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.”
By Christopher Neely
Christopher Neely is Community Impact's Austin City Hall reporter. A New Jersey native, Christopher moved to Austin in 2016 following years of community reporting along the Jersey Shore. His bylines have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, USA Today and several other local outlets along the east coast.


MOST RECENT

A pilot Austin Police Department cadet class is now set to commence in June under an updated training regimen and with additional city and community oversight on the APD academy's culture and curriculum. (John Cox/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Council votes to restart APD cadet training in June, with framework for ongoing reviews of pilot academy

The Austin Police Department's 144th cadet class will now kick off training next month, with continued oversight of APD's instruction and culture throughout the 34-week academy process.

Holland Photo Imaging celebrates 40 years in business this year. (Courtesy Holland Photo Imaging)
The latest business news in South Central Austin

1. Holland Photo Imaging, located at 2125 Goodrich Ave., Ste. A, Austin, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in the community this year. Founded in 1981 by Pete Holland, the business has been owned by residents Brian and Morgan Morrison since 2006. Holland Photo Imaging offers film processing, printing, framing, photo restoration and archiving services. 512-442-4274. www.hollandphoto.com

A sign advertises a property for rent in Austin on May 6. Local eviction orders remain in place through August 1 protecting most tenants from eviction. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Local eviction moratoriums remain in effect despite federal judge’s decision

The May 5 ruling from a U.S. District Court judge striking down a federal moratorium does not affect orders in place in Austin or Travis County.

Q2 Stadium in North Austin
U.S. women’s national soccer team to debut Q2 Stadium next month

The USWNT takes on the Nigerian national team at Q2 Stadium ahead of the summer Olympic Games.

Juneau was adopted at Austin Animal Center in November 2019. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Animal Center reaches critical capacity, opens doors to all adopters for first time since May 2020

Austin and Travis County’s animal shelter, Austin Animal Center, reached negative kennel space May 4, meaning there are more dogs than available kennels, according to a release from the city of Austin.

Residential appraisal valuations have been sent to Travis County property owners. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis Central Appraisal Districts says hot housing market is reflected in 2021 appraisals

Property owners have until May 17 to file a protest of their home's appraisal.

Photo of the exterior of La Barbecue
La Barbecue opens new space, plus six more new Austin restaurants

Downtown Italian and Greek eateries are among those joining the Austin restaurant scene this spring.

The Austin City Council is set to meet May 6 to go over a 70-item agenda. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Hall notebook: Votes on revamped APD cadet academy, possible shift in homeless strategy on tap May 6

Council may look to the possibility of establishing designated campgrounds for the Austin's homeless this spring, with a citywide public camping ban set to go into effect May 11.

Austin City Council will vote on whether to reboot the police department's training academy May 6. (Courtesy Austin Police Department)
Benchmarks for 'reimagined' APD cadet academy on track ahead of City Council commencement vote

Training of the Austin Police Department's 144th cadet class could get underway next month following an overhaul of the academy's instructional process and curriculum.

Ryan Companies will be building 350 homes near the Mueller control tower. (Rendering courtesy Lake Flato Architects)
Coming soon to Austin: Vaquero Taquero adding a downtown location, Komé opening at the airport, Mueller to add 350 homes and more

A new ice cream shop is also opening in East Austin and an apartment project is being built near House Park.

Photo of a gloved hand holding a vaccine vial with the words "vaccine news" superimposed
Austin-area health officials prep for vaccines to open to kids 12 and up

Austin-Travis County interim Health Authority Mark Escott said he expects the FDA to authorize Pfizer's vaccine for kids 12 and up within a week.