Capital Metro is expanding two of its original zones for the Pickup on-demand service due to increased interest.

Starting Aug. 16, Capital Metro announced in a press release that it expanded its Leander zone, which launched in 2019, to include the Hills at Leander senior apartments and the Southbrook apartments.

It also expanded in Northeast Austin, which the agency tested in 2017-18 before officially launching in 2019, to include the new pedestrian bridge over US 183, Harris Elementary School, The Jordan at Mueller and Leisure Time Village.

The Leander zone peaked at 1,371 monthly riders in February 2020 but fell precipitously at the outset of the pandemic to 328 riders in April 2020. Northeast Austin followed a similar trend, peaking at 2,768 riders in February 2020 and dropping off during the pandemic. Its lowest month since 2020 came in February 2021 at 941 riders. However, since March, the Leander zone has started to rebound to prepandemic levels, hitting over 1,000 riders in four out of five months. Northeast Austin’s rebound has been more sluggish, with monthly ridership sitting around 1,300 from March through July.

Pickup is an on-demand service for which riders can request a ride within specified zones via an app or by calling 512-369-6200. It costs $1.25 per ride. The Leander zone offers service weekdays from 6 a.m.-7 p.m., and service is available in the Northeast Austin zone weekdays from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

The two zones also will have Saturday service beginning Aug. 21, and that will run from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The expansion of Pickup in the two zones is a part of the $7.1 billion Project Connect program.