MetroRapid Service Set to Begin
Texas – Jan. 21,
2014 – The clock is rapidly counting down to the Jan. 26 launch of
MetroRapid, Capital Metro’s new high-tech, high-capacity transit service that
will serve the densest and highest ridership transit markets in the region. In
the final few days leading up to the start of service, Capital Metro is busy
managing every last detail associated with rolling out a major new transit
will offer riders frequent service along Lamar, Guadalupe, Lavaca and South
Congress, from Tech Ridge to Southpark Meadows. Service will run weekdays from 5 a.m. to
1 a.m., Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
incredible team has accomplished so much during the past four years to
introduce this convenient, premium service to Austin,” said Capital Metro
President/CEO Linda S. Watson. “There’s a lot of great buzz about MetroRapid,
and we’re excited to bring this new transit experience to our rapidly growing
assist passengers using the service for the first time, Capital Metro plans to
have nearly 200 staff members and volunteers at MetroRapid stations and onboard
vehicles during the first week of service answering questions, demonstrating
the new mobile ticketing app, and helping riders plan their trips.
MetroRapid’s package of service
improvements are expected to boost ridership, similar to what has occurred in
other cities with rapid transit systems. Ridership in the North Lamar/South
Congress corridor, led by the new MetroRapid service, is projected to reach
20,000 boardings per weekday within the first two years of operation.
Features of the new MetroRapid service
Increased frequency: MetroRapid will run
every 10-12 minutes during peak hours, and 12-20 minutes during non-peak times.
Weekend service will run every 20-30 minutes.
Fewer stops: MetroRapid
will have just 44 stops along a 21-mile route to get people to their
vehicles on the new route will be 60-feet long–enough to hold 101
passengers–with an accordion-style flexible middle section to make turning
easy. They will feature three extra-wide doors for faster boarding, fully
padded seats, extra headroom, higher ceilings and LED lighting to give
passengers a premium experience.
Free onboard Wi-Fi will give riders the chance to get some work done, or sit
back and relax while they catch up on the latest news or enjoy other activities.
app: The free app
will let riders purchase passes with their smart device, then use the device as
their pass. The app will also offer real time* arrival information, trip
planning and a feature that finds the closest station. Called the CapMetroApp,
it can be downloaded now through the Apple Store, Google Play and Windows
Dedicated transit lanes downtown on Guadalupe and Lavaca between Cesar Chavez
and MLK Streets will help keep people moving.
Unique stations: Stations will feature electronic
digital signage that shows next arrival times, bench seating, and canopies to
protect against sun and rain. Stations have been strategically placed to
maximize connectivity to MetroBus and MetroRail services.
bike racks: Racks on
the front of the vehicles will be able to hold three bikes.
Onboard signal priority technology will allow buses to hold traffic lights
green a little longer when a vehicle is running behind schedule
part of the agency’s fare restructure that goes into effect Jan. 26, MetroRapid
will be considered a Premium service. The cost to ride will be $1.50 for a
Single Ride, $3 for a Day Pass, $13.50 for a 7-Day Pass and $49.50 for a 31-Day
Pass. The Premium fare also includes access to all Local bus service.
passes are now on sale at local
retail outlets, capmetro.org
and the Transit Store,
located at 209 W. 9th Street downtown. Capital Metro passes will be
temporarily unavailable at area H-E-B stores between Jan. 25-27, but will go on
sale beginning the morning of Jan. 28. Passes cannot be used until the fare
change takes effect.
a special promotion between Jan. 20–Feb. 28, Capital Metro will offer a free
7-Day Premium Pass to those who use the new app to purchase a 7- or 31-Day
Premium Pass. There is a limit of one free pass per customer.
agency has been a regular fixture at community events and meetings, and various
high-traffic bus stops, over the last several months to talk about the new
service. Staff members have also given dozens of presentations to business and
civic groups, and a new MetroRapid vehicle has appeared in a number of special
events around town, including the Chuys Children Giving to Children Parade, the
Downtown Austin Farmer’s Market and the MLK Day Parade.
red and silver MetroRapid vehicles first began making regular appearances
around Austin back in September when operator training began. By the time
service launches, four full field simulation tests will have been completed.
great anticipation and high expectation for MetroRapid service,” said Downtown
Austin Alliance Executive Director Charlie Betts. “Over the past year and a
half, many of us downtown have witnessed the progress Capital Metro has made to
bring this new service to Austin, from watching the new stations get built to
seeing the accordion-style buses make their test runs. We’re hearing a lot of
comments from the community that they can’t wait to try it.”
80 percent, or $38 million, of MetroRapid’s $47.6 million project cost was
funded with assistance from the Federal Transportation Administration Very
Small Starts program. The agency has been planning and developing the
project since 2009.
The launch of MetroRapid service is the
culmination of years of planning and collaboration with the City of Austin and
the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO). One of the recent
projects with the city involves the construction of transit priority lanes in
the downtown area, which will help the new service stay on schedule. The city
is currently conducting outreach to ensure drivers know about the new lanes,
and has information
available on its website detailing how to use them.
is the second major service launch for Capital Metro in the last four years,
following the launch of MetroRail service in 2010. MetroRail has proven to be
very popular with the public, with ridership tripling since service began and
standing-room-only capacity during peak hours.
is a key component of the Project
Connect regional high-capacity transit system, whose aim is to connect
people, places and opportunities with an integrated system that uses regional,
commuter and urban rail, bus rapid transit and express buses operating on
information about MetroRapid can be found at capmetro.org/metrorapid, on
Facebook at facebook.com/capitalmetro
and Twitter at twitter.com/CapMetroATX.
Riders can also sign up on the agency’s website to receive email alerts about
Capital Metro service.
addition to MetroRapid service launching and the new fare structure going into
effect Jan. 26, there will be some changes to Capital Metro service. More
information about the service changes can be found here.
second route, Route 803 along Burnet/South Lamar, is on schedule to begin service in
late summer 2014.
*Real-time departure information refreshes
within 90 seconds and traffic conditions may apply.
# # #
Metro connects people, jobs and communities by providing high-quality and
sustainable transportation choices to Central Texans. Capital Metro provides an
average of 113,000 rides each weekday—enough to fill Darrell K. Royal-Texas
Memorial Stadium and Disch-Falk Field combined—onboard its buses, trains,
paratransit and vanpool vehicles. As the regional transportation leader,
Capital Metro is driving
progress and investing in the region’s mobility with high-capacity transit
solutions like MetroRapid,
which will move more people at less cost and with less impact to the
environment. Capital Metro is a financially sound and fiscally responsible agency,
winning the highest rating for financial transparency from the Texas
Comptroller for the fourth straight year. Visit www.capmetro.org for more information.
Pares, 512-389-7435 (O), 949-244-4574
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