Cap Metro to Study Development along Green Line through FTA Grant

Transit agency will work with regional partners to study TOD.

AUSTIN, Texas - CapMetro President and CEO Randy Clarke appeared today at the Travis County Commissioners Court to thank the transit agency's regional partners and to deliver a brief presentation on an upcoming study of the MetroRail Green Line, a proposed commuter rail service between Austin and Manor.

The study will be funded by a $600,000 grant provided by a grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) won by the agency in December 2018. It will examine the potential for transit-oriented development (TOD) along this corridor. The Green Line has been identified as a potential corridor to be developed under  Project Connect, the long-term vision for a regional public transportation system.

“I'm thankful for the FTA's investment in the Green Line and the impact it can have on Manor and its residents,” said CapMetro Board Member and Manor Mayor Rita Jonse. “CapMetro already serves Manor well with MetroExpress service, but those buses are often stuck in traffic. We need to explore our options for faster, more reliable options for public transportation throughout the region, especially as its population is expected to reach 4 million by 2040.”

The Green Line would operate on 15 miles of track owned by CapMetro. It would travel east from Downtown Station toward Johnny Morris Road and the Colony Park area of eastern Travis County before reaching Manor.

“The fact that this grant money will go toward transit-oriented development planning is meaningful,” said CapMetro Board Member and Travis County Commissioner Jeff Travillion. “The Green Line has the potential to deliver not just transportation choices for the people of eastern Travis County, but also to address the transit needs of a continually growing community. Many of the displaced Austinites are moving to the area that will potentially be served by the Green Line. It can serve as a basis for long-term development and resources that are often planted around transit stations.” 

CapMetro has worked for more than two years with the city of Austin, Travis County and other regional partners to develop Project Connect and its component services like the Green Line. Regional leaders - including State Senator Kirk Watson, Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt and Austin Mayor Steve Adler - spoke up for Project Connect at the agency's December 2018 board meeting, at which CapMetro board members approved the Project Connect vision map.

“Though our area's eastern edges may be less populated now, that's changing at an ever-increasing rate,” said Eckhardt. “The partnerships that are working to make Project Connect's regional approach to transportation choices a reality will enable Central Texans to benefit from a future that is truly multi-modal and not reliant only on cars.”

Adler, too, voiced support for the Green Line TOD study. “I'm excited our community will be planning for affordability and mobility ahead of the growth we know is coming to the Eastern Crescent," said the mayor.

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Mariette Hummel, 512-369-6253