Capital Metro is launching a new Express bus route that will operate between Round Rock, North Austin and downtown Austin via the new MoPac express toll lanes.
Route 980 starts service Nov. 13 and will have 11 trips in the morning and 11 trips in the evening. Only two of those 11 trips will begin or end at the Round Rock Transit Center at 300 W. Bagdad Ave., Round Rock.
It is the first Express bus route that will operate on the new toll lanes since they fully opened in October. Other Capital Metro Express bus routes that currently operate in Leander and Northwest Austin along US 183 and MoPac will reroute to the new express toll lanes in January.
The new route will use the MoPac express lanes for free thanks to a partnership with the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority. The cost for a trip on Route 980 is $3.50 for a single ride or $7 for a day pass.
“We built Express Lanes on MoPac to move more people through the region and we are thrilled that the addition of the MetroExpress routes will help that to become a reality,” said Jeff Dailey, deputy executive director of the Mobility Authority in a news release.
Capital Metro’s trip planner shows two Route 980 morning trips begin in Round Rock at 5:44 a.m. and 6:46 a.m. and arrive at Lavaca and Seventh streets at 6:32 a.m. and 7:05 a.m., respectively. The trips would take an hour to arrive at the terminus at Dean Keeton Street and Speedway.
The northbound trips in the evening would depart from Dean Keeton and Speedway at 4:10 and 5:15 p.m. and arrive in Round Rock at 5:10 and 6:15 p.m., respectively.
Stops in downtown Austin are located along Cesar Chavez, Guadalupe and Dean Keeton streets.
Route 980 will be the fourth bus route to operate in Round Rock. The city and Capital Metro launched three other routes in August that serve Round Rock and connect to the Tech Ridge Park & Ride or the Howard MetroRail station.
Trips depart the New Life Church Park & Ride in the morning between 6 and 9:15 a.m. and arrive back in the evening between 3:48 and 7:29 p.m.