Randy Clarke reflects on past year as president and CEO of Capital Metro

Capital Metro's MetroRail station in Leander

Capital Metro's MetroRail station in Leander

Image description
Randy Clarke’s inaugural year as president and CEO of Austin-area transit agency Capital Metro has been full of firsts. First pair of cowboy boots. First Texas summer.

“It’s been just an amazing experience,” he said. “The community has been beyond inviting, warm, welcoming and really engaged.”

Clarke started at Capital Metro in March 2018, after working as vice president of operations and member services for the American Public Transportation Association and deputy chief operating officer for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, according to Capital Metro’s website.

Clarke credits his team for Capital Metro’s accomplishments over the past year, including free fares for children and Cap Remap, an overhaul of the agency’s bus system. After Cap Remap, Capital Metro saw its ridership increase after years of decline.

“We still have a long way to go, we think we should be providing even more service,” Clarke said. “There’s no question that [Cap Remap] not only again provided more access—specifically for people that needed that access, low-income, minority populations in the city—but it provided a better connected city.”

Clarke named the development of outside partnerships, such as with the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, Austin ISD and Texas Department of Transportation, as another success of the past year.

“I think we’ve increased our partnership engagement significantly, [with] external partners,” he said.

Recently, Capital Metro opened a new Operations Control Center. Clarke said some of the next projects on the horizon include the groundbreaking of a new downtown Austin MetroRail station, a new fare system currently in-the-works, a new app and 52 new buses coming online this year.

“[How do we] every day think about delivering the best possible service to our customers?” Clarke said. “I think that’s what I really want to focus on, how do we constantly get better every day? … Secondarily, a big thing I’m focused on is Project Connect.”

Project Connect is a regional transit plan that started in 2013. Late last year, Capital Metro’s board approved a vision map highlighting corridors the agency will study to identify the best transit modes.
By Abby Bora
Abby Bora started at Community Impact Newspaper in May 2017. After working as a reporter, she became editor of the Cedar Park-Leander edition in October 2018. She covers Leander ISD and city government. Bora graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I. with a bachelor’s degree in media and communications studies.


The Central Texas Food Bank hosted a food distribution event in South Austin May 28. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Central Texas Food Bank serves 1,071 families at South Austin distribution event

The food bank created the emergency drive-up events to reach more individuals during the coronavirus pandemic.

Travis County continues to urge residents to follow social distancing guidelines when out in public. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis County officials: 20 new coronavirus hospitalizations per day would strain local hospital capacity

Dr. Mark Escott said new admissions per day is a key measure to determine if the county should be more or less restrictive in its guidance to residents and businesses.

A May 27 preliminary budget discussion showed Central Health expects to see a slow-down in property tax revenue growth in fiscal year 2020-21. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Early budget forecasts from Central Health show anticipated 'slow-down' in tax revenue collection

Preliminary budget forecasts from Central Health show the health care district anticipates a slow down in tax revenue collection growth.

A photo of red wine being poured
Hamilton Pool Vineyard & Farms now open in Southwest Austin

The vineyard will also eventually include a farm-to-table restaurant and wedding venue.

Outdoor venues in all Texas counties will be permitted to operate at up to 25% capacity starting May 31. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Spectators to be welcomed back to Texas outdoor sporting events May 31 at 25% of venue capacity

Venue owners must operate under guidelines that facilitate appropriate social distancing.

The new Summer Moon Coffee is located at 5701 W. Slaughter Lane, Ste. A170, Austin. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Summer Moon Coffee now open in Circle C Ranch

The newest Summer Moon Coffee location officially opened May 25.

Each eligible child will receive $285 in benefits. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Some Texas students eligible for one-time federal benefit to aid with food purchases

Texas received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide more than $1 billion in pandemic food benefits.

Zilker Theatre Productions announced May 28 that its summer musical, "Mamma Mia," has been postponed to 2021. (Courtesy Zilker Theatre Production)
Zilker Theatre Productions postpones summer musical to 2021

This will be the first time the free outdoor show in Zilker Park has not run since it began in 1959.

A photo of a man making a curbside purchase at Bikealot
South Austin bike shops connect with new cyclists during “no ordinary bike month”

Local bike shops have seen a swell of Austinites dusting off old bikes to get moving during the coronavirus pandemic.

A map of the Jester King Brewery property
Jester King Brewery to reopen with new, park-style amenities May 29

Following Gov. Greg Abbott's go-ahead for bars and breweries to reopen last week, Jester King is opening its property to guests.

A screen shot of Dr. Mark Escott speaking
Austin Public Health planning response in case of coronavirus hospitalization spike

As local health authorities monitor an upward trend in COVID-19 cases, they are bracing for a possible uptick in hospitalizations.

There have been 1,084 total coronavirus recoveries in Travis County as of May 27. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis County reports 73 new coronavirus cases May 27

There have been 1,084 total coronavirus recoveries in Travis County as well.