The Austin City Council is considering an ordinance that would set rules for the city’s new transit lanes.
Bus-only lanes for Capital Metro’s new MetroRapid service are on Guadalupe and Lavaca streets between Martin Luther King Boulevard and Cesar Chavez Street. Other vehicles are only allowed to use the lanes to make right turns.
The new ordinance would make it against the law to stop or park in the lanes. Currently that could be punished with a $25 dollar parking ticket – but the city wants to up that fine to as much as $500 dollars.
“The new fine is meant to be a deterrent,” City of Austin Transportation Director Rob Spillar told the council this morning. “It is a steep deterrent – obviously transit lanes are only good if they’re available for transit to use. And so we are trying to put a major discouragement for delivery vehicles or for persons stopping or parking in that lane.”
Capital Metro’s MetroRapid bus service will offer more frequent arrivals. The vehicles can also communicate with traffic signals to hold lights longer.
MetroRapid service begins on Sunday. The Austin City Council is expected to take up the transit lane ordinance this Thursday.