Capital Metro will break ground in July on the Westgate Transit Center in South Austin

Construction on the Westgate Transit Center began in July 2018.

Construction on the Westgate Transit Center began in July 2018.

A transit center in South Austin that would service an area where seven bus routes converge will break ground in July.

The Westgate Transit Center is proposed to be located below Ben White Boulevard between Pack Saddle Pass and Manchaca Road near the Westgate Shopping Center. The area behind the center is served by seven routes and sees about 1,000 daily riders, said Kenneth Cartwright, Capital Metro’s vice president of capital projects.

Capital Metro first identified the need for a South Austin Park & Ride several years ago initially as part of its Service Plan 2020 as well as in its Connections 2025 service plan update, now called Cap Remap, Cartwright said.

The regional transit agency was unable to negotiate a deal with the landlord of the Westgate Shopping Center, located at 4477 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin, to lease parking for a Park & Ride, Cartwright said. However, Capital Metro was able to secure an agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation in November 2015 to develop the project.

Capital Metro's board approved a construction contract for the project May 21 with G. Hyatt Construction Inc. for $3,237,382. Capital Metro allocated $2.6 million toward the project in fiscal year 2016-17, and the remainder of the funds will come from the FY 2017-18 budget.

Features of the transit center will include space for eight bus bays, including one for Capital MetroRapid Route 803 buses that run on South Lamar Boulevard, as well as 200 parking spots; accommodations for bicycles and motorcycles; and pedestrian connections to nearby neighborhoods.

The area was also identified as a future mobility hub in Connections 2025 and other futures that could be added in the future, at no cost to Capital Metro, could include BCycle bike sharing stations or car2go spots, said Ann Kitchen, the District 5 council member and member of Capital Metro’s board.

By Amy Denney

Managing Editor, Austin metro

Amy has worked for Community Impact Newspaper since September 2010, serving as reporter and senior editor for the Northwest Austin edition as well as covering transportation in the Austin metro. She is now managing editor for the 10 publications in the Central Texas area from Georgetown to New Braunfels. She enjoys spending time with her husband, son and two cats.