SYSTEM PLAN A NEW RAIL SYSTEM

Artist rendering of light rail

Artist conceptual rendering for illustration only.

The Project Connect System Plan's new rail system would connect North and South Austin, provide a direct link to the airport, through downtown and to South Congress, while extending to East Austin's Colony Park.

Three new light rail lines - Orange, Blue and Gold - with modern technology and dedicated transit lanes.

The MetroRail Red Line is our Commuter rail service that extends from downtown Austin to Leander. Improvements to the Red Line include 2 new stations. The new MetroRail Green Line would connect neighborhoods east of Central Austin to downtown.

Learn what's included in Project Connect's Initial Investment.

A New Light Rail for Austin

The Orange Line, approximately 21 miles with 22 stations, connects North and South Austin running from TechRidge to Slaughter along the North Lamar/Guadalupe corridor, connecting the UT campus and downtown before crossing Lady Bird Lake and traveling along South Congress to Slaughter Lane.


The Orange Line would serve destinations including:

  • Tech Ridge (Park & Ride)
  • North Lamar International District 
  • Crestview
  • The Triangle
  • UT campus
  • Republic Square
  • Auditorium Shores
  • South Congress 
  • Southpark Meadows (Park & Ride)

The Blue Line light rail would operate for approximately 15-miles connecting 20 stations, running from downtown to the Airport providing service along East Riverside Drive across Lady Bird Lake to the Convention Center and west on 4th Street to Republic Square. It then operates along the Orange Line's path to US 183 and North Lamar.


The Blue Line would serve destinations including:

  • Austin-Bergstrom
  • Riverside
  • Lakeshore
  • Travis Heights
  • Austin Convention Center
  • Downtown Austin
  • Dell Seton Medical district
  • UT campus

The Initial Investment would build the Gold Line first as a MetroRapid bus service. The system plan envisions the Gold Line as light rail that would operate for approximately 9.5 miles connecting 15 stations from ACC's Highland campus along Airport Blvd. and Red River into downtown, across the river and down SoCo.


The Gold Line would serve destinations including:

  • ACC Highland
  • Airport Blvd. restaurant district
  • Hyde Park
  • DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium
  • Moody Center
  • Downtown Austin
  • Rainey Street
  • ESB-Mexican American Cultural Center
  • Republic Square
  • South Congress Avenue

Commuter Rail Improvements

The MetroRail Red Line's improvements would allow for more service to operate simultaneously going northbound and southbound – from downtown Austin to Leander. Project Connect’s plan would connect residents to downtown Austin, ACC Highland, Lakeline and Leander. New connections include The Domain and the new soccer stadium at McKalla Place in North Austin.

The MetroRail Green Line proposes a 27-mile system traveling from downtown Austin to eastern Travis County and into Bastrop County, connecting Manor with downtown Austin using commuter rail. With new transit hubs and Park & Rides, the Green Line would operate along Capital Metro’s existing freight line between Austin and Manor, with a possible extension to Elgin, and connect residents to Central Austin. Destinations served by the Green Line would include:

  • Downtown Austin
  • Plaza Saltillo
  • East Austin
  • Colony Park
  • The Wildhorse Development
  • The city of Manor

About “Initial Investment” & “System Plan”

A ballot measure for the Project Connect Initial Investment will be on the November 2020 ballot.

It was a collaborative process between the Capital Metro board and the Austin City Council that resulted in the Initial Investment portion of Project Connect being put before voters this year. Leading up to the November election, the governing bodies took the following actions: