Responding with CARE
The pandemic has tested Capital Metro and brought out our best. We adjusted service levels to match the new demand and to make sure people could feel comfortable and safe while riding. Though ridership dropped by as much as 60%, we’ve provided nearly 5 million trips that allowed people to get to their essential jobs.
Our priority has been to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff and our customers. To that end, we have distributed more than 215,000 masks; 65,000 gloves and hundreds of gallons of hand sanitizer (so much that we literally can’t count how much!).
Our office staff responded to the new dynamic by stepping up and pitching in. Through our All Hands program, staff has logged 13,146 hours of midday vehicle cleaning, protective equipment supply runs, temperature scan assistance and installation of mask and social distancing signage.
Caring for the Community
The pandemic’s impact has hit hardest the most vulnerable in our community. Since March, CapMetro operators and staff volunteers put in more than 10,000 hours of service to deliver more than 600,000 meals to our neighbors in need. This program is the result of our strong partnerships with the Central Texas Food Bank, HEB, Good Apple and ATX Farmshare.
As so many of us have been forced to work and study from home, access to strong technology infrastructure has never been so important. To bring connections to reliable internet service, we deployed MetroAccess vehicles to 10 low-income communities to provide free Wi-Fi throughout the spring and summer.
Return to Service
As CapMetro began to return more service to the streets with our August service changes, we took every measure to provide a safe and positive transit experience. The way we’ve done so is to:
- Create safe places for staff and customers.
- Apply our resources wisely and equitably.
- Rely on data for decision-making.
- Evaluate our results and adapt.
Learn more at CapMetro.org/COVID19.
Our conversion to an all-electric fleet got started earlier this year with the first two electric buses on the streets of Central Texas. By the end of the year, we’ll have 12 of them ready to go, including the first two 60-foot electric buses (the long, bendy buses you see on our MetroRapid lines) in Texas.
We have also made great progress converting a portion of our facility in North Austin into an electric bus yard with space for 180 buses.
Our electric buses have reduced CO2 emissions by 17.5 tons and N2O emissions by 39.9 pounds That’s equal to the carbon captured by nearly 30 acres of forests in a year!
Project Connect: A new transit plan for Austin and Central Texas
After years of planning and community engagement, Project Connect’s Initial Investment has been placed on the November ballot. A collaborative process between the Capital Metro board and the Austin City Council resulted in a proposed Initial Investment in Project Connect that would expand transit capacity and offer more options to link people, neighborhoods and employers.
You can follow along with Project Connect at ProjectConnect.com