Transportation

Transportation
4:10 pm
Wed December 15, 2010

Goodbye Free Downtown Parking?

Image courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/

Our buddy over at the Austin Business Journal, Jacob Dirr, is reporting that the Austin Transportation Department (ATD) wants you to pay for parking downtown until midnight and end free parking on Saturdays.  ATD also wants to extend meter enforcement citywide from 5:30 p.m. until 6 p.m., reports the ABJ.

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Transportation
3:41 pm
Wed December 15, 2010

ZipCar Hourly Vehicle Rentals Coming To UT-Austin

A ZipCar in Washington DC. The company is bringing its hourly car rental service to the UT campus next month.
Image courtesy citta-vita http://www.flickr.com/photos/koshalek/

Students, faculty, and staff at the University of Texas at Austin will be able to rent one of eight ZipCar vehicles positioned throughout campus starting in mid-January. ZipCar is a private company that rents full sized cars on an hourly basis.

ZipCar will be competing with Car2Go, which rents tiny smart cars. Car2Go was only available to city workers for a year under a pilot program. It now offers car rentals to everyone in the city.

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Transportation
3:09 pm
Fri December 10, 2010

Austin Traffic Fatalities 20 Percent Lower This Year

MoPac as seen from the Far West bridge/overpass. Traffic fatalities in Austin are 20 percent lower compared to this time last year, APD says.
Image courtesy mirsasha http://www.flickr.com/photos/mirsasha/

The Austin Police Department just announced the 47th and 48th traffic fatalities of the year.  This time last year, there had been 58 traffic deaths reported in Austin. It's a decrease of about 20 percent.

The 47th fatality was a 76-year-old man who crossed the center line while driving down Anderson Mill Road and smashed into another vehicle just after 4 pm yesterday. Police don't believe alcohol or speed was a factor.

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Transportation
3:38 pm
Thu December 9, 2010

Google Map Shows Where CapMetro Buses Could Run In Cedar Park

This map shows roughly where the proposed new line would run, but a Google Map (link below) shows it in much greater detail.
Image courtesy CapMetro

Austin's public transit agency Capital Metro has announced that it will begin a one-year trial service to the exurb of Cedar Park.

Cedar Park City Council still has to vote on the measure at its next meeting on December 16. Under the deal, Cedar Park and Austin Community College would pay CapMetro almost $117,000.

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Transportation
4:04 pm
Tue December 7, 2010

Austin Flight Involved In Near Miss At Boston Airport Over Thanksgiving

A plane touches down at Logan International Airport in Boston. Officials released flight control video yesterday showing how an Austin flight was involved in a near miss on the runway over Thanksgiving.
Image courtesy Pylon757 http://www.flickr.com/photos/10037058@N08/

This happened on November 24, but news organizations are just getting air traffic control video showing how a flight from Austin narrowly missed disaster at Boston Logan International Airport.

JetBlue flight 1264 arrived safely with 91 passengers on board, but the pilot turned right instead of left while taxiing to the gate, reports WCVB Boston.

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Transportation
11:31 am
Tue December 7, 2010

Bridge Demolition Will Shut I-35 Overnight in Buda

TxDOT will begin demolishing a bridge over I-35 (not this one) tonight, and it means overnight shutdowns of I-35 near Buda.
Image courtesy splorp http://www.flickr.com/photos/splorp/

Some crucial traffic information if you're planning on driving along I-35 in Hays County: The Texas Department of Transportation says it will close all northbound lanes near Buda exit 217 from 8 p.m. today until 6 a.m. Wednesday.  Traffic will be rerouted along access roads.

TxDOT says they'll repeat the whole procedure with the southbound lanes on Wednesday night during the same time frame. Northbound lanes will not close Wednesday night.

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Transportation
12:40 pm
Tue November 30, 2010

TxDOT Targets Drunk Driving Hispanics With Telenovela Ads

TxDOT is using the popular telenovela format to sell its anti-DUI message to Texas' Spanish-speaking population.
Screen capture from TxDOT anti-DUI ad.

The Texas Department of Transportation announced today that it has been airing these two-minute 'mini' telenovelas on the Spanish-language TV networks Univision, Estrella, and Telefutura. TxDOT says it is one of the first US state agencies to create anti-DUI ads using the telenovela form, "which is very popular in the Spanish-speaking community."

Check out the videos for yourself.

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Transportation
5:20 pm
Mon November 29, 2010

See What Austin's Urban Rail Vehicle Could Look Like

Oregon Ironworks is building this urban rail vehicle for Portland and Tuscon. The City of Austin is considering building an urban rail system of its own.
Photo by Caleb Bryant Miller for KUT News

The City of Austin showed off an urban rail car at the Palmer Events Center today. The vehicle is already being manufactured for the cities of Portland and Tuscon.

It’s part of the ongoing campaign to get Austinites on board for an urban rail line that would run from the Mueller neighborhood through downtown to the airport. 

Building the line would cost $1.3 billion, and city council is considering asking taxpayers to approve a bond package in 2012.

Transportation
12:14 pm
Mon November 29, 2010

Visualize How Far Can You Go On A Bus In 15 Minutes

We can quibble about the accuracy of this tool, but it definitely an interesting way to visualize public transit data. French software developer Stefan Wehrmeyer invented a Google Maps mashup that shows how far you can travel by public transit or on foot from any given point on the map.

Go here and just drag the marker to any place, then use the time slider in the bottom right to adjust the size of the blotch.

Here's their video explaining the concept. 

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transportation
12:20 pm
Fri November 19, 2010

Could Legislators Put the Kibosh on Red Light Cameras?

Image courtesy Josh Liba http://www.flickr.com/photos/jliba/

Anyone who's driven through a red-light at night and seen the flash of a camera knows the pain of anticipating the fine in the mail.  Since the City of Austin installed its red-light cameras in 2008, more than 28,000 citations have been issued.

In the 2009 and 2010 fiscal years, the city says it raked in almost $1.6 million dollars in fines from red light cameras. After expenses, the profit from those two years was $363,869. The city splits that 50/50 with the state.

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Transportation
11:48 am
Wed November 10, 2010

Cap Metro Board to Vote Today on Fare Hikes

Students disembark from a University of Texas shuttle operated by Cap Metro
Image courtesy Cap Metro

Many observers would be surprised if Austin's public transit agency did not adopt the third fare hike in three years today. Capital Metro has already calculated the fare increase into its FY2011 budget.

"The approved budget also increases our long-term sustainability by lowering costs [and] boosting revenue through a fare increase," Cap Metro president and CEO Linda Watson wrote in the budget document.

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security
2:06 pm
Fri October 29, 2010

All is Cool at Austin Airport Despite Security Panic Elsewhere

No heightened security at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, despite security concerns elsewhere in the US.
Image courtesy Dave Wilson http://www.flickr.com/photos/dawilson/

President Obama is scheduled to speak at 3:15 pm CST today about a potential terrorism plot being investigated on three continents. The scare involves suspicious packages shipped on cargo planes from Yemen to the United States, reports Philadelphia's ABC affiliate WPVI.

The investigation included two planes at Philadelphia International Airport. Officials tell Action News that a total of six packages were removed from the planes there.
 

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transportation
11:23 am
Fri October 29, 2010

City Council Inks Deal to Add Ten Miles of Bike Lanes

Austin City Council approved a deal with the Texas Department of Transportation yesterday that will build 10 miles of bike lanes in Austin.
Photo by Katie Hayes for KUT News

Bicycle enthusiasts are reacting with glee to an Austin City Council vote yesterday that approved a deal to build ten miles of bike lanes in Austin.

The deal between the city and the Texas Department of Transportation will see the two split the bill for $1.1 million. TxDOT's share of the cash is coming from the federal government's Transportation Enhancement Program.

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high-speed rail
11:26 am
Thu October 28, 2010

Texas Scores $5 million for High-Speed Rail Study

The federal government awarded Texas a $5.6 million grant to study a high-speed rail system that would flow through this corridor. Full map below.
Images courtesy Texas Department of Transportation

We are still years, perhaps even decades away from being able to hop on a high-speed train and travel to Dallas in less time than it takes to read the A Section of the New York Times.

But today, the Texas Department of Transportation says we are one baby-step closer to that possibility because of a chunk of cash the state was awarded in the latest round of US Department of Transportation high-speed rail grants.  

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PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
11:57 am
Mon October 18, 2010

Tell Cap Metro What You Think About Fare Hikes

Capital Metro wants to raise bus fares to balance its budget.
Photo by KUT News

Capital Metro is holding another public hearing tonight on a proposal to increase the price of taking public transit. The hikes are intended to help Cap Metro balance its FY 2011 budget. Most of the agency's operating revenue comes from local sales tax. Cap Metro says that's an unreliable source of income because of fluctuations in consumer spending.

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