Capital Metro to expand Lakeline Park & Ride facility

Capital Metro to expand Lakeline Park & Ride facility

Capital Metro to expand Lakeline Park & Ride facilityCapital Metro to expand Lakeline Park & Ride facility by

With a $50 million grant from the Texas Department of Transportation, Capital Metro is moving forward with plans to double the capacity and frequency of its MetroRail commuter line.

TxDOT approved the grant in June to assist Capital Metro, the city of Austin’s transit authority, in purchasing four new rail vehicles and building a permanent downtown station and pedestrian plaza adjacent to the Austin Convention Center. An $11.3 million federal grant and about $18 million of Capital Metro’s own money will go toward adding a second set of tracks at three rail stations, including the Lakeline Station, and signal upgrades.

Upgrading MetroRail is Capital Metro’s No. 1 priority, President and CEO Linda Watson said.

“We’ll also be doing additional rail and signal work to upgrade both of those so we can operate at faster speeds, pass trains and accommodate freight,” she said. “As a result of that we’ll be able to double our frequency and capacity during peak [hours].”

Capital Metro expects the expanded capacity to increase ridership on MetroRail. It is planning to address existing and future capacity issues at its Lakeline and Howard Park & Ride facilities, both of which averaged 112 percent capacity in 2014.

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