AUSTIN HITS THE FAST TRACK WITH METRORAPID
Austin is the capital of Texas and one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. Famous for its live music, the city is also known for heavy traffic. But not for long – when Capital Metro launches its new MetroRapid service, it will mean an incredible increase in capacity and frequency for current riders. And with advanced technology and new customer amenities, Capital Metro hopes to attract new choice riders.
Why change the way people move around town?
Recent statistics indicate that 150 new people move into the Central Texas region every day, adding 70 new cars to already heavily-congested roadways.
Capital Metro needed a solution to address demand and implement a viable, multi-modal system in the region. It started as a vision, but MetroRapid soon became a key part of Project Connect, Central Texas’ regional transit plan.
A game changer for regional mobility
MetroRapid will initially include two lines: North Lamar/South Congress and Burnet/South Lamar, with a combined length of 37.5 miles (60 km).
Sleek, comfortable MetroRapid vehicles will serve a total of 76 stations through the densest and highest ridership transit corridors in the Austin region, connecting neighborhoods to downtown companies, state offices, universities, regional retail centers and major medical facilities.
“MetroRapid is going to directly benefit almost 25 percent of the entire Capital Metro service area. It’s a game changer for our region’s mobility, and it’s going to change the way people think about public transportation. Everything about MetroRapid is designed to connect people quickly to the best parts of Austin,” said Linda Watson, Capital Metro President and CEO.
Advanced technology and new customer amenities
Eighty percent of the cost to develop MetroRapid is being covered by a $38 million Very Small Starts federal grant.
Station amenities include real-time digital information displays, benches and custom canopies. The service will leverage limited stops, multiple-door boarding, signal priority technology and transit priority lanes through downtown to provide a 30 percent reduction in travel time.
The biggest benefit for riders will be trip reliability. Making use of signal priority technology and transit priority lanes will keep MetroRapid on time. Additionally, future customers will also have the benefit of knowing exactly when their MetroRapid vehicle will arrive, thanks to real-time GPS-based arrival information available at each station. Providing real-time arrival information is an incredible amenity that Capital Metro believes will attract new customers.
Capital Metro anticipates up to 21,000 daily boardings once both routes are in service.
CAPTION: Linda Watson, Capital Metro president and CEO