Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Capital Metro, is a public transportation provider located in Austin
Austin is the capital of the U.S. state of Texas.Austin may also refer to:-In the United States:*Austin, Arkansas*Austin, Colorado*Austin, Chicago, Illinois*Austin, Indiana*Austin, Minnesota*Austin, Nevada*Austin, Oregon...

, Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

. It operates bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

, paratransit
Paratransit is an alternative mode of flexible passenger transportation that does not follow fixed routes or schedules. Typically mini-buses are used to provide paratransit service, but also share taxis and jitneys are important providers....

 services and a commuter rail/light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 system known as Capital MetroRail
Capital MetroRail
Capital MetroRail is a commuter rail system that serves the Greater Austin, Texas, area and which is owned by the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The Red Line, Capital Metro's first and only rail line, connects Downtown Austin with Austin's northern suburbs. The line operates on 32...

 for Austin and several suburbs in Travis and Williamson counties
Williamson County, Texas
Williamson County is a county located on both the Edwards Plateau to the west, consisting of rocky terrain and hills, and Blackland Prairies in the east consising of rich, fertile farming land, The two areas are roughly bisected by Interstate 35...

. Voters approved the creation of Capital Metro in January 1985, agreeing to fund the organization with a one percent sales tax
Sales tax
A sales tax is a tax, usually paid by the consumer at the point of purchase, itemized separately from the base price, for certain goods and services. The tax amount is usually calculated by applying a percentage rate to the taxable price of a sale....

. In December 2010, Capital Metro ridership numbered approximately 140,000 trips per day and has the highest per capita ridership in Texas.


Capital Metro was established by a referendum on January 19, 1985, to provide mass transportation service to the greater Austin metropolitan area. Voters in Austin and the surrounding area approved the creation of the agency, to be funded in part by a 1 percent sales tax. Capital Metro commenced operations on July 1, 1985, and took over the existing city of Austin bus services in 1986.

In an effort to boost ridership, Capital Metro did away with fares completely and instituted fare-free in an experiment that lasted from October 1989 to December 1990. The program was enormously successful in attracting new passengers, and increased ridership by 75% (but expanded service accounted for some of the growth). The fare-free scheme, however, attracted problem riders who drove away quality ridership. In response, 75% of transit drivers voted to have the program discontinued immediately in 1990.
In 1997 Capital Metro was the subject of a string of Texas Legislature
Texas Legislature
The Legislature of the state of Texas is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Texas. The legislature is a bicameral body composed of a 31-member Senate and a 150-member House of Representatives. The Legislature meets at the Capitol in Austin...

 and FBI
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 investigations that uncovered a dysfunctional organization beset by poor management. As a result, however, the Legislature subsequent overhaul of Capital Metro and its the board of directors in an attempt to make a more the transit authority both more effective and more transparent just ahead of a performance review by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts is an executive branch position created by the Texas Constitution. As with nearly every other executive branch head, the Comptroller is popularly elected every four years concurrently with the Governor and the other elected executive branch positions...

. The review cited an "ongoing criminal investigation" by the FBI, "irresponsible management", "expensive, embarrassing mistakes", "dubious contracting and purchasing practices", and $118,000 spent on "food, parties, and presents for its employees" and culminated with, "We have never, in all of the performance reviews we have conducted, seen an agency with such a lack of accountability."

As part of this restructuring, the legislature ordered Capital Metro to hold an up-or-down referendum on passenger rail. In response, Capital Metro released an ambitious plan that proposed to spend $1.9 billion for a light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 system with 52 miles of track on existing streets. While the referendum was narrowly defeated in November 2000 by 2,000 votes, voters in central Austin tended to favor it, while those outside the city limits did not.
Back to the drawing board, Capital Metro prepared a greatly scaled-back version for voters in November 2004. The updated plan sought to build just one starter line that would run north-south at a cost $90 million. While the project was somewhat marred by construction delays, questions and safety and cost overruns, the Red Line of the Capital MetroRail
Capital MetroRail
Capital MetroRail is a commuter rail system that serves the Greater Austin, Texas, area and which is owned by the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The Red Line, Capital Metro's first and only rail line, connects Downtown Austin with Austin's northern suburbs. The line operates on 32...

 began service on March 22, 2010.

Funding conflicts

The source of Capital Metro's funding has been a source of considerable and consistent controversy since the transit authority's founding in 1985. In December 1988, the board of directors voluntarily lowered the sales and use tax to 0.75-cent. In June 1995, the Board of Directors reinstated the sales and use tax to the full one percent effective October 1, 1995, promising to set aside the additional revenue for funding light rail.

Capital Metro, after raising its sale tax from 0.75 percent to 1 percent in 1995, had stockpiled $176 million by the 2000 referendum. When light rail was defeated at the polls in 2000, however, pressure mounted to return the quarter-cent it had been setting aside for rail projects. For years, mass transit detractors had coveted the quarter percentage earmarked for rail projects. Political leaders and organizations, including former Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 state Rep. Terry Keel
Terry Keel
Terrence McCauley "Terry" Keel , is a founding partner of the Keel & Nassour law firm in Austin, and he served as the Parliamentarian of the Texas House of Representatives from May 25, 2007 until January 13, 2009. He was appointed by Speaker Tom Craddick of Midland...

 of Austin, Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty and his anti-rail group Reclaim Our Allocated Dollars (ROAD), wanted the sales-tax money to build projects such as a highway loop around Austin and an east-west freeway. As pressure mounted on Capital Metro, Keel announced his intention to roll Capital Metro's taxing authority back to a half-cent and redirecting the other half-cent to highway construction.

To head that off and keep rail's future prospects alive, the Capital Metro board passed resolutions in the months after the vote making two promises: It would direct $91 million of its existing reserves to local governments for transportation projects, and it would dispense all proceeds that year from a quarter-cent of its tax to those same local governments. That quarter-cent promise was later extended for three more years, eventually amounting to $113 million, for a total of $204 million.

The city of Austin, given that something on the order of 97 percent of Capital Metro sales taxes come from within the city, was to be the primary beneficiary of those promises. Since 2000, at least $106 million of the $204 million promised to Austin and smaller cities such as Manor and Leander. At the same time, however, it was spending more than $300 million on commuter rail, park-and-ride lots, a new maintenance and operations center, and other facilities. As the Great Recession spread to Austin in 2009, tax revenues dried up and Capital Metro had to stop payment on a $51 million load owed to Austin as part of a 2001 agreement.

Member jurisdictions

The following jurisdictions participate in the Capital Metro system, all in Travis and Williamson Counties.
  • Austin
    Austin, Texas
    Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of :Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in...

  • Jonestown
    Jonestown, Texas
    Jonestown is a city in Travis County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,681 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Jonestown is located at...

  • Lago Vista
    Lago Vista, Texas
    Lago Vista is a city in Travis County, Texas, United States. The population was 4,507 at the 2000 census, and 5,573 in the 2005 census estimate.-Geography:...

  • Leander
    Leander, Texas
    Leander is a city in Williamson and Travis counties in the U.S. state of Texas. The population was 7,596 at the 2000 census. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2008 estimates the population is now 25,424...

  • Manor
    Manor, Texas
    Manor is a city in Travis County, Texas, United States. It is part of the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area. The population was 1,204 at the 2000 census; it was 1,877 in the 2005 census estimate. The approximate population for the City of Manor is 5,500, which is calculated from the number of...

  • Point Venture
    Point Venture, Texas
    Point Venture is a village in western Travis County, Texas .A residential community on the north bank of Lake Travis, Point Venture was incorporated in August 2000 and had an estimated population of 506 in 2009....

  • San Leanna
    San Leanna, Texas
    San Leanna is a village in Travis County, Texas, United States. The population was 384 at the 2000 census.-History:San Leanna began as a subdivision in Travis County in the 1950s. In 1970 San Leanna incorporated with a mayor-alderman government. In 1974 San Leanna had 200 people. In 1988 San Leanna...

  • Volente
    Volente, Texas
    Volente is a village in Travis County, Texas . Located on the north shore of Lake Travis, the village was incorporated in 2003. The population was estimated at 395 in 2008.-External links:****...

  • The Anderson Mill
    Anderson Mill, Texas
    Anderson Mill is a former census-designated place in Travis and Williamson counties in the U.S. state of Texas. The population was 8,953 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Anderson Mill is located at...

     area in Williamson County
  • Precinct 2, an unincorporated area in north Travis County.

The original jurisdictions of Cedar Park
Cedar Park, Texas
Cedar Park is a city in Travis and Williamson counties in the U.S. state of Texas. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population is 48,937. The city is a major suburb of Austin, the center of which is approximately to the southeast, although Austin directly borders Cedar Park at the latter's...

, Pflugerville
Pflugerville, Texas
Pflugerville is a city in Travis and Williamson counties in the U.S. state of Texas. The population was 16,335 at the 2000 census. A July 1, 2008 U.S. Census Bureau estimate placed the population at 39,653...

, Rollingwood
Rollingwood, Texas
Rollingwood is a city in Travis County, Texas, United States. Part of the metropolitan area the population was 1,403 at the 2000 census; it was 1,359 in the 2005 census estimate.-Geography:...

, and West Lake Hills
West Lake Hills, Texas
West Lake Hills is a city in Travis County, Texas, United States. The population was 3,116 at the 2000 census, and 3,021 in the 2005 census estimate. The city of West lake Hills is a relatively wealthy suburb of Austin, located on the west side of Austin on the edge of the Hill Country...

 have withdrawn from Capital Metro. Service to other areas in the Austin metropolitan area is provided by the Capital Area Rural Transportation System
Capital Area Rural Transportation System
Capital Area Rural Transportation System or CARTS is a public transportation system serving Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, and Lee counties, as well as rural areas of Hays, Travis, and Williamson. As of 2008, it serves a total of 169 communities....

. Capital Metro recently voted to allow a new policy that would allow new member cities to hire the transit authority to provide transit service, without using the 1% sales tax. Former member city Cedar Park is interested in restoring service, and nonmembers Round Rock
Round Rock, Texas
Round Rock is a city in Travis and Williamson counties in the U.S. state of Texas. It is part of the metropolitan area. The 2010 census places the population at 99,887....

, Elgin
Elgin, Texas
Elgin is a city in Bastrop and Travis Counties in the U.S. state of Texas. The population was 5,700 at the 2000 census. By 2005, the population grew to an estimated 8,689...

, Dripping Springs
Dripping Springs, Texas
Dripping Springs is a city in Hays County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,548 at the 2000 census; it was 1,828 in the 2008 census estimate....

, and Kyle
Kyle, Texas
Kyle is a town in Hays County, Texas, United States. The population was 5,314 at the 2000 census; it was 26,103 in the 2008 census estimate, making Kyle one of the fastest growing cities in Texas.-Geography:...

 are interested as well.

Capital MetroRail

In 2004, after four years of additional lobbying by Capital Metro, Capital Metro won approval to build a commuter rail on existing freight rail lines. In September 2005, Capital Metro awarded a contract to Stadler Rail
Stadler Rail
Stadler Rail AG , based in Bussnang, Switzerland, is a Swiss manufacturer of rail passenger cars.In 1942 Ernst Stadler founded the Stadler Engineering Office which later became Stadler Rail.- Factories :...

 to build six diesel-electric
Diesel-electric transmission or diesel-electric powertrain is used by a number of vehicle and ship types for providing locomotion.A diesel-electric transmission system includes a diesel engine connected to an electrical generator, creating electricity that powers electric traction motors...

 rail cars for the system, each possessing a capacity of up to 230 passengers. The initial cost for this rail line was planned to be $90 million; however, continued construction problems and safety issues caused the project to exceed budget and to be delayed. The Capital MetroRail
Capital MetroRail
Capital MetroRail is a commuter rail system that serves the Greater Austin, Texas, area and which is owned by the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The Red Line, Capital Metro's first and only rail line, connects Downtown Austin with Austin's northern suburbs. The line operates on 32...

 finally opened March 22, 2010.

Bus routes

Capital Metro's fixed route bus service includes 49 metro routes and 8 Express routes . It has several categories of routes: Local Service, Flyer and Limited, Feeder, Crosstown, Special Services, Express and University of Texas Shuttles. At the agency's inception, Capital Metro originally operated a series "paired" route service where two different routes, most of which lead into downtown are served by the same buses. Since 2000, this practice has been eliminated and after a number of route pair reassignments, the agency did away with this practice and merged the paired routes under a single route number. (An example of this was #1 North Lamar / #13 South Congress was named as such a paired route along the busiest bus corrdior in the system; it has merged as #1 North Lamar/South Congress, and later the #1L/#1M due to the respective branches on the outer edges of its trunk route.) Meanwhile, most local routes carried two digits before Capital Metro assigned a third digit for routes that do not serve downtown since 2000 (example: #25 Ohlen became #325). Flyer routes had their numbers renamed together to match their local stop counterparts (example: #65 Manchaca Flyer became #103), while express routes that operated during commute times only contained letters (example: #NEX Northeast Express was renamed #990 Manor/Elgin Express).

University of Texas Shuttle System

The University of Texas
University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is a state research university located in Austin, Texas, USA, and is the flagship institution of the The University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, its campus is located approximately from the Texas State Capitol in Austin...

' shuttle system, operated by Capital Metro, is the largest university transit system in the United States. The UT Shuttle System boasts 14 routes, 87 buses and carries approximately 7.5 million passengers a year. UT students, faculty, and staff may ride the shuttles at no charge with a valid UT photo ID. Without a UT photo ID, the charge is $1.00 for local service and UT shuttle service, and $2.50 for express service.

During the five fiscal years that ended in September 2009, hours of shuttle service declined by 16.3 percent and passengers declined by 28 percent. Capital Metro attributes some of that ridership loss to UT students and staffers moving in greater numbers to regular Capital Metro bus routes, where they ride for free. During the same period, non-shuttle ridership by UT students and staffers increased to 2.3 million from 1.6 million. Still, combined shuttle and non-shuttle UT ridership has declined.


The relationship between the university and Capital Metro dates to 1989, when the agency took over service that private bus companies had provided for 20 years. Capital Metro offered snazzier buses with air conditioning, but it immediately lengthened the time between some bus runs.

In 1983, the University of Texas received six bids to manage the shuttle system. Capital Metro entered into the picture in 1988, when the university contracted out to them. Capital Metro, in turn, then subcontracted out to Laidlaw International, Inc.
Laidlaw, organized as Laidlaw International, Inc. , was a predecessor corporation of First Student , a US subsidiary of the Scottish transport firm FirstGroup plc...

, who had, up to that point, operated orange and white school bus
School bus
A school bus is a type of bus designed and manufactured for student transport: carrying children and teenagers to and from school and school events...

es for the university on a contractual basis. Rather than use Laidlaw's existing bus fleet, however, Capital Metro used their own. In so doing, Capital Metro brought air conditioning and wheelchair accessibility
Wheelchair ramp
A wheelchair ramp is an inclined plane installed in addition to or instead of stairs. Ramps permit wheelchair users, as well as people pushing strollers, carts, or other wheeled objects, to more easily access a building....

 to the shuttle service for the first time. The transition, however, was not without controversy. Among the other contested issues was the fact that these new shuttles didn't have a stereo system

In 1991, Capital Metro canceled its contract with Laidlaw and contracted out with DAVE Transportation, instead

Amidst allegations of union busting
Union busting
Union busting is a wide range of activities undertaken by employers, their proxies, and governments, which attempt to prevent the formation or expansion of trade unions...

, in 1999, Capital Metro canceled its then current contract and instead contracted out with ATC/Vancom, instead Six years later, in 2005, Capital Metro, citing concerns over the comparatively low wages ATC/Vancom paid, negotiated a contract with First Transit
First Transit
First Transit, a division of FirstGroup America, is a United States-based subsidiary of the United Kingdom-based FirstGroup. It provides contract public transit and paratransit services, transit management services and transit consulting throughout North America...

 to operate the UT shuttle buses.

Independent of the university shuttle system, Capital Metro has, since September 19, 2002, operated so-called "E-Bus" routes, to ferry students between heavily populated student residential areas to within a block of 6th Street. These buses run from 8:00-9:00pm to 3:00am, Thursday through Sunday. The E in "E-Bus" stands for "eating and entertainment" and funding was initially provided for by companies advertising on the bus. On April 1, 2010, the Daily Texan reported that, in an attempt to curb passenger unruliness, Capital Metro was requiring students swipe their student IDs before boarding and that the University of Texas would start paying for some of the services.


As of Fall 2010, the UT Shuttle System included 19 routes on weekdays during the University of Texas semester. Shuttle bus service is available when classes are in session. Shuttle service does not operate on Saturdays except during finals. The UT Shuttles use letter abbreviations, in addition to route numbers between 0600-0699:

Weekday Service:
  • CP - Crossing Place (670)
  • CR - Cameron Road (651)
  • EC - East Campus (641)
  • ER - Enfield Road (662)
  • FA - Forty Acres (640)
  • FW - Far West (661)
  • IF - Intramural Fields (656)
  • LA - Lake Austin
    Lake Austin
    Lake Austin is a reservoir on the Colorado River in Austin, Texas in the United States. The reservoir was formed in 1939 by the construction of Tom Miller Dam by the Lower Colorado River Authority....

  • LS - Lakeshore (672)
  • NR - North Riverside (671)
  • PR - Pickle Research Campus
    J.J. Pickle Research Campus
    The J. J. Pickle Research Campus in Austin, Texas, United States is owned and operated by the University of Texas at Austin. It is located in northwest Austin, approximately nine miles north of the main UT campus and just south of the The Domain...

  • RR - Red River (653)
  • WC - West Campus (642)
  • WL - Wickersham Lane (675)

Late Evening Combined Service:
  • CR/RR - Cameron Road/Red River Combo (684)
  • ER/LA - Enfield Road/Lake Austin Combo (683)
  • NR/LS - North Riverside/Lakeshore Combo (680)
  • WL/CP - Wickersham Lane/Crossing Place Combo (685)

Local Service Routes

Capital Metro's Local Service routes are intended to serve a specific neighborhood or area of Austin, and tend to stop more frequently. There are 17 Local Service routes, and they are designated by bus route numbers between 001-099:
  • 001 - 1l Via Lamar/1m Via Metric
  • 002 - Rosewood
  • 003 - Burnet / Manchaca
  • 004 - Montopolis
  • 005 - Woodrow / South 5th
  • 006 - East 12th
  • 007 - Duval / Dove Springs
  • 010 - South 1st/Red River
  • 017 - Cesar Chavez
  • 018 - M. L. King
  • 019 - Bull Creek
  • 020 - Manor Rd/Riverside
  • 021 - Exposition
  • 022 - Chicon
  • 030 - Barton Creek
  • 037 - Colony Park

Limited and Flyer routes

These routes are designed for faster transportation, so they stop less frequently than Local Routes. While Limited and Flyer routes are similar, there are some basic differences between the two. Limited Route buses stop fewer times because the routes are designed to move more people between key transfer points and key destinations. Likewise, buses on the Flyer routes stop less often and typically offer direct service between neighborhoods and the UT campus or downtown Austin. There are 13 Limted and Flyer routes, and they are denominated by Route Numbers 100-199:
  • 100 - Airport Flyer
  • 101 - North Lamar/Congress Limited
  • 103 - Manchaca Flyer
  • 110 - South Central Limited
  • 122 - Four Points Limited
  • 127 - Dove Springs Flyer
  • 135 - Dell Limited
  • 137 - ROUTE INACTIVE (Colony Park Flyer)
  • 142 - Metric Flyer
  • 151 - Allandale Shuttle
  • 161 - Dellwood Flyer
  • 171 - Oak Hill Flyer
  • 174 - North Burnet Limited

Feeder Routes

Feeder Routes offer multiple stop service between neighborhoods and Capital Metro transit center or park and ride locations. There are six of these, and they are denominated by route numbers between 200-299:
  • 201 - Southpark Meadows
  • 214 - Lago Vista Feeder
  • 228 - Burleson
  • 240 - Parkfield
  • 243 - Wells Branch
  • 271 - Del Valle

Crosstown Routes

These routes are intended for riders seeking direct, multiple-stop service from one part of Austin to another without going through Downtown Austin
Downtown Austin
Downtown Austin is the central business district of Austin, Texas. Downtown is located on the north bank of the Colorado River. The approximate borders of Downtown include Lamar Boulevard to the west, 11th Street and sometimes Martin Luther King, Jr...

 or near UT (even to change routes). There are 11 of these, each of which will have a route number between 300-399:
  • 300 - Govalle
  • 311 - Stassney
  • 320 - St. John's
  • 323 - Anderon
  • 325 - Olhen
  • 331 - Oltorf
  • 333 - William Cannon
  • 338 - Lamar/45th St
  • 350 - Airport Blvd
  • 383 - Research
  • 392 - Braker

Express Routes

Express Routes are geared towards commuters who want limited-stop service straight into downtown. Capital Metro has 8 of these, and they are noted by their route numbers between 900-999:
  • 935 - Tech Ridge Express
  • 970 - Lantana Express
  • 982 - Pavilion Express
  • 983 - North U.S. 183 Express
  • 985 - Leander/Northwest Express via I-35
  • 987 - Leander/Northwest Express via MoPac
  • 990 - Northeast Express

Special Services

Special Services Routes serve very specific areas of town or individual events, typically implying a limited schedule - often late night buses from downtown. Capital Metro lists 17 of these, and they are denominated by route numbers between 400-499:
  • 410 - E-bus Service Suspended for Summer(E-Bus)
  • 411 - E-bus Service Suspended for Summer (E-Bus)
  • 412 - E-bus Service Suspended for Summer (E-Bus)
  • 460 - Downtown-Congress
  • 461 - Downtown Guadalupe
  • 462 - Downtown-Riverside
  • 464 - MLK-Capitol
  • 465 - MLK MLK/UT
  • 466 - Kramer/Domain
  • 481 - Night Owl North
  • 482 - Night Owl East
  • 483 - Night Owl Southeast
  • 484 - Night Owl Lamar/South 1st
  • 485 - Night Owl Cameron Road
  • 486 - Night Owl Dove Springs
  • 490 - HEB Shuttle
  • 499 - Day Labor


The majority of the current bus fleet consists of vehicles produced by two manufacturers, Gillig and New Flyer
New Flyer Industries
New Flyer Industries Inc. is a bus manufacturer in North America, headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It also has factories in Crookston and St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA.-History:...

, with only relatively small generational design variations, most visibly in the use of flip-dot
Flip-disc display
The flip-disc display is an electromechanical dot matrix display technology used for large outdoor signs, normally those that will be exposed to direct sunlight. Flip-disc technology has been used on buses across North America and Europe. It has also been used extensively on public information...

 destination displays on older series versus LED
Light-emitting diode
A light-emitting diode is a semiconductor light source. LEDs are used as indicator lamps in many devices and are increasingly used for other lighting...

 displays on newer buses. A few smaller series of buses were acquired from other manufacturers, notably Optima
Optima Bus Corporation
Optima Bus, LLC, formerly Chance Coach Inc., is a brand of small transit buses manufactured by North American Bus Industries. It was established in 1976 in Wichita, Kansas....

 (used preferentially on MetroRail shuttles) and MCI
Motor Coach Industries
Motor Coach Industries International Inc. is an American bus manufacturer based in Schaumburg, Illinois, and is a leading participant in the North American coach bus industry. It has various operating subsidiaries:...

 (used on express services). Older bus series produced by TMC
Transportation Manufacturing Corporation
Transportation Manufacturing Corporation was a bus manufacturer based in Roswell, New Mexico.The company was formed in 1974 by Greyhound Bus Lines to manufacture Motor Coach Industries vehicles...

 and Blue Bird are no longer in service.

Fare structure

Effective Sunday Jan. 16, 2011, Capital Metro implemented a fare adjustment that increased some fares and pass rates, standardized MetroExpress and MetroRail fares, and eliminated most free fares. The new fare structure is divided into three categories: Local (all local MetroBus routes), Regional (MetroExpress and MetroRail), and Reduced (1/2 fare for those who qualify):
|Local Local Reduced* Regional Regional Reduced*
Single Ride $1.00 $0.50 $2.75 $1.35
Day Pass $2.00 $1.00 $5.50 $2.75
7-Day Pass $9.00 $4.50 $20.00 $10.00
31-Day Pass $30.00 $15.00 $64.00 $32.00

Reduced Fares are available to those with a Capital Metro Reduced Fare ID (formerly the Disability Fare Card) including: Seniors 65 and over, Medicare card holders, and people with disabilities. Students 6-18 with a valid school ID, and Active & Reserve Military with valid ID.

Local fares required for MetroBus routes. Regional fares required for MetroExpress and MetroRail (includes all MetroBus service). MetroRail riders may purchase a single ride zoned fare: $1 for one zone, $2.75 for 2 zones. All other MetroRail passes must be purchased at the Regional rate. The table below regarding available is up-to-date as of January 2011:
Pass Name Cost
MetroAccess 10-Day Ticket Booklet $15.00
MetroAccess Monthly Pass $40.00
RideShare Monthly Pass $60.00
Shared Value Card ($15.00 Value) $12.00

University of Texas and Austin Community College
Austin Community College
The Austin Community College District is a regional community college district with eight campuses and 12 centers located in and around the city of Austin, Texas, United States....

 students, staff and faculty charge through separate paid agreements with Capital Metro. City of Austin employees also ride at no charge through a similar agreement.

Board of directors

The board of directors was changed once again through state legislation in 2010 to increase the total number of board members from seven to eight. The new law also reduces the number of elected officials who are required to serve on the board, and institutes new requirements regarding the professional experience of certain appointees. The new board will consist of three members appointed by the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is the federally required Metropolitan Planning Organization responsible for the continuous and comprehensive transportation planning process in the Austin, Texas area, including Williamson, Travis, Hays, Bastrop, and Caldwell counties...

, including an elected official; one member representing the small cities in Capital Metro's service area; a member each appointed by the Travis County Commissioners and Williamson County commissioners; and two members appointed by the Austin City Council, in which one must be a member of the Austin City Council
City council
A city council or town council is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.-Australia & NZ:Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies...


Labor relations

As a public entity, Capital Metro is prohibited by Texas law from entering into a traditional collective bargaining
Collective bargaining
Collective bargaining is a process of negotiations between employers and the representatives of a unit of employees aimed at reaching agreements that regulate working conditions...

 agreement with a labor union in the United States
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

. In 1991, however, to comply fully with a state law prohibiting public entities from supervising unionized employees with collective bargaining rights, the Capital Metro board determined that its unionized employees and their supervisors should be transferred to a separate non-profit company. In January 1992, Capital Metro created Startran, Inc.
StarTran is the public transit bus system in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. They operate 14 regular bus routes and a downtown circulator service on weekdays from 5:15 a.m. to 7:10 p.m. and Saturdays from 5:55 a.m. to 7:10 p.m. There is no service on Sundays...

, a private entity that acts as the authority's agent in managing its unionized workforce.

On the other hand, Metro drivers and mechanics are represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union
Amalgamated Transit Union
The Amalgamated Transit Union is a labor union in the United States and The Amalgamated Transit Union Canadian Council in Canada, representing workers in the transit system and other industries...

, a major labor union representing workers in the transit system that boasts over 188,000 members representing workers. StarTran and the AUT have in the past had troubled contract negotiations, that most recently resulted in a general strike
Strike action
Strike action, also called labour strike, on strike, greve , or simply strike, is a work stoppage caused by the mass refusal of employees to work. A strike usually takes place in response to employee grievances. Strikes became important during the industrial revolution, when mass labour became...

 in November 2008.

In 2008, StarTran voted to begin a general strike, despite the fact that StarTran employees were already the highest paid bus operators in the state. Beginning on November 5, 2008, the strike caused the transit agency to reduce its fixed and paratransit service levels, particularly impacting Austin residents who had to use public transit. During the strike, the agency initially provided only those routes on the contingency map for a reduced number of hours but added others as resources became available. The Sunset Advisory Commission released its report on Capital Metro in April 2010.

Capital Metro also contracts with two other service providers for bus operations, First Transit
First Transit
First Transit, a division of FirstGroup America, is a United States-based subsidiary of the United Kingdom-based FirstGroup. It provides contract public transit and paratransit services, transit management services and transit consulting throughout North America...

, Veolia Transport
Veolia Transport
Veolia Transport is the international transport services division of the French-based multinational company Veolia Environnement...

 and the Capital Area Rural Transportation System. First Transit provides shuttle service for University of Texas students, faculty and staff.


2010 Actual Budget
Operating Revenues $28.04 M
Passenger Fares $9 M
Contract Fares $6.76 M
MetroRail $495 K
Freight Rail $11.77 M
Operating Expenses $164.70 M
Non-Operating Revenues $178.23 M
Build Central Texas Program $3.7 M
Change in Net Assets $9.36 M

Future expansion

Capital Metro's operating budget has increased almost 60% over the past five years. This generous funding supports future projects such as the high-tech MetroRapid bus rapid transit
Bus rapid transit
Bus rapid transit is a term applied to a variety of public transportation systems using buses to provide faster, more efficient service than an ordinary bus line. Often this is achieved by making improvements to existing infrastructure, vehicles and scheduling...

. Capital Metro plans to reduce congestion for MetroRapid riders in two ways. First, these buses will get signal priority; as they approach an intersection, traffic signals will automatically stop cross-traffic sooner (or longer) than the normal cycle. Second, Capital Metro hopes to convert existing lanes into bus lanes (dubbed "near-term managed lane facilities") "to improve mobility".

Urban Rail

Plans have been circulating since a failed light rail vote in 2000 about urban rail in Austin. A vote on urban rail, on either light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 or a streetcar system, may be put to the voters as early as 2012.

See also

  • Texas Department of Transportation
    Texas Department of Transportation
    The Texas Department of Transportation is a governmental agency in the U.S. state of Texas. Its stated mission is to "work cooperatively to provide safe, effective and efficient movement of people and goods" throughout the state...

  • Dallas Area Rapid Transit
    Dallas Area Rapid Transit
    The Dallas Area Rapid Transit authority is a transit agency based in Dallas, Texas . It operates buses, light rail, commuter rail, and high-occupancy vehicle lanes in Dallas and 12 of its suburbs...

  • Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.