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.

A red bus-only contraflow lane
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Capital Metro and the City of Austin are putting the finishing touches on improvements to the Lavaca Street and Guadalupe Street corridors, designed to reduce transit delays and ease congestion. The changes are highlighted by a new bright-red, bus-only contraflow lane on Guadalupe between 18th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2019-2020 includes more than $500 million for transportation-related items, including projects aimed at improving infrastructure and reducing congestion.

Courtesy of ABIA

Travelers at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport have a new way to get from the Barbara Jordan Terminal to pick up rental cars or catch a rideshare: a driverless shuttle.

MoPac
Luis Perales for KUT

Traffic is a constant on highways in Austin, no matter what side of town you live on. But there’s one thing that isn’t a constant on those highways: billboards. Some, like I-35 are littered with them. Others, like MoPac, have none. For some drivers, that absence is noticeable. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A new weekend, but it’s the same old road construction in North Austin. From this Friday at 9 p.m. through Monday at 5 a.m, southbound U.S. 183 will be closed at I-35 as crews will set large steel beams for a new flyover in the area.

Luis Perales for KUT

Drivers on the MoPac express lanes may get where they’re going a little faster with new speed limits. The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority board voted yesterday to raise the top speed from 65 to 70 mph on its express lanes. The board also raised minimum speed limits on the variable toll lanes to 55 mph.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

If it’s a weekend, it likely means drivers in North Austin have to navigate around road construction. This time, it's a closure of northbound U.S. 183 at I-35 from Friday at 9 p.m. through Monday at 5 a.m.

Capital Metro CEO Randy Clarke
Michael Minasi for KUT

Capital Metro CEO Randy Clarke said Wednesday an increase in ridership in the system is a sign its Cap Remap program is working. Cap Metro revamped its entire bus system starting in June 2018, eliminating some routes while adding higher frequency service on other routes.

RM 2222 in West Austin
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

For the first time, Travis County has a long-range plan focused solely on transportation. The Travis County Commissioners Court adopted the Transportation Blueprint on Tuesday, after years of public input and research of safety considerations and demographic trends.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Texas Department of Transportation says travelers on I-35 in North Austin this weekend need to plan ahead to avoid delays.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority already knows a lot about who isn't paying tolls on its roadways and will soon deploy more tools and resources to track drivers.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

More street changes are in the works for downtown Austin as construction ramps up on the Capitol Complex Master Plan. On Wednesday, the Austin Transportation Department converted 17th and 18th streets between San Jacinto and Trinity into two-way streets.

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.

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