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Capital Metro is making sure people can get to the polls to vote this year.
MetroBike, Capital Metro's bike rent program, is offering free 24-hour bike rentals as part of youth cycling nonprofit Ghisallo Cycling's ATX #pedaltothepolls initiative anytime during voting. The offer can be redeemed at a kiosk or on the app.
Exercising while exercising your right to vote? @ATXMetroBike is offering a free 24-hour pass during voting.… https://t.co/LGRRU7K9xg— Capital Metro (@Capital Metro)1603806011.0
And Capital Metro isn't stopping there; it will also provide free bus rides all day on Nov. 3 in spirit of Election Day.
🎉 Big thanks to @CapMetroATX for offering free bus rides Election Day! To redeem a free #MetroBikeATX Bike Pass to… https://t.co/Io4KgIMHWU— MetroBike (@MetroBike)1603317903.0
Additionally, Ghisallo Cycling Initiative is providing free voter information including poll maps, bike and bus routes, and voting guides up until Nov. 3.
To access free bike rides, use the following codes:
On the BCycle app:
- Early Voting: EVOTE20
- Election Day: 2020VOTE
At a kiosk:
- Early Voting: 3868320
- Election Day: 868320
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Tesla's new Gigafactory in Austin has done more than tack on national headlines: it's also reshaping Riverside and the rest of southeast Austin.
Michele Bryant, manager of Treehouse Apartments on Oltorf Street, said that "low availability (and) heavy demand" is ending previous specials and sales at the complex as Tesla employees take root in the area.
"We leased 13 units to Tesla employees in the last two months and many more are inquiring daily," Bryant said.
Tesla's Giga Texas is located 15 miles from Riverside's hub and sits near another southeast Austin feature, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Though the Gigafactory won't be complete until the end of the year, the company is hiring droves of new workers. In April, Tesla CEO and Austin resident Elon Musk tweeted, "Over 10,000 people are needed for Giga Texas just through 2022!"
Another busy dat at Giga Texas - it almost looks like the Millennium Falcon now @elonmusk 🛸
📷 @peterdog15 (1 of 4 pics) pic.twitter.com/K5CYWIzK8o
— Tesla Owners of Austin (@AustinTeslaClub) May 13, 2021
Austin Board of Realtors President Susan Horton said that the influx of tech companies has affected where people choose to move within the Austin metro. "We are projected to have 35,000 new jobs here by the end of the year because of just the tech industry," Bryant said. "Tech is booming, and they want to be as close to those areas as they can."
The effects of the ongoing tech and California migration have already been felt throughout Austin, but areas with close proximity to the companies' headquarters, including Pflugerville and Riverside, are seeing the biggest changes to their communities.
when i moved to austin just 10 years ago the east side was where my community was, where i went to feel like i was home, even with the riverside college kids. but even then it was much smaller. now since the tech boom's gentrification east side is nearly lost -- https://t.co/ppbX0MQ8WX
— Kate Sánchez⁷ (@OhMyMithrandir) June 6, 2020
Road construction plagues much of Oltorf, the street parallel to the south of Riverside, and new apartments are constantly being reconstructed or remodeled to match increasing demand.
East Riverside-Oltorf has been known for slightly higher crime rates, but it's also an affordable oasis amid the sky-high Austin housing market. Young people starting their careers flock to the area, which has an average 1-bedroom rent at $150 cheaper than the rest of Austin and half the price of rent downtown, according to Zumper.
But a change in landscape means a change in price. At Treehouse, there's more interest than there is room, and Bryant said the complex ended a special because they simply don't need it to bring people in.
On Riverside and nearby Oltorf Street, new high rises catered to young people stand half-built, and existing properties are constantly undergoing remodels.
Bryant, who has worked at Treehouse Apartments for two years, has already noticed changes to the neighborhood.
"I have noticed more mid-rise properties being built," Bryant said. She added it is "most likely due to tech and Tesla housing needs."
The neighborhood that is dotted with taco trucks and Austin treasures, such as Emo's Austin and Buzz Mill, is now slated for a revamp that mirrors The Domain in North Austin.
The project, nicknamed "The Domain on Riverside," is a 10 million-square-foot project approved by Austin City Council in October of 2019. The behemoth, labeled River Park, would double the size of its North Austin counterpart. The project could take over two decades to build, with its first phase set to be complete in 2023.
Rendering of River Park.
While some, including the project's developers, say the development will help add affordable housing and bring business into the area, others such as Save Our Hoodz, a local organization bringing attention to displacement, say the project contributes to gentrification.
The development is part of a bigger-scale operation adopted by the city in 2010. The East Riverside Corridor Master plan intends to bring more green space and walkability to the area, but it's also led to increased interest from cash-happy investors.
With Oracle bordering Riverside to the north and Tesla to the east, a change in landscape has already begun, and a transformation of the area seems almost guaranteed.
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Is it just us, or is the current Austin mask situation confusing? Are we supposed to wear a mask or not, and where? And should we wear one anyway, even if not requested or required?
Austin health orders requiring masks expire Tuesday. What then?
Take our three-question quiz, and tell us what you're thinking.
Matthew McConaughey is reportedly weighing a run for Texas governor in 2022.
The Austin resident and Oscar winner has been "quietly making calls to influential people in Texas political circles, including a deep-pocketed moderate Republican and energy CEO" as he decides whether to run, according to Politico.
McConaughey said a gubernatorial run is "a true consideration" while on a March episode of Houston's "The Balanced Voice" podcast.
Although most political strategists doubt McConaughey's commitment and viability as a candidate, some are still intrigued by the possibility.
"I find it improbable, but it's not out of the question," Karl Rove, a top Republican strategist with a long history in Austin, told the political news site. He added that the big question is whether McConaughey would run as a Republican, a Democrat or an independent.
Brendan Steinhauser, an Austin-based GOP strategist, told Politico he's surprised McConaughey isn't being taken more seriously. "Celebrity in this country counts for a lot," he said. "It's not like some C-list actor no one likes. He has an appeal."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott plans to run for a third term and remains popular among Republican voters, 77% of whom approve of his performance as of April, according to the Texas Politics Project.
Some strategists believe an independent McConaughey run would benefit Abbott. But a recent poll from The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler found that McConaughey would beat Abbott, 45% to 33%, with 22% opting for someone else.
Mimi Swartz, an executive editor at Texas Monthly, mulled a McConaughey run in a recent opinion essay from the New York Times. "Texas may not be ready for a philosopher king as a candidate, much less governor," she wrote. "May the best man win, man."
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