Austin’s Project Connect is going to disconnect from bus rapid transit on the Gold Line. Updated regional population data has the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority going with light rail instead.
Travis County census shows the population of the county is going to grow to almost 2.2 million by 2045. Different data was showing the county to grow to 1.7 million by 2040. Project Connect’s Gold Line will link Republican Square with Austin Community College’s Highland Campus … and it is projected that the route and passenger capacity will be better served with a light-rail line. Light rail also has replaced bus rapid transit on the proposed Orange and Blue lines.
The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority also made revisions to plans with the Red Line, which is the city of Austin’s only commuter rail line in operation. Officials decided the Red Line would not be expanded, which will save $380 million. The savings will be applied to the new Gold Line plan. Estimates have the Gold Line 6-mile light-rail line and its 10 stations costing about $400 million.
The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority is still hoping the federal government will pay for 40 percent of Project Connect, but that will still put taxpayers on the hook for over $5 billion.
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