Austonia AM
×
becomeMemberIcon

become a member

(Capital Metro)

Rendering, Project Connect station

The Austin City Council on Friday unanimously approved a measure to add to the November ballot the massive $7.1B "Project Connect," a 20-year overhaul of Austin's transit system that would include a new light rail and "rapid bus" lines.

The council plans to add it to the ballot in a formal order next week, members said. Then it's up to voters to decide whether to approve it.


Because of technical difficulties, Friday's virtual meeting, in which the council also created a governing body for implementing the plan should it pass, was not streamed online. But council members shared their news on Twitter in the wake of their vote.


Council members chose a scaled-down version of the plan due to economic uncertainty brought about by the pandemic. An earlier version, approved by council in June, would have cost $10 billion.

Capital Metro proposed $3 billion in cuts last month, including the elimination of a light-rail line running from Austin Community College Highland to downtown and the shortening of another, which would span North Lamar and South Congress.

If approved by voters, the $7 billion plan will increase the city property tax rate by 8.5 cents. For the median homeowner, this means their annual property tax bill will be about $276 higher.

In addition to taxpayer dollars, CapMetro will still need to seek an additional $3.15 billion in funding - 45% of the total budget - from the federal government.

Along with deciding which version they will add to November's ballot next week, council members and the CapMetro board also voted to create a governing body called the Austin Transportation Partnership that will oversee the implementation of the plan.

The ATP board will include representatives from City Council and the Capital Metro board as well as three community experts.

This story has been updated; Project Connect will be funded through a tax rate election, not a bond.

From Your Site Articles
Related Articles Around the Web

Popular

Everyone wants to be in Austin—tech, celebs and now sports. At least that's what it looks like.

In the midst of a first season for Austin FC, the city's first major league professional sports team, the Buffalo Bills are reportedly looking at a possible move to Austin.

Keep Reading Show less

Bruce McCandless II's untethered spacewalk made history in 1984. The red stripes above his knees were the only way that NASA could determine which astronaut was Bruce and which was his fellow spacewalker, Bob Stewart. (NASA)

Editor's note: Addie Broyles is a longtime food writer, who wrote for the Austin American-Statesman for 13 years. This piece was published in her weekly newsletter, "The Feminist Kitchen," where she shares stories about parenthood, grief, ancestry, self healing and creativity. Check it out here.

You know Bruce McCandless' most famous moment, but you probably don't know his name.

McCandless is the astronaut who, in 1984, became the first untethered astronaut in space. He's the guy on those posters, mugs, shirts and everything else NASA could sell with the image of his "leisurely waltz with eternity," as his son calls it in his new book, "Wonders All Around: The Incredible True Story of Astronaut Bruce McCandless II and the First Untethered Flight in Space."

Keep Reading Show less