Project Connect virtual meetings: What do you want to see at light rail line locations?

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — In a media roundtable Tuesday, CapMetro along with the Austin Transit Partnership discussed the next steps in the future of Project Connect. Last fall, voters approved the $7 billion transit system that aims to bring a light rail, an underground tunnel system and expanded bus service to Austin.

Starting Tuesday, the transit agency will host a series of public virtual meetings. Officials say these virtual meetings will allow the community to provide feedback on the projects aimed at developing the Orange and Blue lines.

The orange line stretches about 21 miles north to south across the city from Tech Ridge to Slaughter Lane along the North Lamar Boulevard/Guadalupe Street corridor. The light rail then connects to the University of Texas at Austin campus and downtown before crossing Lady Bird Lake and traveling along South Congress Avenue to Slaughter Lane.

CapMetro is planning for up to 21 stations along the route with high-frequency service, which runs every 10 to 15 minutes.

A first look at a conceptual design featuring the locations of the Orange light rail stations. (Source: CapMetro)

The blue line will operate east to west taking riders back and forth between the downtown area and Austin airport. The line is about 15 miles long with up to 11 stations along the route. It travels along East Riverside Drive across Lady Bird Lake to the Convention Center and west on 4th Street to Republic Square. Once downtown, plans for the route include operation along the Orange Line’s path to U.S. Highway 183 and North Lamar Boulevard. It will also feature a high-frequency service with rides available every 10 to 15 minutes.

A first look at a conceptual design featuring the locations of the Blue light rail stations. (Source: CapMetro)

Officials are also hoping to get input from the community on what these stations should look like. This includes the design of the bus stops along the routes. For example, what shading, lighting, seating and technology should be featured at each bus stop.

Transit officials say they are taking every aspect into account to ensure it meets the community’s needs and enhances accessibility.

“How important is it that you be able to get a bike-share there or that you’ll be able to maybe even lock your bike up at a bike rack so we want to hear from folks what will make you comfortable, what would make the station respectful of its environment and your neighborhood and what makes it the most accessible,” Jackie Nirenberg, the Austin Transit Partnership’s director of community engagement and involvement, said.

The public comment period will run from April 26 to May 21.

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