Project Connect Progress: Virtual Scoping Meetings Begin and Austin Transit Partnership Board of Directors Elects Board Officers

AUSTIN, Texas (January 25, 2020 ) - Project Connect, the regional transit expansion program, continues to make progress this month with upcoming public meetings and Austin Transit Partnership board officer elections.

Beginning Monday, Jan. 25, community members can attend a virtual scoping meeting for both the Orange Line and Blue Line. There will be eight meetings throughout the week, two of which will be in Spanish. These meetings will be an opportunity for the public to learn more about these projects, as well as the federal environmental review process required by National Environmental Policy Act.

Virtual meetings for the Pleasant Valley and Expo MetroRapid Lines will begin Feb. 2 and include Project Connect updates and plans for MetroRapid. There will be three meetings total, with one in Spanish.

Community members are encouraged to submit questions to CapMetro staff during a live question and answer session during each of the meetings. If anyone is unable to attend the live meetings, a self-guided virtual open house will be available through the Project Connect website. For a list of these virtual meeting and open house dates, please visit

Additionally, at its inaugural meeting, the Austin Transit Partnership elected board officers and approved its bylaws and the FY2021 budget.

Veronica Castro de Barrera was elected as ATP Board Chair. She joined the board in December as the community representative with expertise in architectural engineering and construction. Chair Castro de Barrera is the founding principal of VCdB Architecture & Art and is a licensed architect with a history of creating more walkable, inclusive urban design and transit-friendly communities. Most of her work during her 23-year career has focused on the architecture of mobility in an effort to humanize the built environment, connecting the most vulnerable in our communities to opportunities.

Elected as ATP Vice Board Chair was Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette, the board’s community representative with expertise in community planning and sustainability. Vice Chair Burnette has been the president of Huston-Tillotson University since 2015 and has held several leadership roles at Pierce College and Central State University, as well as for the Washington State Department of Transportation. Her commitment to civic and community leadership in the Austin community has led to roles with the Mayor’s Task Force on Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequities, Leadership Austin and the Greater Austin Area Black Chamber, among others.

Other ATP board members include Mayor Steve Adler as the representative from Austin City Council, Eric Stratton as the representative from the CapMetro Board and Tony Elkins as the community representative with expertise in finance.
During the meeting, Jackie Nirenberg, CapMetro’s Community Engagement Manager, gave a community engagement update, reporting that 77,395 community members have been engaged about Project Connect to date.

ATP board meetings will be held on the third Wednesday of each month at 2 p.m. For transparency, all board materials are posted on the ATP website. Please visit for more information.

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Jenna Maxfield, 512-592-2171