Cap Metro's Made It Harder to Use Buses

RECEIVED Sat., Feb. 1, 2014

Dear Editor,
    When I purchased my house nine years ago, one of the benefits was that I had two bus stops within a half-mile from the house, the 1 and 10 route. After a few bad experiences with late 10 buses, I skipped the 10 altogether for the 1 line. An example: I waited an hour for a 10 bus which then would not let me on. I walked to the 1 line and got on a bus in less than 15 minutes. I don’t use the buses as much as I like as they tend to be unreliable. It’s easy to get Downtown for events, but can be difficult to get back home. I ride the bus for SXSW concerts and fireworks, knowing that I will either have to walk home or take a taxi because there are not enough buses to handle the amount of people. It’s generally quicker to walk the three miles to my home than to wait for a bus that I can get on.
    Yes, the 1 route is stinky and crowded, but it’s nice to know that a bus will show up shortly. Now Capital Metro has reduced the frequency of buses coming to my local bus stop [“Here Comes MetroRapid,” News, Jan. 24]. I could catch a 1 every 15 minutes, or at the very least every 30 minutes. Consolidating the 1M and the 1L has doubled my wait times. Yes, Cap Metro has given us the 801 option, but I have to walk twice as far to a bus stop and pay one and a half times what I would have paid. The bus system is less convenient and more expensive.
    By increasing the amount of time I have to wait or walk, Cap Metro has made it much less convenient to take a bus. By reducing the amount of lanes on Lavaca and Guadalupe, Cap Metro has created a bottleneck on the South First bridge. While I commend Cap Metro for trying to help get people in and out of the city more efficiently, they need to remember those of us who already live in the city. We pay more to have convenience. We need to be able to get around in the city, if not by car, then by transit. If we can’t get anywhere, our residences are no longer convenient and there is no point to remain in the city and pay the city taxes that keep the public transportation afloat. Cap Metro needs to consider transportation within the city when making route changes and not just transportation to the city.
Emily Layton
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