CapMetro proposed a sharply scaled-back version of its massive Project Connect transit plan, cutting one rail line from the plan entirely and several miles of another.
The new plan, shared Wednesday evening, comes just five days before the CapMetro board and Austin City Council plan to meet to discuss, and potentially vote on, a bond proposal to put to voters in November, and the creation of a governing body for construction and implementation of Project Connect.
The long-anticipated project was dealt an unexpected blow this year when the pandemic brought economic insecurity to government and citizens alike.
The cuts to Project Connect reduce the cost of the plan by $3 billion to a total of $7 billion and would lower the original 11-cent tax increase to 8.5 cents. For the median homeowner, that would reduce the annual increase in their property tax bill from $358 to $276.
The elements cut from the plan include shortening the proposed Orange light rail line, which would span North Lamar and South Congress, so that it only stretches between Ben White and U.S. 183 rather than going all the way from Tech Ridge Center to Slaughter Lane. The mileage cut from the proposal would be replaced by MetroRapid bus service. The Gold Line from Austin Community College Highland to downtown would be replaced altogether by MetroRapid service.
These two changes would save CapMetro $2.35 billion, with another $500 million worth of cuts coming from unnamed savings in the construction of the downtown tunnel used by the Orange Line.
Overall, this means property owners in CapMetro's service area would pay $3.85 billion.
Council Member Ann Kitchen, who also sits on the CapMetro Board, told Austonia this week that the council plans to vote next Monday on asking city staff to bring forward a resolution regarding a potential bond election by Aug. 7. The bond election would be officially ordered during the Austin budget meetings the week of Aug. 12.
Asked whether she thinks Project Connect could be delayed due to the coronavirus, which has brought financial cutbacks for major government programs all across the nation, Kitchen said via text, "I see transit going forward."
Austin has lost both of its last two transit bond elections. The most recent loss, by 14 points in 2014, came during a year of historically low voter turnout across the nation while the other happened in 2000 and lost by just a few thousand votes.
Along with deciding whether to take the next step toward putting a bond election on the ballot, the City Council and CapMetro Board also must vote on approving the reduced Project Connect plan. Last month, the pair approved the full plan.
If voters approve the bond in November, CapMetro would still need to seek an additional $3.15 billion in funding—45% of the total budget—from the federal government.
Want to read more stories like this one? Start every day with a quick look at what's happening in Austin. Sign up for Austonia.com's free daily morning email.
- Austin faces rocky road in hiking taxes for Project Connect - austonia ›
- Austin City Council, CapMetro approve Project Connect - austonia ›
- This was the year for Project Connect in Austin. Then came ... ›
- Austin City Council discusses next steps on Project Connect bond - austonia ›
- Austin City Council discusses next steps on Project Connect bond - austonia ›
Former Longhorn and NFL star Emmanuel Acho stars in the two-part premiere of "The Oprah Conversation," which hit screens on Apple TV+ over the weekend.
Acho is a natural fit to kick off the new show by Oprah Winfrey. The two are partnering to publish a book based off his wildly popular social-media series, "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man."In the show's first installment, Winfrey and Acho answer questions by white and Latino guests about race and what it means to be Black in America
"He's answering uncomfortable questions about racism in America and the best ways to keep the conversation going with your family and friends," reads a statement on the show's social media.
"The Oprah Conversation" is Winfrey's newest series on Apple TV+, following "Oprah Talks COVID-19" and "Oprah's Book Club."
In future episodes, the show will continue to explore timely topics with leaders from across the globe. Watch it here.
- Acho says University of Texas should address racist past - austonia ›
- 'Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man' book - austonia ›
- McConaughey talks to former Longhorn Emmanuel Acho - austonia ›
Follow Austonia on Instagram to keep up with what's happening in your city.
Our Instagram page allows you to stay up to date with all things Austin, from coronavirus updates to local personalities. Join our Instagram family to see the faces, events and news that make up the city.
Fans attending Texas Longhorns home games this season must wear masks, maintain distance between groups and use only mobile tickets, according to safety plans for the upcoming football season, released Monday by the University of Texas Athletics department.
- This is what would lead to a shutdown at UT-Austin this fall - austonia ›
- Austin COVID-19 projections show surge scenarios - austonia ›
Looking for love has always come with obstacles, and they've only been magnified by COVID-19. Nevertheless, many Austinites continue to navigate these uncharted waters. We'll be sharing their stories every week right here.
Brittany Hallberg has no trouble meeting people under normal circumstances. Before the pandemic hit, the New Jersey-born Austinite was a marketer, event coordinator, music photographer and journalist—the latter two under the moniker Brittany NO FOMO—trekking across the country and making music-industry friends along the way.
- Bryan Rolli - austonia ›
- How pizza and a park led to a pandemic first date - austonia ›
- Pandemic dating: An exercise in empathy for Austin singles - austonia ›
- Pandemic dating is no walk in the park, Austin residents say - austonia ›
Following weeks of steady decline and a deflating surge, Austin's COVID-19 case fatality rate—defined as reported deaths per confirmed cases—is creeping up.
- Everything we know about COVID-19 in Austin right now - austonia ›
- Austin COVID cases plateau, but deaths, ventilator use rise - austonia ›
- Two-thirds of Austin COVID-19 deaths are people over 70 - austonia ›
- Coronavirus deaths in Texas rise 12% after state changes how ... ›
- Travis County COVID-19 death rate decreasing despite surge ... ›
Jordan Vonderhaar for the Texas Tribune
By Jordan Vonderhaar
Throughout the summer, cities in Texas and around the country have seen protests and demonstrations against police brutality. On Saturday, protesters and law enforcement clashed in Austin, a week after protester Garrett Foster, who was openly carrying an AK-47 rifle — which is legal in Texas — was shot and killed by Daniel Perry, a U.S. Army sergeant, when he approached his car. Perry drove away, then called the police. Perry was released without being charged. Since then, questions have been raised about who was the aggressor.
State police in riot gear form a line along Congress Avenue and advance toward protesters to remove them from the street.
Armed protesters ride in the back of a pickup truck from a rally at the University of Texas to a memorial for Garrett Foster in downtown Austin, minutes after hearing of clashes between other protesters and police.<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUyOTQyNC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1ODIyMjM1NX0.Ao_4mTkOPw2syjKbKcQJSX-O44dFCRJDbbJgBMFW6dw/img.png?width=980" id="24906" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="267e200551ef2a141d6b5e9bd15ba829" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
A man with a sniper rifle slung over his shoulder stands among protesters who have gathered at the Garrett Foster memorial in downtown Austin.<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUyOTQyNS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MzcxOTkzMn0._GAt1E-AidcOYzOR9_kGbBL7DrvDvCMjfYMb0f0WH-g/img.png?width=980" id="824e1" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="719f945f43055599a57dacc9de8544f0" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
A protester confronts police in riot gear.<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUyOTQyNi9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwODcxOTUwMH0.OyE5LkJbim9Q8U1iOfd0DDASgIPXcCtuK1b-JjZUO_g/img.png?width=980" id="bd7a7" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1631c952a901a274eabfa54e35d52d4f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Mounted officers from the Austin Police Department clash with protesters on the corner of Fourth Street and Congress Avenue in downtown Austin.<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUyOTQyNy9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMDc2NzMzMX0.5oNfDZ3YkyoOQY_A8d1YZ84g26bZnHfhwyjdKlCbePI/img.png?width=980" id="87444" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5d0ff1e47c454529947cbe4c71c0af21" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Mounted officers from the Austin Police Department clash with protesters on the corner of Fourth Street and Congress Avenue in downtown Austin.<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUyOTQyOC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNzAyNzk4Nn0.cyEJ5DmzyaztsRnV9fqhaenYnQ7cs514KUZCYV3TkQg/img.png?width=980" id="8e069" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="163047eb1ea7762ba8ed4efb115d291f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
State police were present large numbers.<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUyOTQ4Ny9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MzQwNTUwOX0.s1h3VhX-ZEoitvy3qvkZlyEaYRLrHNHVe2BQvaMSKSM/img.png?width=980" id="c93b3" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="534a7361ca0a2956a9e5b05679f6d7b7" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
A protester armed with a baseball bat kneels in the street with fist upraised as protesters clashed with police in downtown Austin on Aug. 1, 2020.<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUyOTQ5MC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMjI2NjQ0N30.kFHZTlq4mDkfrojMmPr1xplOlaTBNWa5lnCHBwL-qGA/img.png?width=980" id="e49af" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f01dc35d33515df682261c675cf6557f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Members of the far-right Proud Boys militia stand on Congress Avenue across from the Garrett Foster memorial in downtown Austin.<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUyOTQ5Mi9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1OTMxNzA3Mn0.J1V0eqSXZrKQ1H5HOJkJiTYXc0FSi2sNBj0pixxi77s/img.png?width=980" id="7ad19" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a87090215d4bface5de31b64aee3ed53" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
A woman with her hands zip-tied waits to be loaded onto a bus after being arrested during protests against police brutality in downtown Austin.<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUyOTQ5My9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1ODkwNzQ1NX0.pgAlN0FxLyz7j-3GoGOydiZvN7qHbMEl4OGjQ61Fv5o/img.png?width=980" id="88094" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6e7885cb303bd9fbbaf42b5dbf6faa68" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Police load arrested protesters into a Travis County Sheriff Department bus.<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUyOTQ5NS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwMDU1MDM2N30.kPIhv7ql-g4udho-dUkBsL3hRCTiVw68W9VjaN7lM7Y/img.png?width=980" id="4b83b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c31093d1dcd50afded51595193080595" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
A police officer sprays a protester with pepper spray as demonstrators clash with police in downtown Austin<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUyOTQ5OC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNzU5MzI2NX0.bAbIMFbFlBCxqy3RLK07q7j5bYjH403lxd6ATgzD-zc/img.png?width=980" id="da3a9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="86830ba7dbdd9ef95a4c6e89833f89ef" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
A heavy police presence marked Saturday's protest in downtown Austin.<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUyOTQ5OS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MTUxODMwMn0.O473UBVJdDTq5QYJGR3pKhJ8LbVYB8TdO3rZ4qO7-g0/img.png?width=980" id="628a9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5f3153935cd4709ccaa8af74403665ec" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
- Man who shot Garrett Foster reveals identity - austonia ›
- Joe Rogan says he's moving to Texas 'soon' - austonia ›
- Austin protestor Garrett Foster killed by driver - austonia ›
- Video footage from Austin protest shows Garrett Foster in interview ... ›
- Austin shooting: Mother of victim killed at protest says Garrett Foster ... ›
- Soldier who shot Austin protester Garrett Foster reveals identity ... ›
- Garrett Foster Brought His Gun to Austin Protests. Then He Was ... ›
- Daniel Perry confirmed to have shot Austin protester Garrett Foster ... ›
Austin has no shortage of personalities with a large social media following. From food to motherhood, we've got you covered on Austinites that have blown up on Instagram.
Here are 15 Austin-based female influencers you may want to check out.