Public Transportation http://kut.org en Three Ways to Get Home Safely After Toasting Independence Day in Austin http://kut.org/post/three-ways-get-home-safely-after-toasting-independence-day-austin <p>The Austin Police Department will be monitoring the roads extra carefully this weekend, and enforcing a "no refusal" mandate; law enforcement will be able to quickly obtain a warrant to test the blood-alcohol level of any suspected drunk driver who objects to a Breathalyzer or blood test.</p><p>Fourth of July revelers who don’t think they’ll make fit drivers this weekend will have their pick of get-home-safe cards.</p><p>1. Capital Metro has some late-night options, including <a href="https://www.capmetro.org/news-item.aspx?id=3694">year-round Night Owl buses</a> that run until 3 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Night Owl services travel five different routes between popular spots on 6th Street and city neighborhoods. Fri, 04 Jul 2014 17:02:00 +0000 Audrey McGlinchy 10736 at http://kut.org Three Ways to Get Home Safely After Toasting Independence Day in Austin Why Austin Taxi Drivers Can't Refuse a Ride Based on Destination http://kut.org/post/why-austin-taxi-drivers-cant-refuse-ride-based-destination <p>Have you ever been denied a cab ride in Austin?</p><p>After last week's deadly crash on Red River Street, there's been calls for more and better public transportation and taxi service.</p><p>But during special events like South by Southwest, it seems like more and more Austin taxis refuse to take riders for a variety of reasons. Carlton Thomas with the City of Austin’s Parking Enterprise says the most common reason is that "drivers are not interested in taking the short trips." &nbsp;</p><p>He should know, because all complaints about cab drivers come to his department.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/140186225&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Tue, 18 Mar 2014 13:59:49 +0000 Joy Diaz 9984 at http://kut.org Why Austin Taxi Drivers Can't Refuse a Ride Based on Destination SXSW Traffic is Terrible. This Street Closure Map Might Help. http://kut.org/post/sxsw-traffic-terrible-street-closure-map-might-help <p><strong>Update: </strong>Starting today, it’s going to get even tougher to get around downtown. That’s because the music portion of South by Southwest is now underway.</p><p>The City of Austin is closing off several exits from I-35 to downtown. Starting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday:</p><ul><li>The I-35 NB and SB exits at&nbsp; Cesar Chavez will be closed.</li><li>The I-35 SB exit at 8<sup>th</sup> Street will be closed.</li><li>The I-35 NB exit at 6<sup>th</sup> Street will be closed.</li></ul><p><strong>Original Story (March 6, 2014):</strong><a href="http://sxsw.com/" target="_blank"> SXSW</a> provides a great opportunity for people to see bands, films and hobnob with bigwigs in the tech industry.</p><p>But&nbsp;<a href="https://austin.maps.arcgis.com/apps/OnePane/basicviewer/index.html?appid=d719d4beb4ea452f8ee4a2dca9ef7c01" target="_blank">road closures</a>&nbsp;in downtown Austin may pose a problem for some travelers. Wed, 12 Mar 2014 11:30:15 +0000 Larissa Liska & Laura Rice 9901 at http://kut.org SXSW Traffic is Terrible. This Street Closure Map Might Help. Is Capital Metro's New MetroRapid Service Leaving Bus Riders Behind? http://kut.org/post/capital-metros-new-metrorapid-service-leaving-bus-riders-behind <p><em>Disclaimer: Capital Metro is a sponsor of KUT.</em></p><p>Capital Metro's new <a href="http://www.capmetro.org/metrorapid2.aspx">MetroRapid</a> bus service launched on Sunday. And with the new route came additional service changes some say give short-shrift to existing riders on Cap Metro's most popular lines.</p><p>MetroRapid line 801 travels from Southpark Meadows to the Tech Ridge area in North Austin. Its route through the urban core – along South Congress Avenue and Guadalupe Street – parallels Cap Metro's 1L and 1M bus lines, the routes with the highest ridership in Austin. And another route – the 101 Express – traveled largely along the same line. (<a href="http://www.capmetro.org/news-item.aspx?id=3107">Read more about service changes</a>.)</p><p> Fri, 31 Jan 2014 23:04:10 +0000 Wells Dunbar 9693 at http://kut.org Is Capital Metro's New MetroRapid Service Leaving Bus Riders Behind? Despite Student Protests, Cap Metro to Discontinue North Campus Bus Lines http://kut.org/post/despite-student-protests-cap-metro-discontinue-north-campus-bus-lines <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Tight budgets could leave some UT Austin commuters without a bus line in the upcoming semester, according to Cap Metro.&nbsp;</span></p><p class="p1">The Wickersham Lane (Route WL) shuttle will be eliminated this semester and the Cameron Road route (Route CR) will be shortened this semester, renamed Route Camino La Costa (Route CLC) and then eliminated after the spring semester. &nbsp;</p><p class="p1">The transit authority attributes the cutbacks to a persistent lack of funds from UT's Student Services Budget Committee.</p><p> Fri, 03 Jan 2014 21:45:39 +0000 Jackie Wattles 9458 at http://kut.org Despite Student Protests, Cap Metro to Discontinue North Campus Bus Lines Report: More Austinites Working from Home, Commuting by Bike or Bus http://kut.org/post/report-more-austinites-working-home-commuting-bike-or-bus <p>Austinites are driving less and using public transportation more.</p><p>That’s a finding in a new report <a href="http://texpirgedfund.org/sites/pirg/files/reports/TX_Transp_trans_print_0.pdf">[PDF]</a> by the <a href="http://www.texpirg.org/">Texas Public Interest Research Group</a> (TexPIRG), a nonprofit research organization.</p><p>According to census data, the proportion of Austin workers that commute by private vehicle fell by 4.5 percent from 2000 to 2011. That’s the third largest decline in the country for an urban area.</p><p> Wed, 04 Dec 2013 21:31:17 +0000 Laura Rice 9311 at http://kut.org Report: More Austinites Working from Home, Commuting by Bike or Bus NYC Commuter Train Was Well Above Speed Limit Before Crash http://kut.org/post/investigators-examine-wreckage-deadly-new-york-train-crash <strong>Update at 6:50 p.m. ET. Speeding Into Curve; A Mile Or More To Safely Stop:</strong><p>A commuter train headed into New York City was traveling at 82 mph Sunday morning when it entered a curve where the speed limit was supposed to be 30 mph and derailed, National Transportation Safety Board investigators have concluded. Mon, 02 Dec 2013 12:47:36 +0000 Bill Chappell, NPR 9294 at http://kut.org NYC Commuter Train Was Well Above Speed Limit Before Crash UT Researchers Tackle Austin Traffic - With Help From Your Smartphone http://kut.org/post/ut-researchers-tackle-austin-traffic-help-your-smartphone <p>Chances are if you drive to work, you spend time in traffic every day.&nbsp; Over the past five to ten years, Austin&#39;s traffic issues <a href="http://kut.org/post/austin-traffic-slow-and-growing">have just continued to worsen</a>.&nbsp;And with real estate experts estimating more than 100 people move to Austin every day, it&rsquo;s a problem that needs a solution.</p><p>A group of researchers at the University of Texas is hoping to change that. They&rsquo;ve been awarded a $1.4 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to study traffic and transportation in Austin.</p><p>The center hopes to collect data that can provide immediate solutions for transportation problems in Austin and other cities across the country.&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F114874174" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Fri, 11 Oct 2013 16:19:06 +0000 Kate McGee 8913 at http://kut.org UT Researchers Tackle Austin Traffic - With Help From Your Smartphone Austin City Limits 2013: Road Closures, Transportation, Public Safety & More (Update) http://kut.org/post/austin-city-limits-2013-road-closures-transportation-public-safety-more-update <p><strong>Update</strong>: The final Sunday of ACL&#39;s second weekend has been canceled due to weather.</p><p>For more, including information on refunds see: <a href="http://kutne.ws/1bopjAb"><strong>Heavy Rains Soak Austin, Central Texas; ACL Festival Cancels Final Day</strong></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Update (Oct. 11):</strong> Traffic could be a bigger problem in the Austin area for weekend two of the Austin City Limits Music Festival. <a href="https://austin.maps.arcgis.com/apps/OnePane/basicviewer/index.html?appid=9c5a691986d84a3da6118095b19632f5" target="_blank">Road closures around Zilker Park and Republic Square Park</a> will be in place just like last weekend (see below). But the highways may also be packed.</p><p> Fri, 11 Oct 2013 13:14:14 +0000 Emily Mathis & Wells Dunbar 8859 at http://kut.org Austin City Limits 2013: Road Closures, Transportation, Public Safety & More (Update) Work on 'Bus-Only' Street Lanes Could Start in Austin Next Week http://kut.org/post/work-bus-only-street-lanes-could-start-austin-next-week <p>Road construction that will result in bus-only lanes on Guadalupe and Lavaca&nbsp;streets could begin as soon as next week.</p><p>The “transit priority lanes” are part of the <a href="http://www.capmetro.org/metrorapid2.aspx">MetroRapid</a> project by Capital Metro. Capital Metro will prohibit cars on the right-most lanes of Guadalupe and Lavaca&nbsp;Streets between Cesar Chavez Street and MLK Jr. Boulevard.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Cars will be allowed to use the bus-only lanes to make right turns. &nbsp;</span></p><p> Wed, 18 Sep 2013 19:10:53 +0000 Nathan Bernier 8726 at http://kut.org Work on 'Bus-Only' Street Lanes Could Start in Austin Next Week Photos: First Look at Capital Metro's New MetroRapid Buses http://kut.org/post/photos-first-look-capital-metros-new-metrorapid-buses <p>Austin’s new <a href="http://www.capmetro.org/metrorapid-what.aspx">MetroRapid</a> buses don’t just hold more passengers – they hold traffic lights.&nbsp;</p><p>"As the [buses] approach intersections&nbsp;–&nbsp;and if they are behind schedule&nbsp;–&nbsp;the traffic signal will remain green for up to seven seconds to give these buses additional time to cross the intersection,"&nbsp;Capital Metro’s Joe Iannello said today. The group held a press conference to show off the new vehicles.</p><p> Thu, 25 Jul 2013 21:04:27 +0000 Ann Choi & Filipa Rodrigues 8414 at http://kut.org Photos: First Look at Capital Metro's New MetroRapid Buses MetroRail Service Behind Schedule After Tech Problems (Update) http://kut.org/post/metrorail-service-behind-schedule-after-tech-problems-update <p><strong>Update:</strong> Capital Metro’s MetroRail Service is back up and running this morning. But trains are running behind schedule because of a technology problem earlier this morning.</p><p>Capital Metro says the first train will depart from Leander at about 6:50 a.m.</p><p>A Capital Metro spokesperson says crews will work hard this morning to get back on schedule.</p><p><strong>Original Story </strong>(6:22 a.m.): Capital Metro’s MetroRail Service is down this morning because of a technology problem. Thu, 11 Jul 2013 11:22:46 +0000 Laura Rice 8340 at http://kut.org MetroRail Service Behind Schedule After Tech Problems (Update) Cap Metro Could Raise Rates http://kut.org/post/cap-metro-could-raise-rates <p>You may have to dig out another quarter to board a bus in Austin.</p><p><a href="http://www.capmetro.org/">Capital Metro Transit Authority</a> met today to hear a proposal that could bump up fares over the next two years.</p><p>Though the transit board won’t approve anything until September, the possible move to raise rates by 25% could net as much as $2.2 million annually.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 20 May 2013 22:58:58 +0000 Andrew Weber 7805 at http://kut.org Cap Metro Could Raise Rates Austin Summit to Tackle Transportation Troubles http://kut.org/post/austin-summit-tackle-transportation-troubles <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Reducing morning traffic congestion is just one of many ideas that will be discussed Friday at the <a href="http://www.texaslyceum.org/">Texas Lyceum</a> conference in Austin. The non-profit, non-partisan statewide group is hosting a summit on transportation. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Among<a href="http://www.texaslyceum.org/media/pdfs/Flyer_for_Pubcon.pdf"> the featured speakers </a>is&nbsp;</span>Dennis Christiansen<span style="line-height: 1.5;">. He’s director of the <a href="http://tti.tamu.edu/">Texas Transportation Institute</a> at Texas A&amp;M University.&nbsp;</span>Christiansen<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;says more roads aren’t the only answer.</span></p><p> Fri, 12 Apr 2013 00:38:00 +0000 Nathan Bernier 7333 at http://kut.org Austin Summit to Tackle Transportation Troubles Austin Ranks 31st in Walkability http://kut.org/post/austin-ranks-31st-walkability <p>It’s official.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Austin’s not very </span>walkable<span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p>In fact, it’s no walker’s paradise, according to a national survey. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>According to the <a href="http://www.walkscore.com/">Walk Score</a> national survey, Austin garnered only a <a href="http://www.walkscore.com/TX/Austin">“car-dependent” 47 percent</a> ranking out of 100 -- ranking 31<sup>st</sup> out of the 50 biggest cities in the U.S.</p> Wed, 03 Apr 2013 17:29:08 +0000 Andrew Weber 7204 at http://kut.org Austin Ranks 31st in Walkability Cap Metro Says New Highway Bill is Good for Austin Transit http://kut.org/post/cap-metro-says-new-highway-bill-good-austin-transit <p>Capital Metro is celebrating the recent passage of a federal highway bill. The bill authorizes $105 billion for spending on transportation projects nationwide over a two-year period</p><p>The new transportation law is called &quot;Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century&quot; or <a href="http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&amp;FileStore_id=6d1e2690-6bc7-4e13-9169-0e7bc2ca0098">MAP-21</a>.</p><p><a href="http://www.capmetro.org/default.aspx">Capital Metro</a> says the law provides much-needed stability. Capital Metro officials say MAP-21 gives a stable source of funding that&#39;s necessary for projects like bus and facility improvements. Mon, 09 Jul 2012 17:44:29 +0000 Mary Mattia 4644 at http://kut.org Cap Metro Says New Highway Bill is Good for Austin Transit Green Light For Red Line Service on Friday and Saturday Nights http://kut.org/post/green-light-red-line-service-friday-and-saturday-nights <p>Capital Metro&rsquo;s Red Line will <a href="http://capmetroblog.com/2012/03/01/weekend-rail-service-every-weekend-beginning-march-23/">start running late into the evening</a> on Fridays and Saturdays. Austin City Council voted 6-1 this evening on<a href="https://austin.siretechnologies.com/sirepub/agdocs.aspx?doctype=agenda&amp;itemid=13122"> this resolution</a> directing city staff to finalize the deal with Cap Metro. <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/kathietovo">Kathie Tovo</a> was the only council member to vote against the proposal.&nbsp;</p><p>The new schedule will see commuter trains run hourly from 7 p.m. until midnight on Fridays. On Saturdays, they&#39;ll run every 35 minutes 4 p.m. until midnight. That schedule takes effect Friday, March 23<span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 17px;">.</span></p><p> Fri, 02 Mar 2012 01:47:56 +0000 Nathan Bernier 3768 at http://kut.org Green Light For Red Line Service on Friday and Saturday Nights Commuter Rail on Friday and Saturday Nights? City Closer To Footing Bill http://kut.org/post/commuter-rail-friday-and-saturday-nights-city-closer-footing-bill <p>Austin&rsquo;s public transit agency has known for a while that its fledgling <a href="http://allsystemsgo.capmetro.org/">commuter rail</a> service could see a lot more riders if they let people take the train on Friday and Saturday nights. Back in May, <a href="http://kut.org/2011/05/cap-metro-considers-weekend-night-trains/">we reported</a> on how Capital Metro broke ridership records when they did that during the Pecan Street Festival.</p><p>But the problem was always money. Six months ago, the cost estimates were around $1 million annually for Friday and Saturday night service.</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s arguably a million dollars we don&rsquo;t have,&rdquo;&nbsp;Cap Metro Board Chair and Austin Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez told us in May. The head of Cap Metro, Linda Watson, said the agency was in talks with the city to secure funding.</p><p>Fast forward to the present, and costs estimates are now closer to $2.7 million per year, but it appears the city is willing to pay for it.</p><p> Wed, 23 Nov 2011 16:52:43 +0000 Nathan Bernier 3051 at http://kut.org Commuter Rail on Friday and Saturday Nights? City Closer To Footing Bill Revived Group Aims To Coordinate Regional Public Transit http://kut.org/post/revived-group-aims-coordinate-regional-public-transit <p>As if awaking from a two year hibernation, a sub-committee of the <a href="http://www.campotexas.org/">Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization</a> (CAMPO) held its<a href="http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/edims/document.cfm?id=159546"> first meeting</a> this afternoon with a new leader and new members. The Transit Working Group (TWG) was restored in time to prepare for Austin&rsquo;s soon-to-come vote on an <a href="http://kut.org/2011/05/place-one-the-case-for-and-against-urban-rail/">urban rail system</a>.</p><p>The working group was first established in 2007 under Austin Mayor <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_Wynn">Will Wynn</a>. He decided the city needed an urban rail or street car system. But nothing really came out of it. Now, Mayor Lee Leffingwell is leading the TWG.</p><p>&ldquo;The big difference between this group and the one of that before is our focus is going to be regional,&rdquo; Leffingwell said.</p><p> Fri, 04 Nov 2011 20:46:26 +0000 Erika Aguilar, KUT News 2914 at http://kut.org Revived Group Aims To Coordinate Regional Public Transit Why Can't Austin Have This Elaborate Subway System? http://kut.org/post/why-cant-austin-have-elaborate-subway-system <p><strong>Update</strong> (June 17, 2014): &nbsp;<em>This story from 2011 is enjoying a second-life on the Austin Reddit page.<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/Austin/comments/287ezj/austins_fantasy_10bn_subway_system/"> After being posted there</a> it inspired a discussion with over 160 comments. For more on a potential Austin subway, see this report from StateImpact Texas: </em><a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2012/11/21/why-texas-doesnt-have-subways/">Why Texas Doesn't Have Subways</a>.</p><p><em>While there are no plans for a subway, Austin's plans for Urban Rail are proceeding rapidly</em>. <a href="http://kut.org/term/urban-rail">See KUT's combined reporting on Urban Rail here</a>.<em> And read our latest reporting: </em></p><ul><li><strong><a href="http://kut.org/post/project-connects-14-billion-proposal-austin-urban-rail">This is Project Connect's $1.4 Billion Proposal for Austin Urban Rail</a></strong></li><li><strong><a href="http://kut.org/post/searching-more-specifics-austins-urban-rail-proposal">Searching for More Specifics on Austin's Urban Rail Proposal</a></strong></li><li><strong><a href="http://kut.org/post/advisory-group-gives-urban-rail-green-light">Advisory Group Gives Urban Rail Green Light</a></strong></li></ul><p><strong>Original story</strong>: &nbsp;A<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> piece of wall art making the rounds online </span><a href="http://www.transitauthorityfigures.com/wp-content/images/austin-big2.jpg" style="line-height: 1.5;">depicts a subway system for Austin</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> that would put this city’s public transit system on par with densely populated cities in the Northeast. The creation is produced and sold by </span><a href="http://www.transitauthorityfigures.com/posters/austin/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Transit Authority Figures</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, based in Northampton, Massachusetts.</span></p><p>The poster had <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/Austin/comments/lh5qt/austin_transit_subway_if_only_this_were/">many people wondering aloud</a> why Austin couldn’t just go ahead and build a world class subway system. We called up Capital Metro’s vice president of strategic planning and development Todd Hemingson and asked him ourselves.</p><p><strong>KUT News</strong>: Why can’t we have an amazing subway system like this in Austin?</p><p> Thu, 20 Oct 2011 22:11:20 +0000 Nathan Bernier 2792 at http://kut.org Why Can't Austin Have This Elaborate Subway System?