Major overhaul of Capital Metro bus system approved, changes to take place next June


Capital Metro’s board of directors approved Nov. 15 its largest system overhaul, affecting more than half of its 82 bus routes starting next June.

The June service changes—which came over as part of the transit agency’s Connections 2025 plan approved in February—include increasing bus frequency to every 15 minutes on 10 routes, modifying 20 routes, eliminating 13 routes and adding 10 new routes.

The vote was not unanimous, however, as two board members representing East Austin—Delia Garza, District 2 Austin City Council Member, and Jeff Travillion, Travis County Precinct 1 commissioner—voted against the plan.

“I’ve gone from yes to no several times in the last 24 hours,” Garza said. “I think this is good for the system, but it’s very difficult for me to vote yes on this when I felt there were flaws in the public input process.”

Travillion said he was concerned about how the plan will affect residents displaced from the core of Austin who will no longer have access to service.

Many residents who attended the Nov. 15 board meeting said changes would negatively affect residents who do not have any other means of transportation.

Other residents said they support the changes, especially increasing access to Capital Metro service with increased bus frequency.

“Riders will feel more valued because they don’t have to plan their day around a bus that comes every 40 minutes or hour,” said Jennifer McPhail, who is a representative of Adapt of Texas, an advocacy group for residents with disabilities.

Capital Metro still plans to have outreach opportunities to let the community know about the approved route changes. This will now include meeting with residents in areas where bus service will be eliminated, including along Exposition Boulevard and in East Austin.

Under the original proposal, 36 riders of MetroAccess, the agency’s paratransit service, would lose service because they would no longer live within 3/4 of a mile of Capital Metro’s fixed route service. The board also approved an amendment to the changes that would grandfather in these riders, and staffers will analyze MetroAccess use, ridership, alternatives and costs to offering different service. It would cost between $200,000 and $300,000 to retain service.

“I just don’t think [eliminating their service]is appropriate as a policy matter I think we need to continue their service,” said Austin City Council Member Ann Kitchen, who proposed the amendment.

Eliminated routes

  • Route 21/22: Exposition
    Will be served by routes 17, 18, 322, 335 and 663
  • Route 100: MetroAirport
    Will be served by frequent Route 20
  • Rouet 110: South Central Flyer
    Will be served by frequent Route 10
  • Route 122: Four Points Limited
    No alternative service
  • Route 127: Dove Springs Flyer
    Will be served by frequent Route 7
  • Route 240: Rutland
    Will be served by frequent routes 325, 801 and 803
  • Route 275: North Lamar Feeder
    Will be served by Route 1
  • Route 320: St. Johns
    Will be served by routes 322 and 337
  • Route 331: Oltorf
    Will be served by Route 228 and frequent Route 300
  • Route 338: Lamar/45th
    Will be served by routes 5, 345 and 803
  • Route 464: MLK/Capitol
    Will be served by frequent Route 18
  • Route 653: Red River/UT
    Will be served by frequent Route 10
  • Route 970: AMD/Lantana Campus
    No alternative service

New bus routes include:

  • Route 105: South 5th Flyer, weekdays during peaks hours every 30 or 60 minutes
  • Route 310: Parker/Wickersham, daily every 30 minutes
  • Route 315: Ben White, daily every 30 minutes
  • Route 324: Georgian/Ohlen, daily every 30 minutes
  • Route 335: 35th/38th, daily every 15-30 minutes
  • Route 339: Tuscany Way, daily every 60 minutes
  • Route 345: 45th, daily every 30 minutes

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Amy Denney
Amy has been reporting in community journalism since 2007. She worked in the Chicago suburbs for three years before migrating south and joined Community Impact Newspaper in September 2010. Amy has been editor of the Northwest Austin publication since August 2012 and she is also the transportation beat reporter for the Austin area.
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