From the Northwest Austin Editor—December 2014

I was nervous the first time I rode Capital Metro's newest bus service, MetroRapid. I have ridden public transit in Chicago, New York City and even Sydney, Australia, but the thought of using my smartphone to purchase and swipe my ticket was unnerving. What if it didn't work? What if I held up the line? What if the driver didn't let me on?



I bought my ticket through Capital Metro's app and had it ready on my screen. The real-time display indicated a bus wasn't set to arrive for a few minutes, so I checked my email. When I switched back to the app my phone failed to connect to Capital Metro's free Wi-Fi service. My ticket didn't appear, I held up the line, but thankfully the bus driver—seeing my panic-stricken face—let me on.



Moments such as this are why many people are nervous about riding public transit. It does not always go smoothly, but in most cases it does. Organizations such as Capital Metro and Commute Solutions do not want fear to deter people from using transit for their commutes. They created programs and resources to put commuters at ease and teach them how to ride. An easy way to try out transit is on the weekend when you're not pressed for time. I explored these options and other technology available to aid residents in finding an alternative to driving alone to work during peak hours in my front-page story of this issue.



As 2014 winds down, our company is gearing up for our annual January Issue that explores highlights of 2014 and what is in stock for 2015. Have a safe and happy holiday season, and we'll see you in the new year.



Amy Denney, Editor, [email protected]

By Amy Denney

Managing Editor, Austin metro

Amy has worked for Community Impact Newspaper since September 2010, serving as reporter and later 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.



MOST RECENT

The city of Austin this summer cleared four unregulated homeless encampments and shifted dozens of residents into shelters. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plan to house thousands of Austin's homeless people taking shape, but outlook for local success, project funding still unclear

The strategy's first housing benchmark fell short in June, and updates on how the estimated $515 million needed for housing and services will be spent are overdue.

 Busy Nurse's Station In Modern Hospital
Williamson County seeking input on community health needs

The Williamson County and Cities Health District is holding two focus group sessions through September with the goal of collecting public feedback on community health needs throughout the county.

graphic
DATA: How population changed in Texas counties between census counts in 2010, 2020

Texas added nearly four million people between 2010 and 2020, according to the latest Census data.

Dream Bakery
Wells Branch cake expert Dream Bakery celebrates 5-year anniversary

Dream Bakery specializes in custom cakes and gluten free baked goods.

The widening project is on track to finish this fall and the bypass project by early next year. (Courtesy Texas Department of Transportation)
TxDOT projects near RM 2222 and RM 620 intersection approaching completion after delay

The southbound bypass lane connecting the two roads is on track to be complete later this fall, weather permitting. The northbound bypass lane opened over the summer.

Barkin' Creek Domain Northside
Barkin’ Creek sets up shop in Domain Northside

The dog spa and pet supply store offers bath and grooming services alongside its signature homemade dog food.

New homes in North Austin
Northwest Austin housing market continues to cool after early summer peak

The median price of homes in Northwest Austin dropped by more than 7% from its summer peak in June.

The Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission considered a finalized draft of an updated map for Austin's 10 City Council districts Sept. 15. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
UPDATED: Draft map of Austin's redrawn City Council boundaries ready for community review

Volunteer city redistricting commissioners have unanimously passed an initial outline to update all 10 City Council districts set to go into effect next year.

Photo of a sign in a field
3 weeks before first weekend, ACL Music Festival awaits permit, final health and safety procedures

Austin City Limits Music Festival has not yet received a permit for its multiweekend music festival, but the city of Austin said this is a normal timeline.

A Texas Education Agency Monitor has been installed at Round Rock ISD as part of a corrective action plan stemming from a complaint lodged against the board during the 2018-19 school year. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
TEA installs monitor for Round Rock ISD, citing 2019 complaint against former board president

A Texas Education Agency Monitor has been installed at Round Rock ISD as part of a corrective action plan stemming from a complaint lodged against the board during the 2018-19 school year. 

The Austin Transit Partnership approved a $312.8 million budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. (Benton Graham/Community Impact)
Project Connect’s $312.8M budget receives approval for FY 2021-22

The budget will largely be spent on advancing the 30% designs for the Orange and Blue MetroRail lines.

The Davis/White Park trail will be improved through the Neighborhood Partnering Program. (Courtesy Austin Public Works Department)
City of Austin selects 4 neighborhood improvement projects to assist

The Austin Public Works department has helped complete more than 70 local neighborhood improvement projects in the last 10 years.