Austin is already the 11th largest city in the country, adding about 4,500 more people every month. The population is expected to double by 2040. And with all of these residents their cars come – about 155 hit the ATX roads every week.
What to do on an already congested road network? Improve public transport, of course.
Project ConnectThe new transit plan provides for a new rail system. new MetroRapid bus routes and vehicles; the transition to an emission-free, fully electric fleet; a downtown transit tunnel that speeds everyone’s journey (whether you’re on the train or in the car); and much more.
It will connect the entire city, bring and attract opportunity to the area, improve the environment and bring Austin forward again.
Here’s a look at what Project Connect could do for Austin and its residents:
Millions of people – from Leander to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, from Oak Hill to Colony Park – would enjoy expanded and improved services. A new rail system would connect the north, south and east districts of Austin and move all of them more reliably and faster and safer. That’s almost 60 km and more than 40 stations, including a through tunnel in the city center, which ensures that traffic at street level moves without interruption.
Capital Metro’s current fleet will be converted to fully electric systems with zero emissions. This significantly reduces greenhouse gases, improves air quality and relieves the ecological environment in Austin. The addition of 24 new Park & Ride hubs would also help clear the streets of single vehicles while improving the overall travel experience for drivers.
Even if you don’t use public transport personally, we need them all. Big cities with growth and affordability issues – think Seattle, Montreal, Denver, Boston, Seattle, New York City, and Los Angeles – rely on rail to serve as an equitable transit option. The Project Connect plan also includes anti-displacement strategies to ensure residents and local businesses are catered for. Investing in transit will protect what everyone loves about central Texas and improve the quality of life now and in the future.
Stay up to date on Capital Metro’s Connect project by visiting their website, which lists upcoming meetings and announcements on the future of the plan.