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Simplified headline

for my pal at the Statesman who wouldn't want to risk alienating the suburbanites:

"Capital Metro takes money from Austin; spends it on Leander, Cedar Park, and Round Rock".

And as a result, one of the things being considered is eliminating some express bus routes that actually work far better for Austin residents than will commuter rail. Of course, as the article points out, Austin gets screwed more than once here: we're also not going to have funding we counted on from Capital Metro for things like the Pfluger Bridge extension and various streetscape projects.

Again, compare/contrast to light rail a la 2000: light rail would have served the same batch of suburbanites at the same exact park-and-rides, but also provided service improvements for residents of Austin - including some of the densest parts of Austin - and it would have delivered those people directly to UT, the Capitol, and the parts of downtown people actually go to - without transferring to a shuttlebus to do it. Note: implementing commuter rail service means we can never go back and do that light rail line - we have now precluded ourselves from ever serving Austin residents in a meaninfgul way with a starter line that would be a guaranteed ridership slam-dunk. The best we can do now is the half-assed 2008 CAMPO TWG rail proposal, currently languishing for lack of financing and political support - a plan which might get some trains running from Mueller to downtown in a decade; and maybe finally get trains running on Guadalupe by 2050 or so.

Still feel that supporting this commuter rail plan was the best way to get rail service to central Austin, those of you who held your nose and voted 'yes' in 2004?

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

For me, the lack of weekend service says all that needs to be said. Why build a line for which there will be so little demand that its not worth running on the weekends? Also, I was talking to some homeowners who live close to 51st and Airport who are VERY upset about the commuter rail. There is no rail stop close enough to serve them, the loud freight trains were moved to the middle of the night, and CapMetro put up the WORST looking chain link fence to protect the tracks in the neighborhood - just horrible aesthetics!! The fence is already falling down in spots. Cap Metro just made enemies of an entire neighborhood.

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