Details of Austin's Big 'Project Connect' Transit Plan Emerge

The public got its first taste of the ambitions of the Project Connect transit plan in the state capital of Texas.

January 16, 2020, 6:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Capital Metro Metrorail

Michlaovic / Wikimedia Commons

"After months of speculation and rumors, officials Tuesday offered a glimpse at a massive transportation plan — which includes a downtown subway — aimed to usher in a new generation of transit for a growing city," reports Alyssa Gourd.

It was the first time potential details of the Project Connect transit plan were made public, according to Gourd.

The plan is currently under development by the Austin City Council and Capital Metro Board. "The transit plans these groups are looking at range from $3.2-$10.2 billion, depending on the features they select," according to Gourd. "CapMetro explained they believe they can pay for 40% of this amount through federal grants." A public vote is one option for the remainder of funding.

A separate article by Paul Livengood and Hank Cavagnaro summarizes the scope of Project Connect, at this early point in the planning process, thusly: "Capital Metro announced its Project Connect transit system on Tuesday, which includes more MetroRail options and the construction of an underground tunnel housing a light rail system in the Downtown Austin area."

"The tunnel is a portion of one of two proposed transitways designed to alleviate downtown traffic and prevent cars from getting stuck behind a transit vehicle, according to city documents," according to Livengood and Cavagnaro.

The Project Connect website lists four primary visions for the plan: transitways, better bus service, improved commuter rail, and new transit centers.

Planetizen first picked up news about Austin's intentions to complete a big, ambitious transit plan in November 2019.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020 in KXAN

Stylized rendering of the Midwest Regional Rail Network

Federal Railroad Administration Proposes New Midwest Rail Network

If built, regional high-speed rail networks could provide an alternative to uncomfortable air travel and prevent travelers from becoming stranded at airports during extreme weather.

January 17, 2022 - The Urbanist

A silhouette of construction workers lowering larger numerals into place to form 2022.

Planning Trends to Watch in 2022

Building a framework of understanding for the year to come.

January 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Rendering of the proposed Farm Hub at The Great Park, Ontario

Massive New Park Coming to the Inland Empire

A 3.5-mile long greenway will bring trails, recreational facilities, and open space to Ontario, in San Bernardino County, California.

January 11, 2022 - Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Glenn Youngkin gesturing with his hands while speaking to the media and the public while campaigning for governor of Virginia at the Alexandria Farmers Market.

New GOP Governor's Anti-Climate Agenda Takes Shape in Virginia

New Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin made promises on the campaign trail to reverse the state's commitment to climate reductions.

January 21 - The Virginia Mercury

Houston Sprawl

Houston Area's Center of Gravity Shifts Outside the Loop

The population center of Harris County is now outside central Houston, a shift that occurred over the last two decades as the region's suburbs blossomed.

January 21 - Rice Kinder Institute for Urban Research

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

ITE Quickbites: New Transportation and Health Resources

Transportation planning decisions affect our lives in many ways. New Quick Bites (short reports) published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers can help create healthier and happier communities.

January 21 - ITE Transportation and Health Resources

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Case Study posted on HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.