Part of Cap Metro’s show-stopping transit plan gets the hook

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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Officials are cutting $3 billion from a $10 billion transit plan in Austin, Texas.
Capital Metro

The cases continue to rise. The number of transit agencies impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic keeps getting higher, and the latest victim is Austin’s Capital Metro.

The agency has been boasting about it’s massive $10 billion transit plan for months, but on July 22 announced it will be cutting $3 billion from the vision due to the coronavirus and a sagging economy.

Gone from that vision are the northern and southern ends of the Orange Line, which was supposed to run from Tech Ridge Center to Slaughter Lane. Now the line is planned to run from Ben White Boulevard to U.S. 183. Bus service will now be used to fill the void in the northern and southern sections, and the move will save $1.7 billion.

The Gold Line will now feature just bus service, saving another $650 million, and officials also hinted at making changes to the underground tunnel that will run through downtown Austin. No changes have been made to the Blue Line.

Capital Metro will present the revisions at a July 27 joint meeting of the Austin City Council and Capital Metro’s board.

Over the half of the funding for the project is riding on voters approving a property tax increase on the November ballot. Going with a reduced plan, however, might change some opinions.

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