Austin Mulling New Incentives for Transit Riders

A proposed pilot program would text six new types of transit ridership incentives in the city of Austin.

1 minute read

July 22, 2019, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Captal Metro

Nan Palmero / Flickr

Katie Pyzyk reports on an ongoing effort in Austin, Texas to develop new forms of incentives for transit riders in the hopes of attracting more riders to the Capital Metro system.

"The pilot comes at the request of the city council, which in December passed a resolution declaring the city had to find creative ways to increase transit ridership to combat increases in traffic congestion and the cost of car ownership," according to Pyzyk.

The Austin Transportation Department (ATD) worked together with Capital Metro, and the city's Innovation and Equity offices to generate a list of 15 proposed incentives programs, recently narrowing the list down to six proposals in a report published in June [pdf].

The proposals, called "recommended strategy options" in the report, are listed as follows:

  • Transit Passes for Registered Movability Members and Focused Marketing Program
  • Expand Movability to Create Sub- Transportation Management Associations (TMAs)
  • Transit Use Rewards Program
  • Personalized “Nudge” Pilot
  • Gamification and Frequent Rider Program
  • Unbundle Citywide Parking

"The city council is expected to identify the final strategy and include it in the FY 2020 budget in September," according to Pyzyk.

Some evidence of innovation successfully yielding new transit ridership emerged in Austin earlier this month, when Capital Metro released data showing increased ridership following a system redesign launched in June 2018

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