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CapMetro & COVID-19

As the pandemic continues and the city of Austin returns to Stage 5 restrictions, signifying the highest level of risk, Capital Metro encourages only essential ridership of our services at this time. For customers making essential trips, we are maintaining the highest possible level of safety with cleaning measures, enhanced features aboard our vehicles and physical distancing protocols. Find out more about how we’re riding with care.

What CapMetro is doing to address safety concerns

  • Electrostatic cleaning. This advanced cleaning process sprays electrostatically charged mist throughout the vehicle to ensure surfaces are sanitized.
  • Physical distancing protocols. Don’t think you can socially distance on a bus or train? Think again! CapMetro has adopted physical distancing efforts like adding plexiglass around the operator and signage prompting customers to “skip a seat” when possible. Schedules have also been adjusted to increase service and to help reduce the number of customers per trip.
  • Cashless payment. The CapMetro App allows you to pay your fare without having to exchange physical money.
  • Masks for staff and customers. While we encourage you to always remember your mask when leaving the house, CapMetro has them available in case you forget. Face coverings are required for all customers and staff on CapMetro buses and trains.
  • Vinyl seat upgrades. In addition to our new cleaning technology, we are upgrading our seats from fabric covers to vinyl, making them easier to clean.
  • Hand sanitizer. For your convenience, hand sanitizing stations are available on our vehicles to use as you enter and exit your ride.

How you can ride CapMetro safely during COVID-19

  • Limit your travel to essential trips
  • Wear a mask when riding and waiting to ride
  • Follow physical distancing measures by skipping a seat
  • Avoid riding at peak times and catch an earlier or later trip when possible
  • Use the CapMetro App to make contact-free fare payments
  • Use hand sanitizer when entering and exiting the vehicle
  • Stay at home if you’re feeling sick or experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19

If you have a disability that affects your ability to wear a face covering, please contact Martin Kareithi, our program manager of accessible services, to request a reasonable modification. Call 512-389-7583 or email martin.kareithi@capmetro.org.

Your Ride to Receive the Vaccine

CapMetro is offering complimentary curb-to-curb service for eligible community members to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Our MetroAccess vehicles are now accepting requests from community members and healthcare providers for transportation assistance to obtain COVID-19 vaccinations through phases I and II. Complimentary trips are currently available to individual customers only at this time. Learn more about VaccineAccess.
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Stay up-to-date on our COVID-19 response

  • Most MetroBus and MetroRapid services are operating their normal schedules. For detailed route information, visit our Schedules and Maps and select an individual route page.
  • UT Shuttle service is suspended effective January 14 due to UT moving to virtual classes. Check out our Trip Planner for alternate routes traveling to UT campus.
  • Some MetroExpress routes have been reinstated, though Route 980, Route 981 and Route 987 remain suspended.
  • MetroRail is operating a Monday-Friday daytime schedule, with no Saturday service and no Late-Night trips on Friday.
  • Some MetroFlyer routes are operating reduced versions of their weekday schedules.
  • Night Owl and E-bus routes are not operating.
  • The on-demand Pickup service operates weekdays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • MetroAccess service operates with service boundaries mirroring our adjusted schedules.

Our response to the pandemic is guided by the need to protect the health and safety of our staff and our community, as well as the financial stability of the agency. CARE is what shapes our decisions:

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Create safe places for staff and customers.

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Apply our resources wisely and equitably.

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Rely on data for decision-making.

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Evaluate our results and adapt.


For a complete picture of how we have responded to the pandemic, check out or CARE Dashboard or take a look through our Pandemic Recovery & Improvement Plan: Recovering with CARE.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most CapMetro services - including MetroBus, MetroRapid, MetroExpress and MetroRail - are operating on a modified schedule.

We've placed signs on most vehicles asking customers to leave empty seats between each other, to allow for social distancing and to give you confidence that riding CapMetro is a safe transportation option. Operators have been instructed to notify their dispatch centers if buses are too crowded to provide safe social distancing. If you don't feel comfortable riding a particular vehicle, please wait for the next bus.

To reduce crowded vehicles, we have increased service on our high-frequency routes. We also recommend avoiding riding at peak times by taking an earlier or later trip.

The latest review of our data shows that system ridership has decreased significantly. That's expected and exactly what should be happening with the shelter-in-place order in effect. We will continue to monitor this closely.

At this time, CapMetro will continue to operate transit services. Public transportation is a critical service in the Austin community and connects community members to vital places, such as hospitals, grocery stores and places of employment. People who do those jobs take care of us, and CapMetro helps them do so.

For this reason, we will continue to offer our services for as long as we can. We will also continue following guidance from Austin Public Health to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for both employees and customers. Our data shows that system ridership has decreased significantly, but that's what should be happening under our shelter-in-place order.

We're slowly returning to regular service and operations and will do so in a way that protects the safety of operators and customers, including the return of fares. In addition to the enhanced bus cleaning practices we've been implementing recently, we also installed plexiglass barriers to separate operators from customers, are requiring everyone on our vehicles to wear face coverings and are recommending customers practice safe physical distancing from each other by leaving empty seats between them and other riders when possible.