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MetroRapid - Connecting the Best of the ATX

Everything You Wanted to Know About Rapid at Your Fingertips

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Questions about MetroRapid? We've got answers.

Service

Have questions about the basics of riding MetroRapid?
Learn more about those basics of riding MetroRapid and view helpful how-to videos.

When and where did MetroRapid service begin?
Both routes will be in service in 2014: North Lamar/South Congress (Route 801) launched Jan. 26, 2014; Burnet/South Lamar (Route 803) will begin service on Sunday, Aug. 24.

How much does it cost to ride?
A single ride fare on MetroRapid costs $1.50. A Day Pass costs $3.00, a 7-Day Pass $13.50 and a 31-Day Pass $49.50. For more information about Capital Metro's fare structure, visit capmetro.org/farechange.

Do UT/ACC/COA riders have to pay additional full fare for riding MetroRapid? 

In the new fare system, Capital Metro continues existing partnerships with UT, ACC and the City of Austin. Riders do not have to pay additional fare for riding services like the new MetroRapid Route 801 and 803. If you are a UT, ACC or City of Austin rider, you simply need to have a respective pass and ID when riding. (UT riders require ID only, which is swiped as pass.) 

What is the frequency and hours of service be?
MetroRapid service on Route 801 North Lamar/South Congress runs as follows:

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

MetroRapid service on Route 803 Burnet/South Lamar will run as follows:

  • Weekdays from 5 a.m. – 12 a.m.
  • Saturdays from 6 a.m. – 12 a.m.
  • Sundays from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.

During peak periods on weekdays, MetroRapid 801 runs every 10-12 minutes during rush hour, and between 12-20 minutes at other times of the day. On weekends, the frequency is between 20-30 minutes. MetroRapid 803 will run at every 12 minutes during rush hour, and between 12-20 minutes at other times of the day. On weekends, the frequency will be between 20-30 minutes. 

What are the vehicles like?
The MetroRapid 801 fleet consists of 22 60-foot articulated vehicles, each with capacity for 101 riders, and 18 40-foot vehicles along Route 803, each accommodating 78 riders. Every vehicle is equipped with modern amenities such as Wi-Fi, low-floor boarding, extra headroom, fully padded seats, stainless steel finishes and a large rear window, all to give passengers a premium service experience. Extra-wide doors located at each entrance with a ticket validator and fare box promote faster boarding.

All MetroRapid vehicles operate on clean diesel fuel and meet the EPA's 2010 emissions standards. The vehicles are also fully ADA compliant, with wheelchair securement areas equipped with companion seating, and Braille ID bus numbers located at each rear door and at front wheel wells.

Where do I catch MetroRapid?
All MetroRapid stations are strategically placed to maximize the ridership potential of this new service and its connectivity to MetroBus and MetroRail. MetroRapid stations look unique and include digital signage with real-time* arrival information. There are 77 stations located along the two routes and both routes will share 12 stations throughout downtown and near the University of Texas.

Does MetroRapid service replace current bus service?
Route 801 replaced existing service along Route 101 North Lamar/South Congress (which travel along the same corridor) with longer service. Local stops along the existing Route 1L North Lamar/South Congress 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.

Local service in the Burnet/South Lamar corridor will be maintained along Route 3 Burnet/Manchaca when Route 803 launches on Aug. 24. Route 3 will maintain the same route and stops currently offered. Service will be extended to Southpark Meadows, with a final stop at Turk and Cullen. Frequency will be adjusted from every 22-30 minutes to every 30-40 minutes, due to complementary service being introduced through the new MetroRapid Route 803.

MetroRapid stops are spaced up to one mile apart, and in proximity to local bus routes and two MetroRail stations to offer easy connections. The Tech Ridge Park & Ride, North Lamar Transit Center and South Congress Transit Center are incorporated into the MetroRapid system. MetroRapid represents a significant increase in people-carrying capacity along both routes over current service levels.

Operations

What size of vehicles are used for MetroRapid?
Capital Metro uses a combination that includes 60-foot articulated vehicles for extremely busy Route 801 North Lamar/South Congress, and 40-foot vehicles for Route 803 Burnet/South Lamar.

How does MetroRapid affect traffic?
The goal of every transit service is to make everyone's commute better by enticing people to ride public transportation instead of driving alone in their personal vehicles. MetroRapid offers sleek and comfortable vehicles, real-time* technology at stations, dedicated transit priority lanes in the downtown area, transit signal priority technology to keep lights green longer, onboard Wi-Fi and fewer stops for more frequent service. All of these add up to a premium experience that makes riding transit an attractive alternative to driving. Also, the more people ride transit, the fewer cars there are on the road.

How does traffic signal technology work?
When a MetroRapid vehicle approaches an intersection, it sends a signal that will extend the green light a few seconds longer to allow the vehicle to pass through the intersection. This only occurs when a vehicle is running behind schedule. Any extra green light time given to the MetroRapid vehicle will be coordinated with the next signal cycle to ensure signal synchronization is preserved.

Do MetroRapid vehicles have transit priority lanes?
Yes. Capital Metro worked with the City of Austin to implement transit priority lanes along Guadalupe and Lavaca through downtown, between MLK and Cesar Chavez. Public transit vehicles primarily use the priority lanes, but other vehicles are also able to enter the lanes to complete a right turn. In addition, a separate bike lane was added to the transit corridor to make it a true multi-model street.

Do transit priority lanes slow down car traffic?
A 2011 traffic study of Guadalupe and Lavaca found that the impact of transit priority lanes on existing car traffic was expected to be minimal. Transit priority lanes use the far-right lanes to carry high-capacity transit while still allowing cars to travel within them to make right turns. For more information, visit http://austintexas.gov/prioritylanes.

How many people are expected to ride MetroRapid?
Our goal is to see daily boardings in excess of 20,000 per day in the 801 corridor within two years of service.

How was MetroRapid funded?
Much of the funding for MetroRapid service comes from a $38 million federal grant, which amounts to roughly 80 percent of the $47.6 million total project cost.

Construction

When did construction begin?
Construction began in September 2012 on the 43 stations along Route 801 (now complete), and continued in the summer of 2013 during phase two construction on the 34 stations for Route 803 (also now complete).

What was built at each station?
The construction elements of each station included existing sidewalk and curb demolition; underground electrical lines and installation of an electrical meter box; 12-foot x 20-foot concrete station pad and sidewalks; an approximate 8-foot x 16-foot canopy with lighting; a digital message board showing next vehicle arrival time; and additional signage and site furnishings including benches, a leaning rail and a trash can. In the street in front of most stations, crews removed sections of the roadway and poured a new concrete pad that is 12-feet wide and 60-feet long to reinforce and fortify the streets to accommodate MetroRapid vehicles.

When did construction occur?
Most construction occurred during daylight hours, with some night and weekend work to minimize traffic impacts and delays. We avoided construction work during rush hour time periods (typically 6-9 a.m. and 4-7 p.m.) in the direction of rush hour traffic. Depending on the specific conditions, it took two to four weeks to complete each station.

Were stakeholders notified when construction is scheduled to begin?
Yes. Capital Metro notified tenants and property owners by a letter or phone call approximately one week before construction began to discuss construction plans and answer questions.

Were roadways near the future stations closed at any point during construction?
Temporary lane closures were required during construction of the stations. Traffic controls were in place and coordinated with the City of Austin.

What company was responsible for construction?
Muniz Concrete & Contracting, Inc., a local company with significant experience working on street construction within the Austin area.

*Real-time arrival information refreshes within 90 seconds and traffic conditions may apply. 

For more information or questions about MetroRapid, please contact the GO Line at 512-474-1200.