Transportation to be the focus of June 4 Engage Breakfast

A common complaint about Austin often centers around its traffic. On June 4, the Engage Breakfast series, organized by Leadership Austin, will address the topic and look at possible solutions to disperse some of the area's congestion.

Leadership Austin is a nonprofit focused on building community leadership.

Linda Watson, president and CEO of Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said the region's growth has compounded the transportation and traffic issue, and dealing with the problem requires unique solutions.

"We can squeeze out some capacity in our existing roadways, but it's not enough to make a huge difference, so we need other alternatives in addition to increasing capacity on roadways," Watson said.

The June panel includes Watson; Glenn Gadbois, executive director of Mobility Austin; and Mario Espinoza, deputy executive director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority.

Watson mentioned projects such as increasing capacity on the MetroRail Red Line, which extends from Leander to downtown Austin, and MetroRapid, a bus system that Watson said would have the timeliness of a train but service flexibility of a bus, as ways to help relieve some of the traffic pressure.

MetroRapid is expected to start service in 2014 on North Lamar Boulevard and South Congress Avenue as well as on Burnet Road and South Lamar.

The breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. and will be held in the Kodosky Lounge at The Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive. Tickets to the breakfast cost $25 with a discounted price available for Leadership Austin Alumni Association members.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.leadershipaustin.org/programs/engage/upcoming.



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