April 10, 2014

Central Texas' high-capacity transit plan wins innovation award

The Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) International – Heart of Texas Chapter presented Central Texas' Project Connect with the 2013 Innovative Transportation Solutions Award at its 10th Annual Transportation Gala and Scholarship Fundraiser earlier this month.

Project Connect is the high-capacity transit vision for Central Texas, endorsed by the Transit Working Group, as a subcommittee of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, which serves as the umbrella that all high-capacity transit projects in Central Texas have been developed under. The projects include regional rail, bus rapid transit, urban rail, managed lanes and other high-capacity modes.

Adding more detail to the system level plan is a pair of corridor studies currently underway. Those studies encompass the North Corridor, which is focused on studying the fast-growing areas of North Austin, Round Rock, Georgetown, Hutto, Pflugerville and others.

The second study is Central Corridor, which is studying transit options in the heartbeat of Central Texas, Central Austin. Those options include the potential for urban rail and/or the expansion of bus rapid transit within the city of Austin and the neighboring suburbs.

The award recognizes the creative work Project Connect is undertaking to improve the quality of life for Central Texas residents. Other nominees included Carma, the City of Austin’s Bicycle Program and Commute Solutions. Project Connect is now in the running for the international Innovative Transportation Solutions Award at the WTS International annual conference in May in Portland, Ore.

“It’s gratifying for Project Connect to be selected from a pool of so many deserving nominees,” said Capital Metro President/CEO Linda S. Watson, who accepted the award on behalf of the Project Connect. “This award shows the work that Project Connect is doing is important and will have a profound impact on the Austin area and the people who call Central Texas home.”

Several elements of the Project Connect vision are already online, including Capital Metro’s 32-mile, nine station MetroRail Red Line as well as its MetroRapid bus rapid transit line.

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