Capital Metro makes changes to its service a few times each year as a matter of routine. We make adjustments to the bus route or add an extra bus trip in a newly busy area for a particular time of day—that sort of thing. If it’s a big change, we’ll put in place a whole new service like MetroRail or MetroRapid.
Beginning next June, we are getting ready to make really big changes. In fact, more than half of our 82 routes will see some sort of change. For starters, we will add eight additional bus routes to our High-Frequency Network that will greatly improve service linking the east and west sides of Austin while eliminating 17 routes entirely.
That last one might not sound so great, but most riders who would lose their current service would see even better service replace it. Our High-Frequency Route Network ensures that buses run at 15-minute frequencies, seven days a week, and we’re expanding the network so that it touches an even greater part of our service area—north, south, east and west.
The proposed changes developed out of a process called Connections 2025, a five-year service plan that will transform our bus system. The goal was to look at the system in place now and see how it could be improved. It wasn’t intended to build new infrastructure. What we’re doing with this proposal is putting our resources towards our highest-performing routes, the routes that are used by the most riders.
The idea is for frequent riders to get the most benefit from our services. When riders need to get somewhere, they’ll be able to head to the stop with the knowledge that a bus will be there soon. They won’t need to check a timetable or coordinate their schedule to make sure they get to the stop at the exact time. They’ll simply head to the stop with the confidence that a bus will be there shortly.
Once on board, the new system will offer more direct routing options on major corridors, without confusing twists and turns into neighborhoods. This will create a quicker ride and an improved bus system.
The new bus network is designed to work as a system of connected routes. It will be easier to transfer between buses because they will run along major corridors at greater frequencies. Due to the frequency, patrons will spend less time waiting at a bus stop because the connecting route will be there in 15 minutes or less.
There’s a lot more to come from Cap Metro. But, for June 2018, you can absolutely look forward to a bus system that’s more frequent, more reliable, and better connected.
This content was written by this year’s Regional Growth Summit sponsor, Capital Metro. Created in 1985, Capital Metro is Austin’s regional public transportation provider that offers more than 30 million boardings each year.
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