Austin considers taking another shot at high capacity transit bond

Passengers arrive downtown off of a MetroRail red line train in Austin. City council is eyeing a possible bond in 2020 to build a high-capacity transit system.

Passengers arrive downtown off of a MetroRail red line train in Austin. City council is eyeing a possible bond in 2020 to build a high-capacity transit system.

Image description
Get to know city council districts
Image description
High-capacity transit focus
Bus or rail? It is a question council members say will be at the center of discussion throughout the next two years as City Council prepares to bring a bond for a high-capacity transit system—one that operates outside of traffic—to voters in November 2020.

“We have an urgent need for real choices in how we get around,” Kitchen said. “There’s no greater transformative change for Austin than creating a complete transportation system connected to high-capacity transit, and I’m committed to making that change.”

Kitchen and Adler said City Council will make decisions early in 2019 with implications for the 2020 bond. Those decisions include the city’s first strategic mobility plan, approval of a plan to spend $482 million in 2016 Mobility Bond funds on street corridors and approval of Capital Metro’s Project Connect, which will include a plan for a potential high-capacity transit system.

Kitchen said public outreach for the 2020 bond begins now, as a high-capacity transit system will need to be what the voters want so there is no repeat of the 2000 and 2014 rail bond rejections.

Adler said if all these pieces fall into place, then mobility in Austin “moves to an entirely different world.”

“We weren’t poised to do that one to two years ago, but now the pieces are in place,” Adler said. “If we don’t get this done now, then everyone should be voted out of office and never let back in again.”
SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

Pease Elementary School students walk out of class Nov. 18 ahead of an Austin ISD vote to close four elementary schools, including Pease. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
BREAKING: Austin ISD trustees vote to close four elementary schools

Austin ISD trustees on Nov. 18 to close three East Austin and one downtown campus for the 2020-21 school year in the process.

In 2013, a nearly 1-mile segment of the Red Line Trail opened in North Central Austin between the Crestview and Highland rail stations. (Peter McCrady/Community Impact Newspaper)
Capital Metro, city of Austin to partner with nonprofit to explore creating a Red Line rail trail plan

Capital Metro, city of Austin to partner with nonprofit to explore creating a Red Line rail trail plan

Courtesy The Brixton
The Brixton celebrates 10th anniversary

The Brixton, a dog-friendly bar at 1412 E. Sixth St., Austin, celebrated its 10th anniversary Nov. 13. Owners …

Quarters. Rendering courtesy McKinney York Architects
Co-living space Quarters coming to downtown Austin in 2021

Quarters will open its first co-living space in Austin in 2021 at 1108 Nueces St. The company currently …

Pease Elementary students, parents and teachers walked from their school on Nov. 18 to Austin City Hall to attend a press conference urging Austin ISD trustees to postpone a vote to close four public schools. Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper
Local community, political leaders urge Austin ISD board of trustees to slow down school closure process, delay vote

Austin ISD's board of trustees is scheduled to vote on a plan to close four elementary schools the evening of Nov. 18. Community advocates and political leaders want the board to slow the process down.

The Broadmoor Campus is proposed to have a new MetroRail station. (Rendering courtesy Brandywine Realty Trust)
City to work with Capital Metro on financing new Broadmoor and McKalla Place rail stations as development boom looms

Austin City Council expects the new Austin FC stadium and massive mixed-use development planned for McKalla Place and the Broadmoor Campus to result in heightened demand for public transit.

Ricardo Lowe, a research associate at the Institute of Urban Research Policy and Analysis at the University of Texas, asks a question at an Austin ISD community meeting Nov. 12 held at Eastside Memorial High School. Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper
As community engagement meetings wrap up, AISD trustees set to vote on four school closures Nov. 18

The AISD Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on four elementary school closures at its Nov. 18 meeting.

Austin's Rainey Street District has become one of the most popular entertainment districts in the city.
Rainey Street fund rises from ashes to preserve Mexican-American heritage in booming district

The Mexican-American heritage inside the Rainey Street District has been waning for years as development continues to heighten.

The Atlas 14 rainfall study found Austin to be at a much higher flood risk than previously understood.
Acknowledging expanded risk, Austin moves to prohibit additional density in city’s flood-prone areas

A recent federal flood risk study found Austin's flood risk to be significantly higher than previously understood.

The 10,000-seat Moody Center at The University of Texas is scheduled to open in 2022. (Rendering courtesy Gensler)
Groundbreaking for Moody Center at The University of Texas set for Dec. 3

The UT Board of Regents gave final approval Nov. 14 to a $38.5 million project to realign Red River Street around the new basketball arena.

The city of Austin authorized the purchase of a Rodeway Inn at 2711 S. I-35 on Nov. 14. The city plans to convert the property into a homeless shelter. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
City Council green lights $8 million Rodeway Inn plan for homeless shelter transition, vows to address crime in the area

South Austin neighbors raised concerns that criminal activity in the area will put homeless individuals who enter the shelter at risk.

Lady Bird Lake at Congress Avenue in Austin. Since late July, parts of the lake have been off limits due to high concentrations of toxic "blue-green" algae. (Courtesy Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune)
Toxic algae blooms are becoming more common, scientists say

Months have passed, but the capital city still has signs up warning of ongoing dangerous conditions in Lady Bird Lake.

Back to top