Texas

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Austin
commuter light rail, planned streetcar


In March 2010, after a year's worth of frustration with the Federal Railroad Administration fighting about them newfangled safety standards, which all us Texans know are for pussies anyway, Capital Metro opened with great fanfare and enthusiasm. The nine station line will offer erratic but safe service from downtown Austin to the suburb of Leander.

Capital Metro has plans to expand the system, and to install streetcars in downtown Austin and in the University of Texas area. It's Project Connect includes a 9.5 mile light rail line which would eventually connect with the airport. The line would also feature a tunnel section, though the placement of a true subway station is yet to be determined.



Capital Metro
Official Home Page
Capital Metrorail
page from Jon Bell
David Villa's Capital Metro
Unofficial Home Page
Light Rail -Choo Choo to Debt
Discussion forum for light rail in Austin
Light Rail Now home page, Austin's pro-ligt rail grassroots org
Map of proposed LRT route from lightrail.com

A word from the page's webmaster about the proposed Austin LRT:

Capital Metro has enormous reserves.  Funds are being set aside from the transit authority's 1-cent share of the sales tax, and the tax base is growing.  The current system operates on 3/4 of a cent or less.  You see,after the board's makeup was altered to induce accountability they have been very conservative fiscally.  (There has also been unprecedented turnover at higher levels.)

The agency can't keep its mind made on which line should be built first. The red line along existing Union Pacific railway was a priority for a long time, but with having to put in an adjacent rail the cost is comparable to that of the other lines.  Currently they are considering hitting the major destination points downtown and just north of that, since that has the greatest ridership potential.  The corridor is not settled upon, as far as I know.

Although it is not required the board wants to bring the plan to public vote next year, yes/no to proceed.  However nothing positive is ever said of the agency and I'm not certain they'll be willing to put in on the ballot until they are confident it will pass.
 

Austin MetroRail car brazenly displays its smooth steel skin under the beating hot Texas sun as it thrusts forward, undauntingly.

Streetcar

Austin voters will soon decide whether or not they build a 26.5 km streetcar line. An ambitious 10 km was added to the original 16.5 km, which will either be the deal breaker or the starter system's death knell. We will soon know as the November 2012 election approaches.



Map printed without permission. Note the caption that the map is not to scale, which would otherwise require a computer screen the size of Austin