Austin’s 2020 mobility election indicated a wave of improvements coming to the city following voter-approved Prop A and B. As one of the fastest-growing metros in the U.S., Austin continually welcomes visitors, new residents, and businesses relocating to save costs. With so many people moving to Austin, and COVID-19 accelerating the move for many, a change in public transportation presents an opportunity to service the needs of the four million people expected to live in Austin by 2040.
Both propositions passed in November 2020 and although the projects will not be imminent, the overhaul of infrastructure will change how residents travel across Austin.
Proposition A, or Project Connect, will increase property tax rates to fund the $7.1 billion public transit plan by CapMetro. On CapMetro’s website, they describe the project as “a huge step toward creating a more equitable and livable city, providing more and better ways for people to access jobs, education, healthcare, and new opportunities.” Passage will increase tax rates to 24.6 to 26.2 percent and the overall property tax hike will increase roughly 4 percent, according to Our Mobility Our Future.
What it entails:
- A New and Expanded Rail System (Initial investment includes 27 miles of rail service & 31 stations)
- Orange Line – Light rail to connect North and South Austin from North Lamar/U.S. 183 and extend to Stassney Lane.
- Blue Line – Light rail to connect the airport to Downtown Austin.
- Green Line – Commuter rail service connecting Downtown to East Austin’s Colony Park.
- Red Line – Expanded commuter line with new stations at the Domain and Austin’s FC stadium at McKalla Place.
- Downtown Transit Tunnel
- The Orange and Blue Lines will be connected underground in Downtown Austin, running more than 20 city blocks from under Cesar Chavez Street to 11th Street, Guadalupe Street to Trinity Street, and Fourth Street to the cul-de-sac near Lady Bird Lake at Trinity Street.
- Expanded Bus Service
- 9 new Park & Rides
- 4 new MetroRapid routes
- 3 new MetroExpress routes
- 15 new neighborhood circulator zones
- All electric bike fleet stationed at transit hubs with an integrated CapMetro App
Proposition B corresponds with the efforts of Prop A but focuses on Austin’s walkability through sidewalks, urban trails, bikeways, and substandard streets. During the 2020 Mobility Election, Prop B was voter-passed with 67 percent in favor of proceeding with the $460 million plan for transportation infrastructure. Prop B will also rely on increased property taxes for funding.
Of the $460 million, $102 million is allocated for improved and additional pedestrian infrastructure, $80 million for sidewalks, another $80 million for urban trails, $65 million for intersection reconstruction, $53 million for improving existing sidewalks. There is also additional funding for major capital improvements such as, utility, drainage, and traffic signals. This proposition equates to a two-cent increase in the debt service tax rate and will phase-in over the next few years.