Same as It Ever Was

Same as It Ever Was

Despite thousands of Austinites saying they "want all the details," there really aren't that many details to share. The referendum is asking for your up-or-down vote on light rail in general, not on a specific plan. The details we do know haven't changed that much over the years. The starter segment that Cap Met is currently planning -- the "Red/Green Line" from Howard Lane to downtown -- is the same route, through the same neighborhoods, that the authority floated back in 1992.

As Cap Met defines it, the initial phase also includes the east/west (to MLK) and southern (to Ben White) connections shown on the map in light blue. Everything else is a future phase that, right now, is nothing but a line on the map. All Cap Metro says is that the the full system will be built by 2025 and should cost a few bucks shy of $2 billion in today's dollars.

Initial phases (Opening between 2007 and 2009):

Starter Segment (Howard Lane to downtown) 14 miles

Phase 1B (MLK and Ben White extensions) 7 miles

Future phases (All future phases opening by 2025, sequence yet to be determined):

Howard Lane to Leander 16 miles

MLK to Lamar/Airport 4 miles

East Austin to Bergstrom 7 miles

Ben White to Slaughter Lane 4 miles

Total cost estimate: $1.9 billion in today's dollars. Initial estimates for the Red/Green line, made public by Capital Metro last year, pegged the cost at around $970 million.

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