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Effort to game the numbers on Red Line begins

Slowly at first.

Latest proposals for route changes eliminate a bunch of trips on the #982; one of the northwest corridor express buses that covers much of the same ground as the Red Line will, except that the express bus takes passengers directly to their destinations without requiring a transfer to a shuttle-bus.

Also, later on in the same document:

Staff also recommends suspending specific trips on routes 984, 986, and 987 that are duplicative to MetroRail trips.

Let's emphasize that again:

Staff also recommends suspending specific trips on routes 984, 986, and 987 that are duplicative to MetroRail trips.

Any questions why they might be doing this?

Hint: the express buses take passengers straight to the front door of UT, and very close to the Capitol Complex; in neither case requiring a transfer.

These are the same express bus routes I've been telling you about for years - the ones that are, still, a better option for most passengers than the Red Line although if you get all the way to Leander, the rail option starts to compete - within the probable standard deviation. For passengers at the NW Park and Ride, though, the express bus is likely faster and will remain so for quite some time. Passengers at the Pavillion P&R don't even have an option; the Red Line doesn't 'serve' them. Of course, who cares about them? They're only actual residents of Austin who pay more than 90% of Capital Metro's bills; they aren't folks from Cedar Park who pay nothing for the system.

Short summary: Capital Metro is eliminating bus routes that currently serve most passengers better than the Red Line will in order to make the Red Line look a bit more 'success'ful than it otherwise would be.

This entry was posted in the following categories: Austin , Don't Hurt Us Mr. Krusee, We'll Do Whatever You Want , I Told You So , Transit in Austin , Transportation

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Comments

Dang. I live right near the Pavilion P&R and take the 982/983 all the time. They already come infrequently enough to be irritating, although they are pretty good at sticking to their schedule. If they eliminate the northbound routes from 5:00 to 6:00, it will be particularly painful (those have high ridership).

Gotta go contrarian here. The express bus and rail routes are operationally duplicative. For cost reasons one or the other should be eliminated, and given that the rail is the shiny new toy, you know it won't be the route to go. Regardless of whether it's less useful (and no doubt, it is).

In other cities, the definition of 'operationally duplicative' has required that there be no additional transfers AFTER the rail trip (some cities have rerouted previously direct bus routes to drop people off at a light-rail station, in other words; I am not aware of any that forced previously direct bus service to switch to rail+shuttle).

In addition, one could argue the routes aren't even duplicative by a more generous definition of the term - what about the medical complex at 38th/Lamar? (this is where I used to board 982/983 for reverse commute; a lot of hospital staff types got off coming the other way).

M1EK is right (re. last comment). That is the key thing that is wrong with CapMetro's rerouting in this instance.

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