The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced $65.6 million from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to create rapid bus service in Austin, Texas.
The funding will help Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (CapMetro) make progress on the new Expo Center and Pleasant Valley bus rapid transit lines (BRT) that will connect residents to job centers and other opportunities, including fast, frequent service to downtown Austin, the Travis County Expo Center, and the University of Texas at Austin.
“A fast-growing metro area like Austin needs fast, frequent public transportation,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The Biden-Harris Administration is proud to help deliver the new Expo Center and Pleasant Valley bus rapid transit lines, which will give more Austin residents an affordable, sustainable, and convenient way to get to jobs, schools, and downtown destinations.”
New electric battery-powered buses for the two routes will expand service without contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. CapMetro procured nearly 200 electric buses last year to support the city’s goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The agency also plans to improve the rider experience with pre-boarding fare payment, traffic signal priority, and improved station amenities.
The Expo Center BRT project will connect downtown Austin with major employers and medical facilities, including the Expo Center, the university, and Dell Seton Medical Center. By 2040, CapMetro estimates the Expo Center BRT line will provide more than 2.3 million rides annually. The Pleasant Valley BRT project will connect several communities in east Austin to Dell Children’s Medical Center, Austin Community College Eastview, and Capital Metro headquarters. CapMetro officials estimate that by 2040, the Pleasant Valley BRT will provide more than two million rides annually.
FTA’s support for CapMetro includes:
- $30.8 million for the 12-mile Expo Center BRT line, which is estimated to cost a total of $48.5 million.
- $34.7 million for the 14-mile Pleasant Valley BRT project, estimated to cost a total of $52.7 million.
The funding comes from FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program, which helps communities carry out transformational transit projects. The program received a significant increase in funding thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law — up to $23 billion, with $8 billion guaranteed to invest in new high-capacity transit projects — to help meet the growing demand for federal transit support across the country.
Projects accepted into the CIG program must go through a multi-year, multi-step process according to requirements in law to be eligible for consideration to receive federal funds.
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