In June, Capital Metro closed its downtown rail station adjacent to the Austin Convention Center to allow for the start of construction on a new station. Crews have been building a temporary station east of the downtown station.
With the return of downtown rail and service to Leander, Capital Metro announced Oct. 28 it will expand service to Leander from downtown Austin by adding two midday trips as well as an evening trip.
Capital Metro also plans to resume Saturday rail service in early 2020 and add service to Leander Station as approved by the board Oct. 28. Saturday rail service halted earlier in 2019 for the implementation of Positive Train Control, which is a federally mandated safety upgrade.
Previously, Saturday rail service began and ended at Lakeline Station in Northwest Austin.
Opening the temporary downtown station will allow Capital Metro to resume service beyond the Plaza Saltillo station. The agency has been using shuttle buses to transport riders between Plaza Saltillo and downtown and also added MetroExpress commuter bus routes. In January, the added Express service on Saturdays will end with the return of MetroRail service.
The transit agency began construction on the new $38.86 million station in April, and it is slated to open in spring 2021. Features of the new station include three train platforms, a public plaza and canopies over the platforms.
Additionally, opening the new station will allow Capital Metro to increase the frequency of MetroRail to every 15 minutes.