, together with the MoPac Express lanes, will give many suburban commuters better options. The City has started work on the Mobility Bond projects voters approved funding for last year, with new signals, sidewalks, and bike lanes included in that work. And the Downtown Austin Alliance has completed a parking study and is guiding the development of a long-term vision for Congress Avenue.

Movability & Members Honored at Air Central Texas Awards

We’re proud to announce that Movability won an Air Central Texas award on Nov. 15, and Movability members Endeavor and Silicon Labs were award finalists! The City of Austin, a Movability founding partner, also won an award recognizing its Smart Commute program for City employees.

The Air Central Texas Awards, given by the Capital Area Council of Governments, promote and celebrate actions that support the goals of the region’s ongoing air quality planning efforts by celebrating the organizations and individuals who have made significant contributions regional air quality in Central Texas.

The awards recognize efforts in the public sector, private sector, among nonprofit organizations, individuals, and in media coverage of air quality issues in the region.

While Movability won an award in the nonprofit/private sector category, it’s the work that our members do in reducing the number of single occupant vehicles traveling at rush hour that makes Central Texas air cleaner and healthier for everyone.