We’ve been talking about it a lot lately. It’s too important not to.
Traffic. And public transportation.
These affect not just the environment (transportation accounts for about a third of the greenhouse gas emissions in Austin), but also our quality of life. Nobody likes spending their day stuck on I-35.
The bad news? Austin’s traffic is only going to get worse.
According to Capital Metro, our population is likely to double by 2040, while our road capacity is only expected to increase by 15 percent. This means our traffic is going to get a lot worse, unless we dramatically change the way we get around town.
The good news? There’s something we can do about it.
Under its current plan, Cap Metro is hoping to build two high capacity transit lines in Austin – the Orange Line and the Blue Line.
High-capacity transit runs in lanes that are only for them (aka dedicated pathways). This could be bus rapid transit, which means buses that have their own lane (no other vehicles allowed), light rail (basically, a train), or it could be some sort of autonomous rapid transit. The exact “mode” for these two new lines has not yet been decided, but the idea is for them to provide a fast, reliable transit option.
This won’t work without your participation.
As Cap Metro writes on its website, “It won’t be our vision alone, though. It will be the community’s plan … a complete system of reliable and frequent transit with congestion-proof services that operates free from other traffic.
Help us get there. Capital Metro is relying on you to shape the future of transportation in Central Texas.”
Public transportation systems don’t work unless the community wants them and helps to shape them. In 2020, we will likely be asked to vote on a bond to fund this project… and it’s not going to be cheap.
If you want to have a say in the future of public transportation in Austin, here are a few new opportunities to get involved.
First up, the Orange Line.
If built, the Orange Line would run from the North Lamar Transit Center, south down Lamar, onto Guadalupe (and past Republic Square Park), and onto South Congress Avenue.
Cap Metro is hosting several open house events for people who specifically live or work along this corridor.
Below are the dates and times:
4:30 – 6:30 p.m.| 1801 Lavaca Street | Routes 1 & 801
South Congress Transit Center (rain or shine)
4:30 – 6:30 p.m. | 301 W. Ben White Blvd. (enter on Radam Lane) | Routes 1 & 801
North Austin Lions Club
4:30 – 6:30 p.m. | 1103 Justin Lane | Routes 1 & 801
Little Walnut Creek Branch Library
4:30 – 6:30 p.m. | 835 Rundberg Lane | Routes 1 & 801
Can’t make it to an event in person? There’s still time to participate in a virtual open house online.
And now, the Blue Line.
If built, the Blue Line would run from the airport, down Riverside, and all the way to the University of Texas.
Cap Metro is hosting a big open house event to get public feedback on the Blue Line on Monday, May 20th from 3pm to 7pm at the Austin Central Library. (Don’t worry, you don’t have the stay for the full four hours. You’re welcome to stop in and leave at any time.)
Can’t make it to the event in person? A virtual open house for the Blue Line will be taking place from May 20th to June 28th.