March 21, 2023 - TRA Newswire -
A billion dollars today doesn't buy you as much as two years ago. That's why Austin Transit Partnership (ATP) unveiled five options for the public today at a Austin Public Library open house for its expansive light rail system called Project Connect.
With rising construction costs and Austin's higher-than-the-sky real estate valuations, ATP is slimming the original plan down to five scope options including more street running and shorter routes. The agency is asking for community feedback as it works towards making a recommendation to the community and before the ATP Board decides in June.
“This is an exciting day for Austin because our city is close to building a core Austin Light Rail that is equitable and helps our growing mobility needs,” Greg Canally, executive director of ATP, said. “After decades of failing to make progress on light rail, in 2020 nearly 60% of voters sent a clear message that they want to invest in transit and specifically, light rail. I am proud of the transparent and data driven process ATP has conducted over these last months to develop these options. I encourage people to share their opinions with us because that will inform ATP’s decision-making process as we move towards a staff recommendation in mid-May.”
ATP was created by the City of Austin and Capital Metro when voters overwhelmingly approved a 2020 transit election. ATP is an independent entity, accountable, and responsible for the financing, design, construction, and overall implementation of Project Connect.
"The Project Connect Community Advisory Committee has worked closely with the Austin Transit Partnership to shape a transparent and inclusive community engagement process that will highlight the voices of communities who have historically been left out of such conversations. ATP has shown a real commitment to advancing a light rail program that will serve core transit riders in an equitable manner, while creating opportunities for future extensions and improvements." – Awais Azhar, Chair, Project Connect Community Advisory Committee
Additional information on the proposed options: