Austin, Texas’ Capital Metro board of directors selected AECOM, an integrated global engineering firm, to conduct the Central Corridor Transit Analysis, a study designed to create connected, sustainable transportation solutions for Austin’s Central Corridor. The Project Connect Central Corridor Study that began in 2014 will continue with AECOM leading the effort, working with transportation agencies, stakeholders and the public to shape Austin’s transit future.

The study is intended to accomplish three key goals: identify short term solutions that can be done with current infrastructure to improve mobility within the study area, identify longer term projects including new modes of high capacity transit, and develop a funding strategy and timeline for the proposed infrastructure projects.

“While the entire Central Texas region is growing at a phenomenal rate, central Austin is a key area of focus for improving mobility,” said Capital Metro President/CEO Linda Watson. “Nearly 150,000 people drive into and out of the downtown area each day, so creating effective transit options for the heart of the city is vital for increasing economic growth and improving the quality of life.”

“AECOM has put together a comprehensive proposal that includes actively engaging the community in the planning, and we look forward to working with them to create a sustainable transit plan that serves the region effectively,” Watson said.

AECOM will consider all practical transportation modes to enhance transit options in the Central Corridor including, though not limited to, rail.

Highlights from AECOM’s proposal include:

  • An in-depth study of a variety of transportation modes and their potential for creating improved transit options within the corridor.
  • A thorough community and stakeholder involvement process with a transparent, multi-tiered approach to project decision-making and phasing that is consistent with community vision.
  • An emphasis on developing a workable, FTA-guided plan that can be funded and developed.
  • A multimodal transportation plan that improves the feasibility of transit in the Central Corridor while effectively maximizing connections with regional routes in surrounding communities.
  • A realistic cost analysis for building, operating and maintaining the proposed sustainable and connected transit system.

AECOM’s study is expected to take 30 months to complete. Remaining Project Connect federal grant funds, combined with support from Capital Metro and the City of Austin, will be used to cover the study’s $3 million cost. As part of the study, AECOM will identify potential funding resources to support the resulting plan’s implementation.

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