Samuel King | KUT

Transportation Reporter

Samuel comes to Austin from Kansas City, where he covered Missouri state politics for member station KCUR. Before that, he spent 14 years in television news in markets like Minneapolis, New York City and Tyler, Texas. Samuel has frequently covered transportation and mobility issues in cities large and small. He has won Associated Press awards for spot news coverage and investigative reporting.

A native of Queens, New York, Samuel also spent time growing up in Alabama. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University.

Ways to Connect

A heart with "ATX" inside on the Fairmont Hotel
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Stay-at-home orders are expected to be issued in the City of Austin, Travis County and Williamson County on Tuesday in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said. The orders would require all nonessential businesses to have employees work from home and further restrict other gatherings.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Capital Metro will be running fewer buses and trains on many routes starting Wednesday and is developing financial contingency plans in response to COVID-19. To protect drivers, Cap Metro is also asking passengers to enter buses through the rear door, unless they’re paying with cash or need the ramp.

Gov. Greg Abbott, seen here at a press conference last year, says there will be an exponential increase in the number of people who test positive for COVID-19.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Texans should prepare for an exponential increase in the number of people who test positive for COVID-19, Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday. 

City Council members and the Capital Metro Board of Directors meet discuss how to pay for plans to expand transit in the city.
Julia Reihs / KUT

Now that Capital Metro has revealed its preferred plan to expand transit in Austin, the question becomes how to pay for it. The Capital Metro board and Austin City Council tackled that question Monday during a joint work session.

An artist's rendering of a light-rail station platform.
Capital Metro

Capital Metro is going big when it comes to transit expansion in Austin. On Monday, its Project Connect team will not only recommend the construction of two light rail lines, but also a downtown tunnel to help them move along faster.

Bernie Sanders supporters watch election returns at a party at Central Machine Works on Tuesday.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

After a tight race with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden is projected to win the Democratic presidential primary in Texas. The win carries 228 delegates.

A Capital Metro bus
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A tentative labor deal has been reached between the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1091 and MV Transportation, which handles bus operations and maintenance services for Capital Metro.

A construction crew works on the site of the future Capital Metro downtown station.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The construction site for the new downtown station for Capital Metro's Red Line sits in a busy area near the intersection of Fourth Street and Red River Street, close to the Austin Convention Center.

That area is going to get even busier in a few weeks, when South by Southwest kicks off March 13.

A road sign says: "You're not a candle...Don't drive lit."
Photo: Gabriel C. Pérez/Illustration: Matt Largey / KUT

Traffic is one constant of life in Austin. But every so often, there’s something that breaks the monotony of brake lights: a sign reminding you that "You’re not a candle, so don’t drive lit" or "Designate a driver BE-VO the game."

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is set to recommend a number of rules regarding scooters on Austin’s trail system, such as speed limits and geofencing to keep scooters off of the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail.

Pedestrians cross the street in downtown Austin.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A local transportation group hopes a first-of-its-kind study encourages fewer employees to drive alone to work in downtown Austin.

A biker rides in a bike lane down Guadalupe Street.
Julia Reihs / KUT

For years, the City of Austin often waited for complaints before ticketing drivers who parked in bike lanes. Now, that policy is changing: The Austin Transportation Department said Tuesday it plans to increase staffing to eventually dedicate two officers per shift to actively enforce the rules.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

As leaders consider how to fund an expansion of Austin's transit system, they've determined borrowing money through bonds may not be enough. So they're considering whether to ask voters to increase taxes to help pay for it.

Vehicles drive over the railroad crossing in the Rosewood neighborhood of East Austin.
Julia Reihs / KUT

The Austin Transportation Department has identified several railroad crossings in need of safety improvements for cyclists and pedestrians. The findings come after a citywide review requested by the City Council in September based on recommendations from the city’s Pedestrian Advisory Council and Bicycle Advisory Council.

A red-painted "contraflow" lane on Guadalupe.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

It’s been a few months since buses started going against the flow of traffic on a small stretch of Guadalupe Street near UT Austin. The lane the buses use is painted red to denote that it’s off-limits to cars. Painting the lane require federal approval – and it wasn’t easy to get.

Folks hold shovels at a groundbreaking for a new bypass road.
TxDOT

The Four Points intersection at RM 620 and RM 2222 in western Travis County has been a source of growing frustration for drivers over the years.

A truck and a sign for State Loop 275.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin City Council voted Thursday to begin the process of possibly taking over portions of some of the city’s most prominent roads that are currently controlled by the Texas Department of Transportation. The move could make it easier to make infrastructure and transit improvements, by removing a step in the process.

Cars and scooters on Rainey Street
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Beginning Thursday night, Rainey Street will close to vehicle traffic three nights a week as part of a pilot program to ease congestion.

Traffic on South Congress
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The City of Austin is examining ways to make parking in the South Congress area less of a mess.

“It doesn’t work well for the residents, it doesn’t work well for the business owners and their employees and also can be hard to find for visitors heading to the South Congress district,” Anna Martin, consulting engineer with the Austin Transportation Department, said.

Traffic on MoPac
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Millions of Texans are expected to either fly or drive to their holiday destinations this year. Here are some ways to avoid headaches or at least make things easier: 

People walk down Rainey Street
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

On weekend nights, Rainey Street can be crowded with cars, scooters and pedestrians. Pretty soon, only one of those groups will be allowed on the street.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Capital Metro isn't yet sure whether to favor light rail or rapid bus service as it expands its network, but an analysis shows adding trains would cost more, while buses would move fewer people.

Julia Reihs / KUT

It wasn’t that long ago that there was no regular transatlantic non-stop service from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport; there will soon be five destinations.

The latest one is Paris. 

Courtesy of TxDOT

Austin could be getting its first HOV lanes.

Spencer Selvidge / KUT

Austin’s regional transit agency, Capital Metro, is taking feedback from the public on a plan to add up to five new rapid bus lines.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The cost of parking in a metered, on-street space in Austin is going up. Beginning Monday, Oct. 14, the standard meter rate around Austin will be $2 per hour.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUTX

For the next two weekends, the annual Austin City Limits festival will bring thousands of people to Zilker Park. By planning ahead, getting to and from the park – or avoiding it altogether – can be much less stressful.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

The Austin Municipal Court is hosting one last driver’s license recovery clinic Friday to help residents who have lost their licenses for failure to pay Department of Public Safety surcharges.

Courtesy of Ford Motor Co.

Austin will become Ford’s third market to test self-driving vehicles, the company announced Wednesday. The company cited the region’s fast growth and history of innovation as reasons for choosing Austin.

A MetroRapid bus
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The daily commute has become a bit crowded for some riders on Capital Metro’s MetroRapid buses. They report severe overcrowding at some points, with buses even passing stops because they’re too full to pick up any more passengers.

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