Flooded with SXSW traffic, CapMetro opens new command center

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — There’s nothing like a trial by fire. 

Capital Metro opened its new operations center Friday, the same day South By Southwest Interactive kicks off in Austin.   The new facility serves as the central point of communication for all CapMetro’s buses and trains shuttling people around town. 

“This is CapMetro’s Super Bowl,” said Jen Golech, CapMetro’s director of bus operations and service coordination while standing in the middle of the new operations center on McNeil Rd. 

Keeping buses and trains on time is complicated under the best of circumstances, but with thousands of people in town for South By Southwest, a smooth roll out is critical.  And unlike previous years, the festival doesn’t coincide with Spring Break which typically frees up some of the congestion.  

Gollech said CapMetro workers started moving into the new facility two weeks ago and they have been testing their systems, but Friday is the first day they’ve all been working in there together.  With so many people using their services, a slight hiccup can lead to major problems. 

“We have plans in place to respond to that immediately.  If we didn’t respond to it, we’d have big problems but we do have good plans in place to be able to respond,” says Golech

CapMetro is offering extra routes to deal with the crush.  They also have ambassadors stationed at train stops and other locations to help out-of-towners find their way around. 

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