ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Over the last decade, Round Rock’s population has skyrocketed to 120,717 — up nearly 20% since 2010. As the city continues to grow, city leaders want to address the transit demand in the growing city.
Starting Wednesday, city leaders will meet with the community to gather feedback and discuss the future of transit. They’re working to update the city’s 2015 Transit Master Plan. The new Transit Development Plan will serve as a blueprint for the future of transit over the next 10 years.
For some riders like Larry Williams, the city’s CapMetro transit system is a lifeline. He is one of many Round Rock neighbors who depend on the four fixed transit routes.
“I use it to get to work, I use it to go to meetings, to go to interviews, to go to workshops, to go to the store basically go do everything right now,” Williams said.
The buses take riders anywhere from ACC’s Round Rock Campus, area hospitals, La Frontera Shopping Center, Tech Ridge to Howard and even downtown Austin. Since the city launched its first fixed transit service with CapMetro in 2017 there has been a steady rise in ridership. Those numbers took a hit because of COVID-19 but have slowly been going back up.
“2020 did not perform at all like you would want it to,” Gary Hudder, Round Rock’s Director of Transportation said looking back and added, “2021 looks like it’s doing much better. We are gaining some steam, we have most of the routes back in place.”
The new transit development plan could mean changes such as a new route to accommodate new neighbors in the growing area who may not currently have access.
“It doesn’t make sense to run a bus three or four additional miles for a rider since that time maybe there’s eight riders or 10 riders who need the service so those are the kinds of things we want to make sure we’re staying ahead of,” Hudder said.
For people like Williams and other riders, they know what they would like to see.
“Probably more buses,” Elisa Myles said.
“You want to make sure that people keep moving, and then that way they don’t have problems so you want to make sure the buses are coming more frequently,” Williams added.
The public workshop is open to the public and will take place Wednesday and Thursday at the Allen R. Baca Senior Center from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Those who are unable to attend can fill out a survey online. Information and survey will be open through October 1. City officials hope to have a plan together by early next year that they would present to the council.