AUSTIN (KXAN) — Local transportation agencies want to build eight new park and ride sites in Travis and Williamson County, but to make that a reality, money is needed.
The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) is working with Capital Metro and the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority to determine where the new locations will be built. The sites are on the outer edges of Austin, including four proposed in southwest Austin. CTRMA and Capital Metro are hoping to fund the sites from the Qualified Energy Conservation Bond which comes from the Department of Energy.
Bill Bunch with the Save our Springs Alliance believe Travis County Commissioners should address environmental concerns before committing any funds. “There’s no studies yet whether they’re feasible or needed or what the environmental impacts may be or what the alternatives might be better may be.”
CapMetro and CTRMA are funding studies on how the park and ride facilities could potentially affect areas nearby, like the Edwards Aquifer. However, Bunch says the process seems backwards. “It’s upside down, we need to do the studies first and then we need to do the construction.”
They suggest there are other ways to help traffic flow. “If there’s going to be a park and ride in the South Mopac corridor, it should be integrated with high occupancy vehicle lanes.”
The Travis County Commissioner’s Court was scheduled to vote on the funding item at Tuesday’s meeting, but ended up tabling the item for Jan. 24.
Capital Metro currently provides transit service to 15 Park & Rides throughout the region. The Lakeline Park and Ride is currently under construction to add another 460 parking spaces for a total of 945; the project is expected to be completed this spring. The Howard Park and Ride will get an additional 78 spaces by this fall. Right across the MoPac freeway from the original Howard Park and Ride, there will be the Howard/New Life Park and Ride that will serve a future 980 express route and also have 125 spaces; that is expected to open this year as well.
|Park & Ride Location||# of Parking Spots in 2016|
|North Lamar Transit Center||258|
|South Congress Transit Center||32|