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New link and upcoming story

1. Fare Enough, local blog by Larry Schooler, covering some Austin transit and has some experience with Tri-Rail. Welcome.

2. Cap Metro has come out with their service recommendations for 2020 and they're awful - just off the top of my head, running the #5 on San Jacinto because Guadalupe is "too congested" (hint: it's congested because that's where all the good stuff people actually want to go to is located); completely eliminating 3 superior express bus routes in favor of the objectively inferior Red Line + shuttle-bus solution, destroying the utility of the #21/#22 for the schoolkids; etc.

The usual narrative with light rail, which I find to be inaccurate, is that forcing bus riders to transfer to light rail is a degradation of their service. IE, people in Houston in the pocket of the anti-rail lobby stirred up bus riders with objectively false claims that their service would be degraded - when it would actually be improved (shorter ride in traffic on bus with new congestion-skipping ride on rail, no change to endpoint of service). The problem in our case isn't that we're making people transfer from bus to rail, it's actually that we're making people transfer from congestion-skipping rail to traffic-snarled bus at the work end of the trip, which as South Florida has conclusively shown with Tri-Rail, is the kiss of death among 'choice commuters'. People with real jobs don't want to have to worry about whether their shuttle bus back to the train station will make it or whether they'll have to wait a half-hour for the next train; they want to be walking from the train station to their office and back again, period.

More on this tomorrow I hope.

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Comments

Well with routes 984, 986, and 987 they're all already pretty much setup to only run during peak rush hour times. It sounds like they want to see what happens once the metrorail is up and running. Who knows, it could be a success.

With the express busses, I took the 983 from Northwest/Lakeline park and ride all the way downtown to get to the Rio Grand Acc campus. The whole part with it driving around to the Pavillion P&R, and all around the arboretum area, well it seemed like mostly a waste of time. Mainly because the 982 bus covers that area too.

A train would be nice but yes, it looks like I'd of had to take a shuttle bus to get to the ACC campus instead of just getting directly off of the express bus and walking 4 blocks. Time wise it doesn't seem like it's would be any quicker, and I know you've already analyzed that in one of your posts before.

Looks like there's no changes planned for the 983, so at least there will still be hourly express service running in both directions.

The 983 serves the Arboretum at times when 982 doesn't run (especially northbound). It also provides the only connection between Leander and the Arboretum, and a faster connection between Lakeline and the Arboretum (not everyone's going downtown).

If you look at the data for 983 (at http://www.capmetro.org/serviceplan2020/route_profiles.asp), you'll find that over half of its ridership is from/to the Jollyville corridor. If it skipped that you might not have relatively all-day express service to Lakeline.

As you note, during peak times you can skip the Arboretum with 984 or 987 -- at least for now.

I enjoy your blog and thoughts about transportation in Austin. It's interesting that your quick assessment of the "service recommendations" are that they're "awful". Obviously it's your prerogative to critique as you see fit, and if that's all you want to do, no problem. But since you clearly have ideas about how service planning should be improved, I'd welcome your input and in fact would like to hear your thoughts, suggestions and critiques directly. I'd be glad to set up a meeting with just me, or if you prefer, the service planning staff that are directly working on the project. Let me know if you're interested. Todd

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