CapMetro wants your help to develop north-south ‘Orange Line’

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The first piece of Capital Metro’s wide-ranging overhaul of the city’s public transit system is a north-south corridor, but there are still a lot of details to hammer out.

The Orange Line, part of CapMetro’s Project Connect plan, would run from Tech Ridge in north Austin down the North Lamar corridor and all the way to the river. But whether it’s a rail or bus line, where stops should be and how often it runs are all up in the air. The company wants community input to help answer those and other questions about the line and about Project Connect more broadly.

“Each one of those are trade-offs,” said CapMetro CEO Randy Clarke, “and we’re looking to figure out what the best balance in the community is.”

The open house is from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday at the Central Library’s Special Event Center. CapMetro is also taking online feedback from April 9 through 24.

In addition to details of the route and vehicles to use, Clarke and the board want to get a sense for how people feel about other aspects of major construction projects.

“Is it more important to get something done faster?” Clarke said. “Is the price sensitivity, the cost sensitivity most important?”

After the Orange Line, the company will tackle the Blue Line, a route that runs from the airport to downtown, and try to answer the same kinds of questions. The Project Connect map also includes a Brown Line down South Congress Avenue to Slaughter Lane, plus several other less-traveled corridors CapMetro would like to develop.

Regardless of the direction the lines take, the transit company wants to make it’s hearing from as many people as possible.

“I kind of almost joked it’s called the H-E-B test, where I want to go to H-E-B and have more and more people know what Project Connect is instead of some people that were just involved in the process,” Clarke said. “So we need more people in the community to be engaged in this process.”

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