Category Archives: Transportation

Bus City Blues

CapMetro bus ridership has remained stagnant for over 15 years even as Austin experienced substantial population growth and bus spending significantly increased. Land use reform by the City and a service strategy shift at CapMetro can end the ridership stagnation era.

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Prop 1 in 1 minute

This FAQ provides a pro-transit, anti-Proposition 1 perspective. Here’s the extended version of this FAQ.

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Pro-Transit, Anti-Proposition 1

Why would a pragmatic progressive that wants to move Austin away from car-dependence oppose an investment in light rail? In brief, because the details of this proposal mean more sprawl and lower transit system ridership. Here is the pro-transit, anti-Proposition … Continue reading

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Rail Risks

Proposition 1 rail has much higher operating costs than bus-based alternatives, yet it will achieve essentially the same ridership as bus service. This is due to the selection of a route with ridership potential too low to take advantage of … Continue reading

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Let’s Go do rail like Houston!

Advocates for this November’s “road and rail” Proposition 1 would like the electorate to believe the proposed light rail segment will achieve success similar to Houston’s stellar Red Line. Here are the top 3 reasons why they are wrong and … Continue reading

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Better Billion

November’s urban rail and road package aims to “do something” as Austin clamors for transportation solutions. Sadly, as blog readers know, the proposal will not be effective at reducing congestion or promoting car-independence. It will, however, exhaust our reserves of … Continue reading

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A day late and a few thousand riders short

Earlier today, Project Connect released a methodology memo (PDF version) providing an overview of their approach to estimating ridership.  The memo raises three major concerns, which I describe below.

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Trophy, Hammer, Lottery, Transit

The proposed urban rail route’s operational costs are too high. This will undermine the overall transit system by slowing down frequency increases for productive bus routes; it could potentially also lead to outright future cuts to system coverage. The likelihood … Continue reading

Posted in Transit, Transportation | 26 Comments

Time for plan B(RT)

The initial ridership and cost estimates are in for the proposed Grove-Highland Rail (GHR) route. And they are thoroughly disappointing. Simply put, GHR will consume an enormous amount of our transit borrowing capacity without providing mobility at a meaningfully lower … Continue reading

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Peak Misinformation

Project Connect’s staff and consultants recommended against using Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in large part because of its inability to meet peak time needs as the Austin of 2030 and beyond keeps growing. However, upon closer inspection, BRT seems to … Continue reading

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