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Park-and-rides to soon proliferate

Thursday, July 28, 2016 by Caleb Pritchard

The bureaucratic groundwork is being laid for a new era of park-and-ride construction. The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority voted unanimously on Wednesday to strengthen its partnership with the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization in an effort to build more transit-oriented parking lots. The CTRMA will lead planning efforts to identify potential sites and will provide preliminary designs on projects. Capital Metro will assist in those efforts as well as provide the service and operating plans for each facility. CAMPO’s role in the triple entente will be to develop a region-wide park-and-ride plan and also offer financial assistance. CAMPO Executive Director Ashby Johnson was at Wednesday’s meeting along with Capital Metro Chief Executive Linda Watson and Vice President of Strategic Planning and Development Todd Hemingson. All three expressed appreciation for the CTRMA board’s vote. Hemingson also gave a preview of some of the plans the transit agency is already considering. He said that Capital Metro will unveil next month proposals to redraw several routes that begin in Northwest Austin. “All of those services today exit at 35th Street and serve UT, the state Capitol complex and downtown, in that order,” Hemingson said. “But what we’re going to do is realign some of them so that they will be able to take full advantage of the MoPac express lanes exiting at Cesar Chavez and provide significantly improved service for the downtown workforce.” Hemingson also teased a new express route whose trips will begin near the Howard Station Park-and-Ride, which also serves as a MetroRail station.

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