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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Austin, Texas, Capital MetroRail to begin service March 22

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On March 22, Central Texans will have a new way to commute as Capital Metro opens its passenger rail line, Capital MetroRail. Capital Metro said that it will begin passenger service on the 32-mile Red Line from Leander to Downtown Austin and will offer free fares the first week of service. There will be nine trips in the morning (six southbound and three northbound trips) and 10 trips in the afternoon (six northbound and four southbound trips). The first train will leave Leander Station at 5:25 a.m.

Staff and community volunteers will be at each of the nine stations mornings and afternoons the first two weeks to provide assistance to passengers. During the first week of service, March 22-26, MetroRail service will be free-no tickets or passes will be required to ride MetroRail or rail connector bus routes, #460, 461, 462, 464, and 465. Capital Metro expects large crowds and encourages riders to arrive early at the station. Valid fares will be required beginning March 29.

MetroRail is part of the All Systems Go Long-Range Transit Plan that includes expanded local and express bus service, MetroRapid bus service, and new and improved park and ride lots. The central Texas community helped create the transit plan and approved a referendum in 2004 to allow Capital Metro to operate passenger rail.

"The opening of Capital MetroRail will be the beginning of a new era in transportation for Central Texas. The Red Line is a high-quality, safe, and cost-effective rail system that will help meet the needs of our growing region," said Doug Allen, Capital Metro Interim President/CEO.

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