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.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport officials said they’re working to let airline passengers know new security standards are coming.

ABIA and other airports across the nation will take only REAL ID-compliant licenses and driver licenses beginning Oct. 1, 2020.

CTRMA

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority Board is moving forward with plans to add managed toll lanes to part of U.S. Highway 183 in Northwest Austin. The CTRMA board voted Wednesday to authorize final negotiations with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to complete the $500 million project.

The project would add two tolled lanes in each direction for nine miles, from State Highway 45 to MoPac. Tolls on the new lanes would go up and down depending on demand, and would connect to the existing MoPac Express Lanes, which have the same variable tolling.

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.

People look down at their phones outside Star Bar
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Another weekend has passed, and for some people in Austin that meant tailgating at the UT-LSU game or heading to local bars. Many used ride-hailing services like Uber or Lyft to get home, presumably in an effort to avoid drinking and driving. Places like Rainey Street are often clogged at closing time with people looking for their rides.

An e-scooter in Waller Creek
Julia Reihs / KUT

Starting Friday, geofencing will reduce the speed of rented e-scooters when they enter restricted areas in Austin. Riders will be alerted before they enter an area where scooters are not allowed, such as the Butler Hike and Bike Trail.  

Cap Metro Pickup van
Samuel King / KUT

Capital Metro’s app-based Pickup service is expanding to four more sections of Austin over the next two weeks, after launching in Manor in June. It works like the pool function of other rideshare services. People can use the Pickup by Cap Metro app to request a ride from their home to anywhere within a certain zone.

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.

Pages