CapMetro celebrates 35 years of serving the Central Texas community

Capital Metro will mark its 35th anniversary this July.

In 1985, Austin voters approved bringing transit services to the greater Austin area, thus creating CapMetro, then in 2010, voters again went to the polls and CapMetro began its MetroRail service.

In 2020, CapMetro is asking the community to imagine what can happen in the next 35 years.


Get breaking news alerts in the FOX 7 Austin News app. It is FREE!

Download for iOS or Android


“This celebration will serve our springboard while we plan for what we hope to accomplish in the future,” said CapMetro CEO/President Randy Clarke. “That is better connecting our community and providing even more transit options through Project Connect.

In 35 years, CapMetro says it has accomplished a lot with the help of its partners and the community, including: 

  • Provided more than 1 billion rides to Central Texans
  • Became the first transportation authority in Texas, and one of the first in the nation, to be 100% accessible to people with disabilities
  • Introduced the first Express bus routes between Austin and surrounding communities
  • Launched MetroRapid service along two of Austin’s busiest corridors
  • Implemented Cap Remap, the biggest service change in CapMetro history, which created a simpler, more direct bus network with more frequent routes
  • Implemented free fares for K-12 students in Central Texas
  • Brought the first electric buses to Central Texas and integrated clean diesel buses into the service fleet
  • Launched the Pickup app for customers to request on-demand transit service

CapMetro thanks the Central Texas community for its continued support and commitment, and says it looks forward to what the next 35 years will bring.


In June, the CapMetro Board, in a joint session with Austin City Council on Wednesday, approved the final version of the Project Connect transit plan. According to CapMetro, the program will now proceed with discussions on investments over the summer and towards a transit referendum for voters in November.

The approved plan includes four new rail lines, 15 new fast and frequent bus routes, additional stations and frequency on the Red Line, 24 new Park & Rides, and the transition to a zero-emissions fleet. Another key component of the plan includes a downtown transit tunnel, which will separate transit services from street traffic, according to CapMetro.

The price tag for Project Connect is expected to range from $5 to $10 billion. To fund it, CapMetro managers told both groups that estimates show property tax bills could increase, on average, $200 a year. The amount depends on if the build-out is in 15 or 30 years. 

In August, the City of Austin and Capital Metro could take action towards the creation of a joint oversight board – Austin Transit Partnership – that would administer federal and local funding and be responsible for the construction and implementation of Project Connect, according to CapMetro.

Construction on some parts of Project Connect could start early next year while others would take decades to complete. Special committees will be set up to monitor different parts of the plan- keeping them on track. Another vote on construction schedules will be done later.