Project Connect Initial Investment on November Ballot

Great news!

Some of you who have been following city council actions closely know that city council has officially approved a ballot measure in the upcoming November election that, if it passes, would fund a $7.1 billion initial investment in Project Connect. (FANs previously voted in favor of a resolution supporting the Project Connect system plan.)

Here is how Capital Metro described the news in its most recent newsletter:

This week, the Austin City Council approved a special election that will be on the November ballot to authorize and fund the $7.1 billion Initial Investment portion of Project Connect.

At a joint session held on August 7, the Austin City Council and the CapMetro board approved an interlocal agreement for the creation of the Austin Transit Partnership (ATP), which will be responsible for the implementation of Project Connect. The board and Council also approved complementary resolutions with commitments to the community about ways the agencies will deliver the Project Connect system through the ATP.

On July 27, Capital Metro had presented two investment scenarios to the Austin City Council: a $10 billion package and a $7.1 billion package. The $7.1 billion would serve as an Initial Investment—a first step on the way to implementing the full System Plan.

The Initial Investment would include an all-electric bus fleet, 3 new rail lines, a downtown transit tunnel and an expanded bus system with new routes and more connections.

A snapshot of Project Connect’s features includes:

A new rail system connecting Austin’s north, south and neighborhoods east of Austin with new stops and stations including The Domain, the Austin FC stadium, the airport and the South Congress district. That’s 27 miles and 31 stations, including a downtown tunnel to separate transit from traffic. Routes would include

Orange Line: Light rail connecting North and South Austin between the North Lamar Transit Center (N. Lamar & U.S. 183) and Stassney Lane, with MetroRapid connecting north of 183 to Tech Ridge and Stassney Lane to Slaughter Lane.

Blue Line: Light rail offering service to the airport. Operating from the North Lamar Transit Center (along the Orange Line) to downtown and directly to the airport.

Green Line: New commuter rail service connecting downtown to East Austin’s Colony Park.

Red Line: Expanded commuter rail service with new stations serving The Domain and the soccer stadium at McKalla Place.

Gold Line: Would provide MetroRapid bus service to 10 new stations with a potential conversion to light rail as part of the Project Connect Full System Plan.

High-frequency MetroRapid bus service with priority treatments and four new routes covering about 36 miles with 65 stops.

3 new MetroExpress commuter routes and 9 new Park & Rides, a new Transit Center and MetroBike integration.

15 new Neighborhood Circulator Zones with on-demand pickup.

Enhanced MetroAccess service.