Austin, the state capital of Texas, is gearing up for a public transportation revolution, with a $ 7 billion plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion by providing a variety of transportation options and infrastructure to the citizens of one of the fastest growing cities in the country.
Along with a new rail system with 31 new stops, there will be four high-speed bus routes, neighborhood transportation services that will take people to and from stations, and new parking and ride areas to encourage drivers from the city to use the new infrastructure.
“Three main arguments were made,” says Austin Mayor Steve Adler. “One was congestion. One was climate change. One was the equity of mobility in our city ”.
Proposition A, as voted during the 2020 U.S. election, also includes a $ 450 million plan to add bike and hiking infrastructure, such as pedestrian bridges, bike lanes, sidewalks, and urban parks, all of which will be integrated under nicknamed “Project Connect” which will feature experts in community planning, construction and engineering, as well as advisers from the CapMetro board. Together will meet on January 1 to work out the details of the program.
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The new train stops will serve North and South Austin, the airport, downtown and Colony Park, and a map of the proposed lines of service is displayed. available on the Capitol Metro website.
Two previous ballot initiatives that included new transportation programs failed, and Adler says this was the result of “intense scrutiny and public participation.” The estimated number of cars taken off the streets that plague city of Austin drivers with roughly 107 hours a year of heavy traffic is currently around 250,000, enough to harmonize all forms of transportation with one another.
“It’s going to be a very liberating experience to access more of the city than ever before,” said Adam Greenfield, an Austin-based community, public space, pedestrian and bicycle advocate. Fast company.
“Austin is a very car-oriented and car-dependent city. More and more people, and more and more leaders, are realizing that we really need transportation options. “
According to Peters, about 50% of motorists drive alone in Austin, a figure the city government would like to see reduced.
The funds will be raised through a new property tax and through federal carbon reduction financing programs that will cover about 45% of construction costs according to various reports.
Curious Austinites can see a full list of new transit services here at the Austin Chronicle.
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