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MetroRapid to receive $38 million federal grant 

Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff and Capital Metro CEO Linda S. Watson finalized grant agreement in downtown Austin today 

Austin, Texas, April 10, 2012 – Today Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff was in Austin to announce a $38 million federal grant to Capital Metro to bring a new, high-capacity transit service, MetroRapid, to Austin’s busiest streets in 2014.

“With the signed funding agreement, Capital Metro is able to proceed full-steam ahead to build this incredible new rapid transit service that will directly benefit almost 25 percent of the entire service area,” said Capital Metro President and CEO Linda S. Watson. “MetroRapid will connect neighborhoods, workers and students to universities, state offices, high-tech companies and regional retail and medical centers.”   

Plans for MetroRapid include two high-capacity, rapid bus lines along North Lamar/South Congress and Burnet/South Lamar—the densest and highest ridership transit markets in the region. Capital Metro anticipates more than 20,000 daily boardings when the service begins in 2014.

MetroRapid will feature sleek, modern buses with greater passenger amenities on the bus and at the station. Limited stops, multiple-door boarding, signal priority technology, and dedicated bus lanes through the heart of downtown translate into quicker travel times. MetroRapid will offer all-day service with 10-minute frequencies during rush hours.

The federal funding from the FTA’s Very Small Starts program will fund a full 80 percent of the $47.6 million total project cost to get MetroRapid rolling down Austin’s streets. State and local officials joined Administrator Rogoff at Republic Square Park today to make the funding announcement and tour a portion of the MetroRapid route through downtown, as well as ride MetroRail.

“Austin has a lot to be proud of, and we are going to continue to build a world-class transit network that will connect our region,” said Austin City Councilman and Capital Metro Chairman Mike Martinez. “Continued coordination between Capital Metro, the city of Austin and other regional transportation providers and the federal government will ensure Austin remains a great place to live, work and play.”  

ABOUT CAPITAL METRO 

Capital Metro’s mission is to connect people, jobs and communities by providing high-quality and sustainable transportation choices for our community. Capital Metro boasts the highest per capita ridership in Texas, providing an average of 109,000 rides each weekday onboard its local, flyer and express bus routes and Capital MetroRail, the region’s first commuter rail system. Capital Metro also provides MetroAccess service for passengers with disabilities, van and carpool coordination, and freight rail service.  For more information, including an online trip planner and a commute cost calculator, visit www.capmetro.org or call (512) 474-1200.