Already the 11th largest city in the country, Austin is adding about 4,500 more people each month and is expected to double its population by 2040. And with all those residents come their cars — about 155 are joining the ATX roads each week.
What's an already congested road system to do? Improve its public transportation, of course.
Project Connect's new transit plan includes a new rail system; new MetroRapid bus routes and vehicles; the transition to a zero-emissions, all-electric fleet; a downtown transit tunnel that makes everyone's trip faster (whether you're on the train or in your car); and much more.
It will connect the entire city, bring — and attract — opportunities to the area, improve the environment, and get Austin moving forward again.
Here's a look at what Project Connect could do for Austin and its residents:
Millions of people — from Leander to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Oak Hill to Colony Park — would enjoy expanded and improved services. A new rail system would connect Austin's north, south, and east neighborhoods, moving everyone more reliably in a faster, safer way. That's nearly 36 miles and more than 40 stations, including a downtown transit tunnel designed to ensure street-level traffic moves without interruption.
Capital Metro's current fleet is transitioning to all-electric with zero emissions. This majorly cuts down on greenhouse gases, improves air quality, and reduces strain on Austin's ecological environment. The addition of 24 new Park & Ride hubs would also help clear the streets of single-occupant vehicles while improving the overall travel experience for riders.
Even if you don't personally use public transportation, we all need it. Major cities experiencing growth and affordability issues — think Seattle, Montreal, Denver, Boston, Seattle, New York City, and Los Angeles — depend on rail to serve as an equitable transit option. The Project Connect plan also includes anti-displacement strategies to ensure residents and local businesses are taken care of. Investing in transit helps protect what everyone loves about Central Texas and improves quality of life now and into the future.
Stay informed about Capital Metro's Project Connect by visiting its website, which lists upcoming meetings and announcements regarding the plan's future.