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MetroRapid - Coming in 2014

Rapid Bus w/ Sun Flare

What is Capital MetroRapid service?

MetroRapid is a new type of service that brings together a set of unique features to result in faster, more convenient service for the community.

MetroRapid will travel two of Central Texas' busiest travel corridors: North Lamar/South Congress (Route 801, opening early 2014) and Burnet/South Lamar (Route 803, opening late summer 2014). Currently, those two transit corridors see 21,000 weekday boardings, serving almost 25% of the entire service area, making them the densest and highest ridership transit markets in the region.

Some of the features of this new service include limited stops; boarding from all doors; unique and upgraded stops with real-time arrival information; sleek and modern vehicles equipped with signal priority technology to keep traffic lights green when the vehicle is running behind schedule; and, Transit Priority Lanes through downtown.

With 77 stations along the two planned routes, MetroRapid will connect major business, medical, education and entertainment hubs with neighborhoods across Austin.

How does the traffic signal technology work?

As Capital MetroRapid vehicles approach an intersection, they will send a beam to a signal controller that will extend a green light a few seconds to allow the vehicle to pass through the intersection when it is running behind schedule. Any extra green light time given to the MetroRapid vehicle will be coordinated with the next signal cycle to ensure that signal synchronization is preserved.

How will Capital MetroRapid affect traffic?

The goal of every transit service is to reduce traffic congestion by enticing people to ride public transportation instead of driving alone in their personal vehicles. MetroRapid will be very competitive with the single occupancy vehicle thanks to its features that will keep the service on time, like traffic signal priority technology and Transit Priority Lanes through downtown. Reliability is a key factor to attract new riders away from their cars and onto transit, which is good for the long-term livability of the region.

What are the routes planned for MetroRapid?

Capital Metro is developing two routes on the busiest transit corridors: North Lamar/South Congress (Route 801, opening early 2014) and Burnet/South Lamar (Route 803, opening late summer 2014). When both routes are in service, we expect 21,000 boardings per day, serving 25% of the entire Capital Metro service area.

Will MetroRapid service replace current bus service?

Route 801 will replace existing service along Route 1L North Lamar/South Congress and Route 101 North Lamar/South Congress (which travel along the same corridor) with longer service. A new service will replace Route 1L North Lamar/South Congress due to duplicate service present along the same corridor. Local stops along the existing Route 1L North Lamar/South Congress will maintain service via the following routes: MetroRapid Route 801, Route 1 South Congress/Metric, Route 201 Southpark Meadows and the new 275 North Lamar Feeder

Route 803 Burnet/South Lamar will replace most of the current Route 3. There will also be changes to other local routes to ensure adequate coverage and connectivity between local bus and MetroRapid. MetroRapid stops will be spaced up to one mile apart, and in proximity to local bus routes and two MetroRail stations to offer easy connections. Tech Ridge Park & Ride, North Lamar Transit Center and South Congress Transit Center will be incorporated into the MetroRapid system. MetroRapid represents a significant increase in people-carrying capacity along both routes over current service levels.

Will MetroRapid vehicles have Transit Priority Lanes?

Yes. Capital Metro is working with the city of Austin to implement Transit Priority Lanes along Guadalupe and Lavaca through downtown, between MLK and Cesar Chavez. Public transit vehicles will primarily use the priority lanes, but cars will be able to drive in the lanes, too, for making right turns.

Will the Transit Priority Lanes affect parking downtown? Will it slow down car traffic?

Implementing the Transit Priority Lanes on Guadalupe and Lavaca will not affect downtown parking. However, a small amount of parking will be relocated to build four MetroRapid stations in each direction of Guadalupe and Lavaca - approximately 11 current on-street parking spaces. Within downtown, there are currently 4,341 on street spaces.

A 2011 traffic study of Guadalupe and Lavaca found that the impact of Transit Priority Lanes to existing car traffic movement is expected to be minimal. Transit Priority Lanes use the far-right lanes to carry high-capacity transit and still allow cars to travel within them to then turn right.

For more information about Transit Priority Lanes, visit http://austintexas.gov/prioritylanes

Where will I catch Capital MetroRapid?

MetroRapid stops have been strategically placed to maximize the ridership potential of this new service and its connectivity to MetroBus and MetroRail. MetroRapid stations will look unique and will include digital signage with real-time arrival information. There will be 44 stations along Route 801 and 32 along Route 803. Both routes will share 12 stops through downtown and near the University of Texas.

What size vehicles will be used for MetroRapid?

Capital Metro is planning to use a combination of buses, which include 22 sixty-foot articulated vehicles for the extremely busy North Lamar/South Congress route and 18 forty-footers for the Burnet/South Lamar route.

How much will it cost to ride?

A single ride fare on MetroRapid will cost $1.50 when the service launches in 2014. A day pass will cost $3, a 7-Day pass will cost $13.50 and a 31-Day pass will cost $49.50.

For more information about Capital Metro's fare structure, visit http://www.capmetro.org/farechange

When will MetroRapid service begin?

Both routes are planned to be in service in 2014: North Lamar/South Congress (Route 801) in early 2014, and Burnet/South Lamar(Route 803) in late summer 2014.

What will the frequency and hours of service be?

MetroRapid service on Route 801 North Lamar/South Congress is currently planned to run at the following times:

  • Weekdays from 5 a.m. – 1 a.m.
  • Saturdays from 6 a.m. – 12 a.m.
  • Sundays from 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.

During peak periods on weekdays, MetroRapid will run every 10 minutes, and between 12-15 minutes at other times of day. On weekends, the frequency will be between 20-30 minutes.