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Fully-Local • Non-Partisan • Public-Service Journalism
 

Stories by Nathan Bernier, KUT

Capital Metro board votes to establish transit police force

The board governing the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted overwhelmingly Monday to move forward with establishing a transit police department. The process is expected to take more than 18 months and will include outreach to skeptical members of the public.…

Underground light-rail tunnel could be more than a mile longer than expected

Austin’s multibillion-dollar transit expansion will require extending an underground light-rail tunnel from Auditorium Shores to as far south as Lively Middle School on South Congress Avenue. The change could cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but transit planners vow to work it…

Austin's downtown rail plans shifted after bill allowing transit under parks failed to pass

The crown jewel of Austin’s $7 billion transit expansion is the city’s first-ever underground light rail system through the middle of downtown, a state-of-the-art transit corridor down Fourth Street bookended by Republic Square Park on the west and Brush Square…

How Cap Metro's multibillion-dollar transit expansion hinges on federal racial equity standards

The largest expansion of public transit in Austin’s history is built on an expectation the federal government will pick up almost half of the $7 billion tab. To qualify for those billions, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority first must demonstrate it’s…

Cyclists split on sharing bike lanes with pizza delivery robots

A small fleet of robots delivering pizza in Central Austin has set off a debate about whether the semi-autonomous machines’ use of bike lanes will squeeze cyclists off the road or launch a technological revolution to reduce motor vehicle deliveries and boost…

Electric scooter and MetroBike use springs back from pandemic lows

As Austin’s streets took on a relative calm during the pandemic, the dockless electric scooters that drew love and fury when they appeared in 2018 were neglected by users. But now that people are returning to life as usual, the…

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Tell TxDOT what you think about expanding I-35 in South Austin

More than 150,000 vehicles per day, on average, drive the stretch of Interstate 35 between State Highway 45 Southeast and Ben White Boulevard. The Texas Department of Transportation wants to make room for tens of thousands more. TxDOT released the…

Early work happening now to build Austin's first modern light rail lines

Austin has never had modern light rail before. It won’t for a while. The Orange and Blue lines are projected to open to the public in 2029. The rail lines are just part of a multibillion-dollar plan approved by voters…

Cold weather kills bats across Texas

Large numbers of dead or dying bats are being discovered under bridges and overpasses in Texas after last week’s winter storm. One Austin resident sent KUT a video of what she saw downtown under a bridge at Henderson and Ninth Street.…

Local attorney Andy Brown will be Democratic nominee for county judge

Local attorney and activist Andy Brown will be the Democratic nominee for Travis County judge in the November election. Brown won 55.88 percent of the vote Sunday night in an election by party precinct chairs. The prior county judge, Sarah…

'Statesman' reporter recounts 'mistake' that allowed lakefront properties to avoid paying taxes

Housing affordability is one of Austin’s biggest challenges during this period of economic growth. Even after someone buys a home or rents property, as the value of that property goes up, so does the annual tax bill. But some of…

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From 'Starbucks' lines to 'full-scale riot': How cops and clubs control crowds during SXSW

The influx of 300,000 to 400,000 people to downtown Austin during South by Southwest requires an extraordinary amount of crowd control, both for event organizers and first responders. Austin’s Police Department uses a Special Response Team to patrol downtown. “It’s…

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