Transportation

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.  

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.

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.


Pavel Mezihorak for KUT

Local money alone is not enough to improve public transit and ease traffic congestion in the region, Capital Metro CEO Randy Clarke said at a board of directors meeting Monday.

For years, the region’s transit agency has been working to develop Project Connect, a plan to build a transit network that can move more people faster. Austin City Council members joined the Cap Metro board to explore how to pay for it.

Hyperloop One

Texas’ Hyperloop dreams are no longer confined to a pipe.

Officials in North Texas plan on putting some money behind an environmental impact study of a 700-mph train between Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington. That project, ideally, would later expand to a network that would include Austin, as well.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Jumping the gun works, it seems.

While city staff were devising a pilot program to govern dockless bikes and scooters, expecting to bring a proposal to council members in June, two companies dropped their electric scooters throughout the city. Now the Austin Transportation Department has proposed fast-tracking approval of the pilot program.

Will You Subscribe To Your Next Car?

Apr 3, 2018
mangopulp2008/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

If you are a millennial, you may be among those who value time over ownership, so you may not be interested in buying car. But what if you could get a car without having to buy it, all for a flat fee that includes insurance and maintenance?

There's a new route to car access emerging, and it doesn't involve ownership at all. Instead, you subscribe to a brand. And who's disrupting the auto industry?  Turns out it's the auto industry itself.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Researchers from UT Austin's Urban Information Lab have created an interactive map that overlays research on so-called transit deserts to pinpoint which Austin neighborhoods have the least access to public transportation compared to demand.

Junfeng Jiao, lead researcher on the project, says the calculus is more than simply measuring the distance between your front door and a bus stop.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Traffic is terrible.

City and state officials are really good at counting cars to see how terrible traffic is and how it got that way, but that sort of data collection doesn’t exist for bike and pedestrian traffic. New research hopes to change that.

Pavel Mezihorak for KUT

The Capital Metro board has approved a major overhaul of its bus system, affecting more than half of all routes in the area. The vote was 6 to 2.

While some buses will run more often, other routes will be eliminated. The changes will go into effect June 3. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

B-cycle, Austin’s bike-share system, recently added three new stations as part of an 18-station expansion over the next 18 months. All the new stations will be close to or in downtown, adding to the company’s existing 51 docks.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The bus stop at the southeast corner of 12th Street and Chicon once featured vibrant plaques commemorating the history of East Austin. But the plaques have fallen into disrepair since being installed in 2003. Now, Capital Metro wants to redo the bus stop to honor the area's African-American legacy.

Texas A&M University

From Texas Standard:

Conflicts among drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians lead to hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries each year. Transportation researchers want to solve the problem by redesigning intersections so that all kinds of traffic have their place, and can keep an eye on one another.

Stephanie Tacy for KUT

Residents of the Rainey Street neighborhood struck a deal last year with a developer looking to build new condos in the area. It agreed to conduct a comprehensive traffic study, determining what the most pressing transportation needs are and how they could be affected by new development.

Pavel Mezihorak for KUT

The Capital Metro board of directors on Monday unanimously approved a plan to overhaul its transit service. Cap Metro says Connections 2025 is designed to improve rider experience by creating a 24/7 transit system and expanding service.  

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

If you’ve ever tried to park in downtown Austin, you’ve probably found yourself circling the streets a few times before finding a spot. The city is exploring changes to make more parking available during peak traffic time – but that could mean cutting back on free parking hours.

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