Transportation

Traffic, public transit, congestion, road construction and closures, I-35, MoPac, US 290, US 183, Ben White Blvd, and policy and planning issues related to transportation and mobility in Austin and the Central Texas counties of Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson.

Traffic on the double-decker portion of I-35 through downtown Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Texas Transportation Commission on Thursday voted to adopt a goal of reducing traffic fatalities on the state's roadways by half by the year 2035 — and reducing them to zero by the year 2050. 

Julia Reihs / KUT

The City of Austin has the resources to build out only 3% of its missing sidewalks, according to a new city audit.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The City of Austin has firmed up rules of the road for people riding rentable, dockless e-scooters. The city council unanimously approved the rules Thursday.

Gabriel C. Pérez

Austin Mayor Steve Adler wants you to know something.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

Texas lawmakers have approved a repeal of the state’s Driver Responsibility Program, which suspends the licenses of drivers who haven't paid surcharges associated with traffic tickets. 

Texas Department of Transportation

Last week, the Austin City Council voted to back the Green New Deal, a national plan to tackle climate change that would overhaul the U.S. economy and energy sector. It was a big gesture from a city that prides itself on its environmental leadership. But, critics say, that gesture was undercut by a vote some local leaders took earlier that week – one that would drastically expand Interstate 35.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Nearly 200 people were injured because of rentable scooters between Sept. 5 and Nov. 30 last year, according to a first-of-its-kind study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Austin Public Health Department.

During that time, there were about 940,000 rides taken in Austin overall, according to the Austin Transportation Department. That results in a ratio of 20 injuries per 100,000 rides.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

At least one person has died on Texas roads every day since Nov. 7, 2000. Despite efforts to “End the Streak,” as the Texas Department of Transportation puts it, the state still leads the nation in traffic deaths.

Fatalities did fall about 2% between 2016 and 2017, but more than 3,700 people died in 2017.

Mose Buchele / KUT

Capital Metro took a step Monday toward electrifying its bus fleet with the announcement of the location of a new bus-charging facility under construction in North Austin.

Julia Reihs / KUT

The Austin Transportation Department will roll out bus- and bike-minded improvements on Lavaca and Guadalupe streets, with construction starting next month.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin City Council has adopted a long-term transportation plan – its first since 1995. It's a 337-page document, so there's a lot to unpack.

The Austin Strategic Mobility Plan is meant to cement how Austin's streets are designed and how both cars and buses and pedestrians (and scooters and maybe automated cars) occupy them.

Reconnect Austin

"Cut and cap" – the idea of burying I-35 in the downtown corridor and paving over that chasm to create greenspaces or mixed-use development – is no longer in the rearview mirror.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Rentable scooter riders on the 40 Acres will now no longer be able to ride faster than 8 mph, according to UT Austin.

The university said Bird, Jump, Lyft and Lime's e-scooters will have speed restrictions on the lion's share of UT's campus starting tomorrow. The decision comes at the suggestion of a campus safety group and was done in cooperation with the providers, UT said.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Note: This story includes raw data from the Austin Transportation Department. Official data would not have included trips of under a 10th of a mile or over 500 miles. 

Dockless scooters were the headliner in their first year at SXSW.

City data show the scooters outpaced rentable dockless bikes over the festival, accounting for nearly 434,000 rides over the 10 days of SXSW – 12.3 percent of the 3.5 million scooter rides since the scooters descended upon Austin last April.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Everyone knows traffic in Austin is bad, and it’s hard to find worse traffic than downtown during South by Southwest. So if you’re going downtown, what’s the best way to get around? KUT asked three people to find out in a race through the thick of the festival.

Drivers spent more time in traffic in Austin than in any other Texas city, according to new research from transportation data firm INRIX.

Austin ranked 14th overall in INRIX's yearly traffic analysis of the most congested cities in the U.S. and 84th in its worldwide rankings.

Travelers flying out of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport tried to bring 93 guns onto flights in 2018, according to the Transportation Security Administration's annual tally.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A crash last week killed a 21-year-old scooter rider, the Austin Police Department says. The department says it's the first death related to a rented scooter in Austin.

Julia Reihs / KUT

After years of declines in ridership, Capital Metro's ridership increased in 2018. The boost comes in a year that saw the transit operator's largest overhaul of its bus system, known as Cap Remap, which affected more than half its lines.

Overall, Cap Metro's ridership went up 5.4 percent in December 2018 compared to the previous year, with its largest individual ridership gains on its MetroRapid lines, 801 and 803.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

Like a mirage on a sun-beaten West Texas highway, the future of autonomous vehicles in Texas isn't altogether clear. A new state effort hopes to remedy that.  

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Sixty-two-year-old Joe Paschall was walking near Burnet Road and Koenig Lane last November when he almost tripped over a dockless scooter.

“I was able to catch myself, but I had no idea that it was there," he said.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Every weekday, hundreds of thousands of commuters flood Austin-area roads and highways with more traffic than they’re designed to handle. Some commutes are worse than others, depending on the time and where a driver is heading.

OjO Electric

Another dockless scooter company plans to enter the market in Austin – but its users will get to sit down.

OjO Electric, LLC, a California-based company, is launching the first sit-down electric scooter rideshare in the capital. One hundred scooters are expected to hit city streets by Feb. 1 and grow to 250 later in the spring.

Emree Weaver for KUT

Joe Cardillo was riding a Lime scooter home from work last month when it just stopped and he fell off.

"I landed on my knees and kind of fell forward and scraped up my hands," the 24-year-old East Austin resident said. "Then [I] kind of rolled and then fell into the street on Riverside."

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

In Austin, and elsewhere, 2018 was the year of the scooter. Love them or hate them, they're all over the city's streets (and sidewalks) and they're here to stay – at least for now.

Now, a snapshot from the city gives more insight into where users rode scooters in 2018.

A Capital Metro bus in a dedicated bus lane in Austin.
Spencer Selvidge for KUT

In a 6-0 vote, Austin's transit agency advanced its vision for getting a rapidly growing population around town as fast and easy as possible. But there are several more hoops for the Project Connect plan to jump through before you'll actually see it go into effect.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The city says it's working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study dockless scooter-related injuries and incidents in Austin – a first for the nation's public health institute.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin is ordering dockless scooter operator Lime to pull 1,000 scooters from its fleet after the city alleges Lime violated its agreement with the city.

A memo from the Austin Transportation Department says it ordered Lime to cut its 5,000-scooter fleet by a fifth on Tuesday. ATD Director Rob Spillar said Lime violated the terms of the city's agreement by rolling out more than 500 scooters in the downtown area.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin trail-goers may encounter more electric scooters starting next month.

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is launching a pilot program that will allow the e-scooters and e-bikes to ride on certain trails to better determine how riders can share trails with runners and cyclists in the future.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Dockless electric scooters have been for rent on Austin streets legally since May. Love them or hate them, they present some interesting legal questions for city officials, police and insurance companies.


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