Stories by Ryan Thornton

Thursday, August 20, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Austin Energy price on coal energy reduces emissions 20 percent since March

In a little over four months, Austin Energy’s carbon pricing program, REACH (Reduce Emissions Affordably for Climate Health) has cut the utility’s carbon emissions by roughly 20 percent, saving more than 480,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere since the…

Tuesday, August 18, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Integral Care set to address most mental health emergency calls without involving APD

Last week, City Council approved an additional $1.3 million for the Integral Care-EMCOT program next fiscal year, increasing the budget for the Expanded Mobile Crisis Outreach Team by about 75 percent. With those extra dollars, Integral Care, the mental health…

Friday, August 14, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Council orders transit election, $460M active transportation bond for November ballot

City Council is giving voters an opportunity to transform the city’s mobility infrastructure on Nov. 3 with a tax rate election for a $7.1 billion investment in a mass transit rail system, and a $460 million active mobility bond.Voters will…

Thursday, August 13, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Council floats competing active transportation bond options

Between the transportation portion of the 2018 bond and the $720 million 2016 mobility bond, the city has over $200 million allocated for planned safe mobility projects like protected bike lanes, sidewalks and urban trails. Almost all of that money,…

Monday, August 10, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

City, Capital Metro agree on Austin Transit Partnership ahead of transit election

After approving an interlocal agreement with the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority to create an Austin Transit Partnership – the local government corporation that would guide administrative, financial and some technical components of Project Connect – City Council posted a draft ordinance…

Thursday, August 6, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Council seeks $5 million for park facilities and trails

As it heads into next week’s budget hearings, City Council is searching for ways to add millions in programs and services to a proposed budget that is already nudging up against the 3.5 percent property tax increase cap Council committed…

Wednesday, August 5, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Council talks six-month delay for bulk of police budget reform

As City Council struggles to comprehend what it would mean to cut approximately $100 million from the Austin Police Department’s budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21, Council members are floating a temporary fix: approve half of the department’s budget during next…

Monday, August 3, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

City to loosen enforcement on food donation charities

Covid-19 has increased food insecurity across Travis County while creating further operational complications for local food banks, soup kitchens and other charitable feeding organizations. To help meet the rising demand, the city is looking to remove some of its structural…

Thursday, July 30, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Council advances St. Johns site redevelopment

After over a decade of holding on to the vacant St. Johns site in Northeast Austin, City Council has moved to rezone and open bids for redeveloping the 19-acre property into a mixed-use, mixed-income residential neighborhood and community space.The property…

Tuesday, July 28, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Council, Capital Metro settle on Project Connect investment with anti-displacement measures

City Council and the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors have landed on an 8.75-cent tax rate election as the best tool to fund the bulk of the Project Connect mass transit system as well as a variety of…

Monday, July 27, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Council members consider merits of separate safe mobility bond

Responding to a concerted push from local mobility advocates, City Council has opened up the discussion about placing active mobility funds on the November ballot alongside the $7 billion-$10 billion public transit system Project Connect.Five weeks ago, a coalition of…

Thursday, July 23, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Capital Metro offers alternative investment timeline for Project Connect vision

Since June 10, when City Council endorsed the $10 billion Project Connect system, the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been considering which of the transit components is most essential for an initial investment to place before voters in November.“Every city,…

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Capital Metro board OKs MetroBike partnership for bus-oriented bike system

The city’s B-cycle program is set for expansion and rebranding this fall with the rollout of MetroBike, the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s concept for an integrated bike-share and public transit system.The Capital Metro Board of Directors approved the MetroBike co-management…

Tuesday, July 21, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Capital Metro to link transit trips with personal payment accounts

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority ticket-based fare system is due for an upgrade. Currently it lacks the flexibility to offer benefits like fare capping while encouraging more points of contact between customers and bus operators than contactless account-based ticketing can…

Monday, July 20, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Capital Metro to bring fleet electrification experts on board

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority has purchased 12 electric buses this fiscal year, half of which have been delivered to the electric bus yard under construction at the North Operations facility. With the other six scheduled to arrive in the…

Thursday, July 16, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Capital Metro committee favors contract outfitting transit vehicles with modern surveillance systems

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Operations, Planning and Safety Committee voted Wednesday in favor of a nearly $3 million contract with Luminator Technology Group to install real-time video recording systems on the 272 vehicles not yet using the surveillance system.“The…

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Austin Transportation announces plans for three new Healthy Streets for safe active mobility

Over the next two weeks, the Austin Transportation Department will set up sawhorses and signage for three new Healthy Streets corridors for the second batch of the program, adding to the city’s five existing street segments for socially distanced active…

Friday, July 10, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

City prepares ordinances to tap brakes on reopening and slow virus spread

City Council approved two ordinances Thursday intended to bring local businesses into compliance with regulations near to Phase 1 of Gov. Greg Abbott’s reopening plan.“We can’t take the foot off the gas – we are not clear of this yet,”…

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

TxDOT anticipates ‘meaningful alternatives’ to I-35 expansion in upcoming public input process

Despite the sharp drop in local traffic, renewed interest in teleworking policies, and major upsets to transportation revenue streams, the Texas Department of Transportation has no intention of rethinking the need for a $6.6 billion expansion of Interstate 35 through…

Thursday, July 2, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Austin Public Health addresses testing equity with walk-up friendly mobile testing sites

Around 11,000 Covid-19 tests were conducted by Austin Public Health, Austin Regional Clinic and CommUnityCare last week, but demand is rising fast and drive-thru testing sites are being overwhelmed.To manage the situation, Austin Public Health is now directing testing resources…

Back to Top