Considering Austin is ranked the fourth most congested city in the United States, becoming informed about what the city is proposing to help our traffic situation is crucial.
During the next three months May-July, residents can attend several open house events hosted by the Project Connect planning team to inform the public about the proposed urban rail route in downtown Austin. For dates, times and locations of the open house events, please go to Project Connect Events.
The Capital Metro board of directors is scheduled to vote on Austin’s Urban Rail recommendation June 23, and the Austin City Council is scheduled to vote on June 26. Therefore, time is of the essence to become educated on what the options are.
Three proposals have been brought to the table by Project Connect and include the following:
- The recommended proposal costs $1.38 billion and is a 9.5 mile long line that would run along East Riverside Drive and turn north near the Austin-American Statesman building, cross Lady Bird Lake via bridge, continue through downtown and the University of Texas and end at Highland Mall. The plan also calls for four park & ride areas, two each toward opposite ends of the line. This plan accommodates 16,000 – 20,000 riders per day.
- The second recommendation costs $990 million and is 7.3 miles from East Riverside Drive to the Hancock Center near 41st Street and serve 13,000-17,000 riders per day.
- The third recommendation costs $820 million and is 5.7 miles from East Riverside Drive to Dean Keaton Street and would only serve 10,000 – 14,000 per day.
Regardless of the decision, Capital Metro would serve as the operator and handle financing the operations and maintenance, and the city of Austin would serve as the owner and be responsible for funding the capital costs. Moreover, the Austin City Council is likely to call a bond election for Nov. 4 to sell bonds to pay for half of the project.
The Austin traffic situation will continue to worsen as more people move to the area and solutions are a must. City officials are working diligently to find viable answers to a complicated problem. We encourage you to research and attend the proposed events to learn more.
If you or someone you know is interested in real estate in the Austin area, please do not hesitate to contact Kathleen Bucher at 512.794.6644 or KathleenBucher@mac.com. It would be an honor to earn your business.