AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Transit Partnership, the entity responsible for delivering Austin’s mass transit program known as Project Connect, unveiled five design options for the next light rail to the public.
The light rail designs are scaled down in scope to what was advertised when Austin voters decided to approve the billion-dollar project. The five designs all connect some portions of Austin both north and south of the lake, but did not go as far as originally planned. Only one of the options goes to the airport.
Austinites got the chance to see the designs for themselves at an open house on Tuesday night and provided their own feedback using sticky notes and filling out written paper forms.
You can view the designs of the five light rail options here. You can also provide any feedback to the designs online, or email your comments to email@example.com or mail them physically to ATP at 203 Colorado St., Austin.
Starting with a core system
ATP originally planned to build an orange line, designed to connect north and south Austin, and a blue line designed to go to the airport, but the projected cost to build both of the lines nearly doubled last year.
ATP executive director Greg Canally said the entity wanted to deliver something that was within budget and still provided impactful transportation. Canally said there is always the ability to expand the transit system in the future, but in order to do that, they have to start somewhere.
“The best way to get to the full vision is to start with an initial core system, and we believe these five options get Austin down that path,” Canally explained.
Canally is not promising any deadlines but said ATP will consider the feedback from the community and make a decision on which option they will choose in the next few months.