Westgate Park & Ride secures funding approval

A Capital Metro Park & Ride facility could be coming to the West Gate area in Southwest Austin.

A Capital Metro Park & Ride facility could be coming to the West Gate area in Southwest Austin.

West Gate Park & Ride secures funding approvalFunding has been secured for the proposed Westgate Park & Ride—a facility where drivers could park their cars and utilize public transit options, such as Capital Metro’s MetroRapid buses—but the project is not ready to move forward yet, according to Capital Metro spokesperson Amy Peck.

As part of its fiscal year 2016-17 budget—along with increased service, new buses and longer service hours—the Capital Metro board of directors approved an allocation of $2.6 million for the Park & Ride in September. The project would cost an estimated total of $3.7 million, Peck said. The fiscal year 2017-18 budget will include the remaining $1.1 million, Peck said.

The agency’s $248.3 million operating budget also called for spending $15.9 million on interlocal agreements with other jurisdictions for transit.

park-and-ridePlans for a Park & Ride

Construction could begin in spring on the project, which would be located beneath Ben White Boulevard, pending final design for the project.

Capital Metro’s board approved an agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation in November 2015 to have staff work with the state agency to develop plans for the facility. Capital Metro is still working with TxDOT on the project and is about 30 percent done with the design, Peck said.

The idea for a new Park & Ride facility dates back to the establishment of the MetroRapid routes, when several Capital Metro bus routes were using an on-street location for customers to make connections between routes, Peck said. Capital Metro approached TxDOT to discuss the feasibility of a Park & Ride concept.

In a statement, TxDOT said: “We recognize this is an opportunity to assist a transportation partner and make good use of public space.”

The design for the project is in the hands of Capital Metro, according to TxDOT, which is performing regular reviews of the plans that Capital Metro submits.

Capital Metro would fund the project and ask area businesses and residents for input before and during construction of the Park & Ride, which could open in 2018, Peck said.

Most of Capital Metro’s revenue comes from city of Austin sales tax. Tax collections for FY 2016-17 are expected to total about $231 million.

For more information, visit www.capmetro.org/transparency.
Amy Denney contributed reporting to this story.