Randy Clarke reflects on past year as president and CEO of Capital Metro

Capital Metro's MetroRail station in Leander

Capital Metro's MetroRail station in Leander

Image description
Randy Clarke’s inaugural year as president and CEO of Austin-area transit agency Capital Metro has been full of firsts. First pair of cowboy boots. First Texas summer.

“It’s been just an amazing experience,” he said. “The community has been beyond inviting, warm, welcoming and really engaged.”

Clarke started at Capital Metro in March 2018, after working as vice president of operations and member services for the American Public Transportation Association and deputy chief operating officer for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, according to Capital Metro’s website.

Clarke credits his team for Capital Metro’s accomplishments over the past year, including free fares for children and Cap Remap, an overhaul of the agency’s bus system. After Cap Remap, Capital Metro saw its ridership increase after years of decline.

“We still have a long way to go, we think we should be providing even more service,” Clarke said. “There’s no question that [Cap Remap] not only again provided more access—specifically for people that needed that access, low-income, minority populations in the city—but it provided a better connected city.”

Clarke named the development of outside partnerships, such as with the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, Austin ISD and Texas Department of Transportation, as another success of the past year.

“I think we’ve increased our partnership engagement significantly, [with] external partners,” he said.

Recently, Capital Metro opened a new Operations Control Center. Clarke said some of the next projects on the horizon include the groundbreaking of a new downtown Austin MetroRail station, a new fare system currently in-the-works, a new app and 52 new buses coming online this year.

“[How do we] every day think about delivering the best possible service to our customers?” Clarke said. “I think that’s what I really want to focus on, how do we constantly get better every day? … Secondarily, a big thing I’m focused on is Project Connect.”

Project Connect is a regional transit plan that started in 2013. Late last year, Capital Metro’s board approved a vision map highlighting corridors the agency will study to identify the best transit modes.


The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority has named a new executive director. (Courtesy Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority)
James Bass named executive director of Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority

Bass, the former executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation, replaces Mike Heiligenstein, who stepped aside Jan. 24.

A nearly five-year project to improve I-35 in the area of William Cannon Drive and Stassney Lane is set to finish in mid-2021. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
I-35 news to follow in '21: Work finishing in South Austin, input to be gathered for managed lane projects

While one project in South Austin approaches its final months, the Texas Department of Transportation is gathering input for projects to add nontolled lanes to I-35 over the next several years.

The Texas Legislature is responsible for drawing lines for new state and federal districts. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Redistricting process affecting every level of government gets underway in 2021

The state's process is largely a political one, while the city's process is left to an independent commission.

Photo of the Travis County sign
Travis County votes to accept application for Silicon Silver development incentives agreement

The company behind the project will be named once it submits an application and pays a $150,000 fee—the same as Tesla paid to apply for its hefty 2020 agreement.

Previous headliners included Cody Johnson, Turnpike Troubadours, Aaron Watson and Mark Chestnutt, among others. (Courtesy KOKEFest)
KOKEFest releases dates in Hutto; Marisol's Mexican Grill taking orders in Georgetown and more area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Alder could open its first units in Southwest Austin this fall. (Rendering courtesy Brandon Miller Group)
New Austin townhome community breaks ground in Oak Hill

Alder could open its first units in Southwest Austin this fall.

See how Southwest Austin's real estate market performed in 2020 compared to 2019. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Those who sold their homes in Southwest Austin in December made $91,000 more per sale than in 2019

See how Southwest Austin's real estate market performed in 2020 compared to 2019.

The school at the end of Sawyer Ranch Road is currently under construction. (Courtesy Dripping Springs ISD)
Dripping Springs ISD's newest school to be called Cypress Springs Elementary, helmed by Principal Kellie Raymond

Cypress Springs Elementary School is named for a group of springs near the district.

Austin ISD reported its highest number of COVID-19 cases the week of Jan. 4, but that number has decreased for two consecutive weeks, according to the district. (Courtesy Austin ISD)
Austin ISD sees 70% drop in on-campus students over past 2 weeks after district asks families to stay home

The district saw a 11,839-student decline in on-campus learning as AISD families opted for online learning from Jan. 12-22.

City officials are facing growing pressure to address the growing visibility of homelessness in Austin. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
Sanctioned homeless camp proposal gains attention from Austin leaders as pressure mounts

Mayor Steve Adler said the urgent need for shelter space and housing could overrule initial objections to sanctioned homeless encampments.

See how COVID-19 continues to impact Travis County. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Despite drop in hospital admissions, Travis County adds 4,039 new COVID-19 cases over past 7 days

Overall, Travis County has reported 65,507 confirmed COVID-19 cases.