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AUSTIN (KXAN) — As Project Connect leaders gear up for the unveiling of the program’s initial light rail investment, staff are previewing estimated ridership at each station under the five design proposals. Officials are expected to present a final proposal at Austin Transit Partnership’s May 24 board meeting, with an official decision made between ATP, the City of Austin and CapMetro on June 6.

Here’s a breakdown of each version paired with the number of stations, length of the initial route and estimated ridership. Anticipated ridership is based on current census population and employment estimates, CapMetro’s current and 2040 future bus network, current bus stop boardings, data from the Federal Transit Administration and traffic analysis data from the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.

38th Street to Oltorf Street to Yellow Jacket Lane

Option No. 1 anticipates between 14 and 15 light rail stations would service this route, running from 38th Street south to Oltorf Street and southeast to Yellow Jacket Lane. The initial route estimated a service track between 9.4 and 9.8 miles of light rail.

Average daily ridership is anticipated between 28,500 and 29,900 passengers along this route.

New design renderings shared by the Austin Transit Partnership on April 25 feature future investment options for light rail buildout. (Courtesy: Austin Transit Partnership)

Here are the estimates for the number of trips taken at each of the stations along the corridor:

  • 38th Street: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • 29th Street: 1,551-3,050 trips taken
  • UT: 4,551-6,050 trips taken
  • 15th Street: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • Republic Square: 4,551-6,050 trips taken
  • Congress: 3,051-4,550 trips taken
  • Cesar Chavez: 1,551-3,050 trips taken
  • Auditorium Shores: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • South Congress: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • Waterfront: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • Travis Heights: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • Lakeshore: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • Pleasant Valley: 3,051-4,550 trips taken
  • Faro: 1,551-3,050 trips taken
  • Montopolis: 1,551-3,050 trips taken
  • Yellow Jacket: 1,551-3,050 trips taken

North Lamar Transit Center to Pleasant Valley

Option No. 2 could offer between 9.6 and 9.8 miles of light rail across 13-14 stations, per Project Connect documents. Average ridership is anticipated between 38,600 and 39,300 riders each day.

New design renderings shared by the Austin Transit Partnership on April 25 feature future investment options for light rail buildout. (Courtesy: Austin Transit Partnership)

Ridership at each station along that corridor could include:

  • North Lamar Transit Center: 3,051-4,550 trips taken
  • Crestview: 6,051-7,550 trips taken
  • Koenig: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • 45th Street” 0-1,550 trips taken
  • 38th Street: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • 29th Street: 1,551-3,050 trips taken
  • UT: 6,051-7,550 trips taken
  • 15th Street: 1,551-3,050 trips taken
  • Republic Square: 4,551-6,050 trips taken
  • Congress: 4,551-6,050 trips taken
  • Cesar Chavez: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • Auditorium Shores: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • South Congress: N/A
  • Oltorf: N/A
  • Waterfront: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • Travis Heights: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • Lakeshore: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • Pleasant Valley: 4,551-6,050 trips taken

Note: Both South Congress and Oltorf are marked as not applicable due to those stations not being included as stops along the project’s route.

29th to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

This route marks the only option featuring an initial investment that goes to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. It’s estimated to include 10.1 miles of light rail servicing 13 stations.

Preliminary findings anticipate the average number of daily riders would hover around 28,100.

During an Austin Transit Partnership work session Monday, officials noted ridership on this route would like slightly different due to an existing overlay in place prohibiting residences adjacent to the airport. They said once the system is built out and features more tourism and jobs affiliated with the airport, those ridership estimates would likely change.

New design renderings shared by the Austin Transit Partnership on April 25 feature future investment options for light rail buildout. (Courtesy: Austin Transit Partnership)

Ridership at each station is estimated at:

  • 29th Street: 1,551-3,050 trips taken
  • UT: 4,551-6,050 trips taken
  • 15th Street: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • Republic Square: N/A
  • Congress: 3,051-4,550 trips taken
  • Cesar Chavez: 1,551-3,050 trips taken
  • Auditorium Shores: N/A
  • South Congress: N/A
  • Oltorf: N/A
  • Waterfront: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • Travis Heights: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • Lakeshore: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • Pleasant Valley: 3,051-4,550 trips taken
  • Faro: 1,551-3,050 trips taken
  • Montopolis: 1,551-3,050 trips taken
  • Yellow Jacket: 1,551-3,050 trips taken
  • Airport: 0-1,550 trips taken

29th Street to Oltorf Street to Yellow Jacket Lane

With 8.7 miles of light rail covering 13 stations, this option would head from 29th Street south to Oltorf Street before heading southeast to Yellow Jacket Lane. Approximately 26,900 riders are anticipated to use this route each day, should this be the initial buildout version.

New design renderings shared by the Austin Transit Partnership on April 25 feature future investment options for light rail buildout. (Courtesy: Austin Transit Partnership)

Estimated ridership is listed as:

  • 29th Street: 1,551-3,050 trips taken
  • UT: 4,551-6,050 trips taken
  • 15th Street: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • Republic Square: 4,551-6,050 trips taken
  • Congress: N/A
  • Cesar Chavez: N/A
  • Auditorium Shores: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • South Congress: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • Oltorf: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • Waterfront: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • Travis Heights: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • Lakeshore: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • Pleasant Valley: 3,051-4,550 trips taken
  • Faro: 1,551-3,050 trips taken
  • Montopolis: 1,551-3,050 trips taken
  • Yellow Jacket: 1,551-3,050 trips taken

UT to Yellow Jacket Lane

This marks the shortest route among the five options presented by the Austin Transit Partnership, largely due to the more costly underground segment proposed. The route would run 6.6 miles and feature 10 light rail stations.

Approximately 20,000 riders are expected to use this route each day, based on preliminary estimates.

New design renderings shared by the Austin Transit Partnership on April 25 feature future investment options for light rail buildout. (Courtesy: Austin Transit Partnership)

Ridership, by station, is anticipated at:

  • UT: 4,551-6,050 trips taken
  • 15th Street: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • Republic Square: 3,051-4,550 trips taken
  • Congress: N/A
  • Cesar Chavez: N/A
  • Auditorium Shores: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • South Congress: N/A
  • Oltorf: N/A
  • Waterfront: N/A
  • Travis Heights: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • Lakeshore: 0-1,550 trips taken
  • Pleasant Valley: 3,051-4,550 trips taken
  • Faro: 1,551-3,050 trips taken
  • Montopolis: 1,551-3,050 trips taken
  • Yellow Jacket: 1,551-3,050 trips taken