Capital Metro Announces Vision for Future of Regional Transportation
Agency introduces next phase of Project Connect
AUSTIN, Texas - On Monday, Oct.1, Capital Metro revealed its vision for Project Connect, a regional transit plan for the Central Texas community.
Capital Metro President and CEO Randy Clarke presented the Project Connect vision in a speech at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce's annual Regional Mobility Summit. The presentation included the release of maps that lay out the agency's plan for a potential regional transit system that would provide the community with real choices for getting around.
“Our quality of life is threatened by the biggest issue our region is facing: affordability, and the cost and access of transportation is a huge part of that,” said Clarke.
In his remarks, Clarke stressed the importance of dedicated pathways that allow transit vehicles to operate free from other traffic. The vision also includes a system that is fully electric powered, plus new regional park and ride facilities that improve access to transit.
Maps were presented to show high-capacity transit options like bus rapid transit and light rail transit in corridors throughout the area, including an emerging technology in transit called autonomous rapid transit (ART). Similar to bus rapid transit but with the benefits of light rail transit, ART electric vehicles would travel on rubber tires using smooth, dedicated pathways and would be connected by wireless technology.
Capital Metro's vision stresses the importance of flexibility to change with a growing population. Clarke emphasized that whatever the community decides will be its next transit system will need to be “future proofed” and able to adapt with the fast rate of technological change. Dedicated pathways allow a variety of transit modes to evolve with the changing population and technology.
The next, important step for Project Connect is transforming this vision into the community's plan through extensive community engagement.
The first opportunity for the community to join the discussion is Wednesday, Oct. 3. The event will be a “deep dive” into the Project Connect vision. It will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at Ruiz Branch Library. Admission is free. The Ruiz Public Library is served by Routes 271, 310, 311 and 350.