Capital Metro ridership bounces back from years of stagnation


(KXAN File Photos)

AUSTIN (Austin Business Journal / KXAN) — After years of stagnation, more and more Austinites are using public transportation, according to Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The agency saw an 11.5% year-over-year ridership increase in May, with 2,653,508 total boardings, according to a report by KXAN media partner Austin Business Journal. Sunday ridership took the biggest leap, jumping 32.1% year-over-year. Weekday and Saturday ridership increases came in at 9.8% and 9.9%, respectively.

CapMetro officials attribute the growth in ridership to the implementation of Cap Remap, its massive overhaul of routes and frequencies that launched in June, 2018. In the first year of Cap Remap, officials say there was a systemwide increase in ridership of 4.5%.

It is the latest sign of a turnaround after Capital Metro saw years of decreasing bus ridership. Boardings fell 18 percent from 2012 to 2016.

Last month, a KXAN report showed CapMetro spent five years trying different things to boost ridership — buses taken off Congress Avenue in 2014, MetroRail launch, MetroExpress routes, etc.

The next big step for the company is Project Connect, a high-capacity system that would bring two major lines and several updates to routes across the city.

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