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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, 6am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"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.

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Published on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 in KXAN
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