On Thursday, the Texas Transportation Committee awarded a $50 million grant for Capital Metro to expand Austin's MetroRail service.
The grant, Sen. Kirk Watson said in a statement, "will enable the agency to double the capacity of Austin's MetroRail commuter line." Capital Metro requested $50 million for new rail cars and a permanent downtown station.
With $28 million of the grant, four new cars will be purchased. The new cars will increase MetroRail's capacity to 4,800 passenger trips during peak weekday morning and afternoon travel times. (MetroRail currently provides more than 2,700 trips during these times.)
The remaining $22 million will be used to construct a new MetroRail Downtown Station. The station will include three tracks and two platforms meant to accommodate future system expansion and serve large crowds during special events. The station configuration, estimated to cost between $30 million and $35 million, will be partly funded by local partners.