TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES Capital MetroOKs $255Melectric bus investment inAustin
COMPILED BY BENTON GRAHAM
Running on battery The 40-foot-long buses go slightly further, with an average of 114 miles per charge, compared to 95 miles per charge for the 60-foot-long buses. Capital Metro plans to charge them in the depot as well as on their routes.
Capital Metro’s board of directors unanimously approved the $255 million purchase of 197 electric- powered buses frommanufacturers Proterra and New Flyer during its Sept. 27 meeting. According to a Capital Metro press release, the purchase represents the largest procurement of electric vehicles in U.S. history. The transit agency has a total of 424 buses currently with 12 of those being electric. The buses will roll out over the course of the next five years, according to Capital Metro documents. They will have vinyl seats with USB ports, a perimeter seating format and validators to
check tickets at all doors. Dottie Watkins, Capital Metro chief operating officer, said the electric vehicles present numerous advantages including the reduction of greenhouse gases and air pollution. “It’s a much better environment, not just for our riding public, but for our community as a whole,” Watkins added. The buses will be able to travel between 95 and 114 miles per charge. Watkins said charging the vehicles will likely include a mix of on-route charging and charging at the bus depot, but Capital Metro is continuing to evaluate its long-term strategy. “With climate change as it is we really need to accelerate these types
DONALD E. CARPENTER WAY
Slaughter Lane pedestrian crossing signal
The city of Austin began construction on a new pedestrian crossing signal on Slaughter Lane at Vinemont Drive in September. The signal will allow pedestrians and bicyclists to push a button to indicate to oncoming traffic that they are crossing Slaughter. Timeline: September-December Cost: $480,000 Funding source: 2016 mobility bond
40-foot bus charge
60-foot bus charge
SOURCE: CAPITAL METRO/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
of purchases and investments,” said Pio Renteria, a board member and Austin City Council member. Capital Metro announced its zero emissions goal in 2019.
Stassney Lane bus stop, intersectionwork begins The Austin Transportation Department kicked off Phase 2 of its Stassney Lane improvement project in October. It will focus on bus stop improvements and pedestrian crossings along the road fromWest Gate Boulevard to South Congress Avenue. The project will make bus stop improvements at the Lewood Drive, South 1st Street and South Congress Avenue intersections. The pedestrian crossing improvements would be at Buffalo Pass, Lewood and Emerald Forest Drive. The second phase costs approximately $600,000 and is expected to be completed by the end of the year, said Jack Flagler, Austin Transportation Department public information specialist.
Area leaders question I-35 design Travis County Commissioners and Austin City Council members sent letters to the TxDOT in September expressing concerns, including a need for decks and widened bridges, about designs for I-35. Timeline: anticipated construction to
EMERALD FOREST DR.
begin late 2025 Cost: $4.9 billion
The first phase of the initiative began in the summer and focuses on restriping, adding protected bike lanes and upgrading traffic signals, according to the press release. The third phase, expected to begin in 2022, will make intersection improvements. The phase is still in design and does not have an estimated cost nor timeline. Funding for the entire project comes from the 2016 mobility bond and Capital Metro.
Funding source: TxDOT and Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF OCT. 18. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT SWANEWS@COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.
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SOUTHWEST AUSTIN - DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • OCTOBER 2021
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