The City of Austin, Capital Metro, Lone Star Rail and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning organization came together to create Project Connect, a high-capacity transit system vision for Central Texas. Project Connect incorporates multiple modes of transportation including express lanes, bus rapid transit (BRT), urban rail, regional rail and commuter rail, in addition to existing local bus service to create a system that will help get Central Texas moving again. There are many projects that are part of the Project Connect Vision, all of which have unique timelines and goals to benefit all areas of our region, but one of the most active projects right now is called the Central Corridor High Capacity Transit Study.

The Project Connect: Central Corridor Study will define the next high-capacity transit investment for our community as the next step toward implementing the Project Connect vision. We are working to serve current and future transportation needs with convenient, reliable and affordable transit service that connects our region. The Central Corridor Study priority area includes East Riverside, downtown Austin, the Capitol Complex, UT Campus and ACC Highland area (click here to see a map of the priority area). 

As part of the study, the project team, with help from the community and the Central Corridor Advisory Group, has already identified the top two contenders for the type of transit (Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Urban Rail) as well as the level of service needed and general alignment through the priority area. We now need to select between BRT and Urban Rail, how the project would cross Lady Bird Lake, and how the project could cross the MetroRail Redline at Hancock Center?

We need you to help us answer these questions! Speak up now in the Project Connect: Central Corridor discussions about these alternatives, their trade-offs and what it could mean for a rapidly growing Austin. Let’s get moving!

Visit projectconnect.com for more information about the overall vision, and visit projectconnect.com/connect/central-corridor for more information about the Central Corridor Study.

3 Attachments

Attachment: Document - Central Corridor Study: Priority Area

Description:

The area prioritized for the next high-capacity transit investment in Austin includes downtown, the UT Campus, Capitol Complex, East Riverside and ACC Highland. This area was recommended and endorsed by the Austin City Council and Capital Metro Board in December 2013 and January 2014, respectively.

Attachment: Document - Preliminary Mode Alternative - Characteristics

Description:

This chart will help you understand more about the modes being considered for the next high-capacity transit investment in the Central Corridor.

Attachment: Document - Preliminary Alignment Alternatives

Description:

This map shows the preliminary alignment (route) alternatives through the Central Corridor Priority area.

The City of Austin, Capital Metro, Lone Star Rail and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning organization came together to create Project Connect, a high-capacity transit system vision for Central Texas. Project Connect incorporates multiple modes of transportation including express lanes, bus rapid transit (BRT), urban rail, regional rail and commuter rail, in addition to existing local bus service to create a system that will help get Central Texas moving again. There are many projects that are part of the Project Connect Vision, all of which have unique timelines and goals to benefit all areas of our region, but one of the most active projects right now is called the Central Corridor High Capacity Transit Study.

The urban rail project that staff presented as a recommendation to the Central Corridor Advisory Group (CCAG) includes construction of a new, signature bridge over Lady Bird Lake that would accommodate urban rail and could also feature bicycle and pedestrian pathways. Another proposed feature of the recommendation is a short tunnel near Hancock Center that would carry the urban rail under the Capital Metro Red Line tracks on the east end of Hancock Center near I-35. The tunnel is subject to further studies.

The urban rail system, which is expected to operate in mostly dedicated right-of-way (separated tracks from regular traffic flow), would run on a 10-15 minute service frequency with 16 stations along the entire 9.5 mile alignment. The urban rail line through downtown is estimated to carry an average of 16,000-20,000 people a day carrying more during special events and weekends. The recommended project will continue to be designed and reviewed through the National Environmental Policy Act environmental study process.

The recommendation has yet to be adopted and your comments will be incorporated into the larger discussion as the governing bodies, the advisory group, City Council and Capital Metro Board, plan to take action. Speak up now in the Project Connect: Central Corridor discussions (found at the bottom of this page) about these alternatives, their trade-offs and what it could mean for a rapidly growing Austin. Let’s get moving!

Visit projectconnect.com for more information about the overall vision, and visit projectconnect.com/connect/central-corridor for more information about the Central Corridor Study.