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Cap Metro Quits Congress

Buses re-routing to Guadalupe-Lavaca corridor

By Richard Whittaker, 10:49AM, Tue. Jun. 3

Bye, bye, Congress Avenue: Part of the changes to Cap Metro's downtown routes
Bye, bye, Congress Avenue: Part of the changes to Cap Metro's downtown routes

If you're waiting for the bus on Congress Avenue, get ready for a walk. As of today, Capitol Metro is moving the bulk of its routes from Congress west to the Guadalupe-Lavaca corridor.

Technically, the detours don't start until June 8, but with the X-Games this weekend, all Congress stops are closed as of today, June 3. Instead, buses will use Guadalupe south bound and Lavaca north bound, stopping at Fourth, Eighth and 12th Streets.

The following routes will relocate to Guadalupe-Lavaca permanently:
• 1 Metric/South Congress
• 3 Burnet/Manchaca
• 5 Woodrow/South Fifth
• 10 South First/Red River
• 122 Four Points Limited
• 127 Dove Springs Flyer
• 142 Metric Flyer
• 483 Night Owl Riverside
• 485 Night Owl Cameron
• 486 Night Owl South Congress
• 990 Manor/Elgin Express

The 100 Airport Flyer will remain on Congress.

In addition, several East-West routes will move. The 4 Montopolis, and 21 Exposition/22 Chicon paired routes will shift down to Fourth and Fifth between Lavaca and Red River, ending their need for detours during events on Sixth Street. meanwhile the 2 Rosewood, 6 East 12th, 19 Bull Creek, 30 Barton Springs, and 37 Colony Park/Windsor Park have changes to their loops South of the Capitol complex.

This is all part of the transit agency's long term Service Plan 2020 to move buses off of Congress. Capitol Metro argues that shifting their routes to the Guadalupe-Lavaca corridor will speed up travel: Firstly, by allowing those buses to use the new dedicated lanes; Secondly, by reducing the number of stops. There use to be a stop at every junction on Congress, and a major stop in front of the Capitol. However, Cap Metro reduced the number of stops in 2010 (including closing the well-used but accident-prone Northbound stops at Sixth and Seventh), and the capitol stop was closed in 2008, under pressure from the State Preservation Board, which cited security concerns.

Even after that last round of stop reductions, this new service change means a dramatic reduction in the total number of stops, down to three each way between 12th and the South side of Ladybird Lake. There will also be questions about what putting more passengers on to fewer stops will mean in public safety terms. Moreover, there is the real question of whether adding more buses to the new corridor will only worsen the timing for the 801 MetroRapid service.

Full details at www.capmetro.org.

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