Officials discuss future of public transportation in Pflugerville

The current Capital Metro Pickup program covers 3.3 square miles in Pflugerville, mostly along the Pecan Street corridor. (Courtesy city of Pflugerville)
The current Capital Metro Pickup program covers 3.3 square miles in Pflugerville, mostly along the Pecan Street corridor. (Courtesy city of Pflugerville)

The current Capital Metro Pickup program covers 3.3 square miles in Pflugerville, mostly along the Pecan Street corridor. (Courtesy city of Pflugerville)

At a Jan. 25 meeting, Pflugerville City Council discussed what public transportation in Pflugerville will look like moving forward.

In March 2021, Capital Metro began a 12-month pilot of its on-demand Pickup program in Pflugerville, serving a 3.3-square-mile area of the city.

According to a city presentation, in the first nine months of the pilot, CapMetro provided an average of 392 rides per month through the program, peaking at 594 rides in December.

Of those rides, 19% were to and from the Tech Ridge stop, an access point for CapMetro's bus service.

When the Pickup pilot ends this March, the city will have several options for future public transportation. At the meeting, city staff outlined three options.


The first option staff presented is to renew the interlocal agreement with CapMetro and continue Pickup services for another year. The city would have the option to amend the agreement to add more vehicles or expand the program's service area.

The second is to establish a ride share voucher program with Uber similar to the city of Kyle's. Under such a program, the city would cover a portion of all Uber ride fares as long as they begin and end within Pflugerville city limits.

The final option staff presented is to expand the city's agreement with Senior Access, a nonprofit that already provides senior transportation services to Pflugerville and other nearby cities.

City staff recommended extending the CapMetro Pickup program until the end of the fiscal year in September while council considers options to avoid a gap in service. The details of the program, including the 3.3-square-mile service area and the $1.25 fare, would remain unchanged during the six-month extension.

Regarding cost to the city, the Uber and Senior Access programs would have lower baseline costs, but the CapMetro program qualifies for funding from the Federal Transit Authority. Mayor Pro Tem Doug Weiss said council's priority should be balancing costs with quality and equity of service.

"I want to make sure no matter what option we go with, we're not diminishing quality of service," Weiss said.

Council will continue discussions on public transportation with the goal of coming to a decision before the end of the fiscal year.
By Carson Ganong

Reporter, Pflugerville/Hutto

Carson became the reporter for the Pflugerville-Hutto edition of Community Impact Newspaper in August 2021. Before joining CI, Carson studied journalism at Texas State University, where he covered San Marcos as a reporter for Texas State's student newspaper, The University Star.