On June 3rd, our city’s public transportation provider (Capital Metro) rolled out the biggest changes that have ever been made to our city’s bus network. These includes 10 new bus routes and eight new high-frequency bus routes (with buses coming every 15 minutes or faster).
And to get you used to the new system, Cap Metro is offering FREE rides from June 3rd to June 9th.
Why make such major changes?
The goal with this overhaul (dubbed Cap Remap) is simple – to increase bus ridership. Despite the fact that Austin’s population is growing rapidly, bus ridership has actually been declining in recent years.
In light of Austin’s growing traffic problems and desire to reduce emissions from our city’s transportation sector (which account for a third of Austin’s greenhouse gas emissions), a lot of focus has been placed on making our city’s bus service more attractive to more people.
But the new bus services won’t help everyone. In an effort to more efficiently utilize its resources and boost ridership, Cap Metro decided to close some bus routes and focus more of its money on increasing frequency along other routes with the potential for more ridership. This has caused a lot of controversy over the merits of trying to attract new riders (who perhaps don’t need to use public transportation, but in doing so could help to address our region’s traffic and environmental problems) versus serving Cap Metro’s current riders.
However, according to Cap Metro only two bus routes have been completely eliminated (without a nearby replacement).
You can explore the new Cap Metro bus system, discover new routes, figure out if your neighborhood bus route has been closed, and plan your next public transportation trip here. Now is the time to try!