Austin officials approve massive light-rail line, but will the voters?

Written by RT&S Staff
Capital Metro
Officials have given the green light to a nearly $10 billion light-rail system that will serve the metro area.
Capital Metro

The Austin City Council and Capital Metro are ready to move forward, but will the voters block their path?

A $9.8 billion Project Connect system recommendation plan has been adopted. Officials are counting on a $4.4 billion contribution from the federal government, but the rest of the finances will have to be generated from an 11-cent tax rate increase that will be on the November ballot.

The plan contains three new light rail lines and improvements to an existing commuter rail line. Perhaps the most important line will be the Orange Line, which will cost $4.2 billion and will cut through the heart of the city of Austin with 22 stops. It will be a 21-mile track. The Blue Line will be 8.2 miles long and will have 11 stations at a cost of $1.3 billion. The Gold Line will hook up downtown Austin with major hospitals and the University of Texas. It will feature 6.4 miles of track and 10 stations and will cost $700 million. A Green Line will cost $370 million.

Connecting Orange and Blue lines will be a $2.5 billion subway system in downtown Austin. The Gold Line also will be linked to the subway system.

Receiving an upgrade will be CapMetro’s existing Red Line, which will be able to handle additional capacity.

Read more stories on light rail.

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