The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will provide $38 million to build a bus rapid transit system (BRT) for Austin, Texas-based Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro), bringing additional transportation choices to one of the most congested mid-size cities in the country.
The new bus system will make it easier for residents to get to jobs, schools and cultural centers in downtown Austin.
The new MetroRapid bus service includes construction of 40 new bus stations and the purchase of 40 clean diesel buses that will operate along a 37.5-mile route on streets that run parallel to the region’s main highways, I-35 and Loop-1. The service will make it easier for riders to access downtown Austin’s central business district, the State Capitol and the University of Texas at Austin, while saving energy and reducing carbon emissions. More than 20,000 daily riders are expected to use the service when it begins in 2014.
The agreement, which covers about 80% of the $47 million project, clears the way for Capital Metro to begin construction on the new BRT system. According to MetroRapid, the project is expected to create more than 100 construction-related jobs.
FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff also announced an additional $3 million grant from FTA’s State of Good Repair Program that Capital Metro will use toward the replacement of seven worn-out buses in its regular fleet.