To discourage DWIs, Austin touts public transportation options


AUSTIN (KXAN) — With so many transportation options available to people to get home safely, the top cop in Austin says there is no reason to get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking.

On Friday, CEO of Capital Metro Randy Clarke and Police Chief Brian Manley stood at the Downtown MetroRail station to remind people about the late night public transportation options they can use.

“Everyone knows Austin is a great music [city] — and as you will, a bar town — and we want to really encourage people to get on our service,” says Clarke. “We have late buses and of course these late-night trains to really not be drinking and driving.”

Every weekend this summer through Sept. 1, MetroRail will run later on Friday and Saturday nights. On Friday nights, the last departure from downtown to Leander is at 1:45 a.m. Saturday nights to Lakeline has a downtown departure of 2:30 a.m. — so plenty of time for you to get to it after the bars close.

To curb drinking and driving, the Austin Police Department is also conducting No Refusal initiatives every weekend this summer, which was started last summer. 

“The services that CapMetro provides that allow another opportunity for people in our community to make the right decision if you’ve been out enjoying your evening and you have been drinking,” says Manley, “because there’s absolutely never a time when you should drive if you’ve been drinking.”

According to APD data from May 2018, there has been a 15 percent decrease in DWI offenses year to date. 

For those who are using late-night bus services, Clarke says you’ll soon see new solar lights mounted at bus stops to keep the area well-lit.

To encourage public transportation use across the board, children get to ride for free this summer as well. 

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