Proposed 1st line of Urban Rail: (Archived Status)

In November 2014, Austin residents voted against the City of Austin 2014 Bond package that included funding for the Urban Rail LPA and several roadway projects throughout Austin. At this time, the City of Austin, Capital Metro and Lone Star Rail continue to progress other mobility improvements and initiatives and look forward to readdressing the Urban Rail question in the future.

The first line, Riverside to Highland

The first leg of the proposed urban rail plan would connect East Riverside Drive and the ACC Highland redevelopment area to major destinations such as Austin’s downtown area, the State Capitol Complex, Lady Bird Lake, the Convention Center, the University of Texas campus, public venues and stadium, the new Medical School and Teaching Hospital and Hancock Center.

CENTRAL CORRIDOR PROPOSED MAP: The proposed first line would run from East Riverside at Grove St, traveling along East Riverside, crossing Lady Bird Lake through the Downtown business district and the University of Texas campus, continuing to Hancock Center and on to the new Highland Development.

View an animated map that displays the route, stops and potential connections for the proposed Central Corridor Urban Rail line.

Traits of the proposed project:

  • A 9.5 mile line with connections to MetroRail and MetroBus service
  • 16 stations
  • Four park and rides at stations to offer travel alternatives 
  • Operation in mostly dedicated lanes (separated from regular traffic)
  • Trains arriving every 10 minutes during rush hour and every 15 minutes the rest of the day and on weekends
  • An estimated 16,000-20,000 riders each weekday
  • Future expansion opportunities to other parts of Austin
  • Facts about the Central Corridor Urban Rail Project
  • The Central Corridor study has seven major steps:
  • How’d we get here?
  • Kick-off/Process [complete]
  • Define Sub-Corridors [completed Fall 2013]
  • Select Priority Sub-Corridor [completed December 2013]

Phase 2

  • Identify Preliminary Alternatives [completed January 2014]
  • Define Final Alternatives [completed February 2014]
  • Evaluate Alternatives [completed May 2014]
  • Select Locally Preferred Alternatives (LPA) [completed June 2014]
  • What are the specifics of the route?
  • The Central Corridor Study developed a high-level overview of the project, with the idea that once funding for design and engineering had been identified, more detail would be worked through during the development of an Environmental Impact Statement.

Urban Rail LPA

  • .5-mile route between the ACC Highland redevelopment area and East Riverside drive, connecting Austin’s growing Downtown area with reliable, high-frequency transit.
  • 16 Stations (4 park and ride facilities)
  • li>Estimated to carry 18,000 people per weekday
  • New bridge over Lady Bird Lake (east of Congress Avenue)
  • Short tunnel near Hancock Center
  • Estimated $1.4 billion total capital cost in year of expenditure (2020) dollars (including construction, an initial fleet of nine trains, two maintenance facilities, right of way costs, along with design and management services and project contingencies.)
  • Proposed capital funding sources: approximately ½ City of Austin General Opbligation Bonds & approximately ½ Federal or State funding sources.

Central Corridor Advisory Group

  • The Central Corridor Advisory Group (CCAG) provided guidance to the Project Connect: Central Corridor project team as they developed the Central Corridor Locally Preferred Alternative The Central Corridor Advisory Group was formed to: ensure an open and transparent public process; advise the Mayor and project team in prioritizing and defining a preferred alignment for the next high-capacity transit investment to serve the Central Corridor; and, assist the project team in conducting a meaningful dialogue with the community
  • For more information about the Central Corridor Study steps, including evaluation results and analysis, visit the Central Corridor Advisory Group meeting's page.