How MoPac Lanes Will Give You More Options

If you’re a commuter who uses MoPac, the construction taking place there to add a managed lane in each direction has probably felt like a long slog.

Now that the construction is nearing an end – really and truly – you may be wondering how one lane is really going to help your commute. After all, the folks at Central Texas Mobility Authority (CTRMA) have said it’s not meant for everyday use by drivers commuting at peak times. But for people looking for a way to use transit from the more northern suburbs, that lane will make a difference.

The variable toll on the new lanes is designed to prevent congestion in each of the managed lanes. When the traffic increases, the toll does too. That keeps things flowing in that lane, which is free for buses and emergency vehicles. And because the traffic will always be moving in the managed lanes, the Express bus routes that bring commuters into downtown will no longer be sitting in the same traffic as everyone else. Those commuters will be able to kick back with Wi-Fi and zip past the congestion.

Capital Metro is changing some of its Express Route buses and adding new Express routes to take advantage of the new managed lanes. Read more about the new routes here.

If you’re a commuter who’s curious about trying out transit, this fall is a great time to try out the new routes and enjoy a more relaxed trip to work!

Photo via MoPac Improvement Project

Fall Means Festivals and Football!

Alberto Martínez AMERICAN-STATESMAN 

Now that the weather is cooling off (at least hypothetically), there are lots of fun activities taking place in Austin. Luckily, there are also a lot of mobility options to help you get to them without worrying about traffic jams and parking.

If you’re planning on going to the Austin City Limits festival, check out this great guide that the Austin Transportation Department put together. Free shuttles to ACL from Republic Square Park, located downtown at 5th and Guadalupe streets, will also run continuously each day of the festival, starting at 10:30 a.m.

Going to some of the Longhorn games? A lot of the same options will get you there hassle-free. Austin B-Cycle has three stations near campus. And Bike UT offers a bike corral for free bike parking at San Jacinto and 23rd Streets. Don’t forget the Longhorn Shuttle!

The Texas Book Festival is also coming up, and takes place on part of N. Congress Ave., part of 11th Street, and a portion of Colorado St. around the Texas Capitol. Since it’s in the heart of downtown, getting there by bus, bike, or rideshare is a snap!

Cap Metro’s Pickup Expands Service

Capital Metro’s free ride-hailing program, Pickup, is expanding its service. As of this week, it now runs Monday to Friday between 7am and 7pm, and on Saturday from 10am to 5pm. The new hours expand service to rush hour times and add more days.

Pickup is also adding the MLK MetroRail Station to its service zone, which will give MetroRail riders a way to get to and from the station easily. Service within its original area, from the intersection of Manor Road and Airport Blvd. to the I-35 access road north of Rutherford Lane, will continue.

Capital Metro says that Pickup, which launched in June, reached its six-month ridership goals within the first two months of service. By adding the MetroRail MLK station to its service zone, Capital Metro hopes to gauge Pickup’s effectiveness as a first-mile and last-mile solution that helps people easily bridge the gaps between their starting point or destination and transit.

To access the service, riders need to download the app from their app store (both iOS and Android), register for an account and request a trip from their pickup point at a time they want and to a destination of their choosing. Their trip will then be matched with other travelers heading to the same destination, and the Pickup vehicle will arrive within 15 minutes. Riders without access to the smartphone app can call 512-369-6200.