Flanked by a MetroRapid vehicle at the key transit hub of Tech Ridge Station, Round Rock Mayor Alan McGraw, Capital Metro’s President/CEO Linda S. Watson and Vice-President of Strategic Planning & Development Todd Hemingson unveiled plans for the future of transit in the rapidly growing North Corridor.
“The North Corridor is growing rapidly and we can’t wait any longer to do something about it. That’s why we’ve partnered with those communities in need of transit solutions to come up with a plan for the North Corridor that will provide more connectivity within Central Texas,” Mayor McGraw said. “We’re working hard to build a comprehensive regional system to connect not only the North Corridor, but also all of Central Texas. Doing so will bring much needed transit services to commuters in Round Rock, North Austin, Georgetown, Pflugerville, Manor, Taylor, Hutto and more.”
The draft of the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) calls for several different types of services, including the extension of existing MetroRapid lines from Tech Ridge to Round Rock and The Domain to Georgetown; Express service linking Hutto and Pflugerville to Austin, Connect service to Round Rock from Hutto and from Manor to Tech Ridge and the emerging transit hub of Highland Mall; new Park & Ride facilities in Hutto and Pflugerville, and more.
“By 2035, half the population of Williamson and Travis counties will reside in the North Corridor – More than 1.3 million people – and 66 percent of all jobs in Williamson and Travis Counties and 55 percent of all jobs in the five-county region will be located there. Of the 100 most congested roadways in Texas, six are located in the North Corridor,” said Watson. “Project Connect now has a plan to develop real, attainable, high-capacity transit tools that can give North Corridor commuters more options for getting around within this most congested area in our region.”
The proposals in the LPA, which provides for a scalable and expandable transit network, can be completed in phases depending on funding sources. If completed fully, the projects within the LPA would cost an estimated $164 million, less than the cost of a typical highway interchange.
The North Corridor team will next solicit feedback from the public to help shape the final LPA. Once finalized, the project team will meet with various stakeholders and municipalities to discuss potential timelines for completion and total cost for each entity’s proposed service.
It’s expected the LPA will be finalized in April.