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I-35 delay at Capital Metro

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Board of Directors is tapping the brakes on a decision to move forward with the Texas Department of Transportation on plans for adding dedicated transit infrastructure to I-35. On Monday, a Capital Metro spokesperson told the Austin Monitor that the board will take up the vote at its Sept. 25 meeting. As the Monitor reported two weeks ago, the board was originally expected to decide the issue on Monday, July 31. At a work session earlier this month, agency staff told the board that TxDOT wanted a commitment from Capital Metro sooner rather than later to explore the possibilities of partnering to install several inline bus stations in the median of the highway. Those stations would be served by buses operating in the new tolled express lanes TxDOT will likely add to the roadway from Georgetown down to San Marcos. The so-called I-35 Bus Rapid Transit concept is among the various high-capacity transit alternatives being weighed by Capital Metro’s Project Connect planning process. However, that effort will not deliver its final recommendation until early late 2018, leading to activists’ concerns that Capital Metro is rushing the process by already taking action on I-35 BRT. When asked if there was any indication why the board opted to delay its decision, Capital Metro’s Amy Peck said, “It is early in the overall I-35 project as TxDOT is working through their design issues.”

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