AUSTIN (KXAN) — Congress Avenue in downtown Austin is about to look and sound different. Beginning Tuesday morning the remaining 19 bus routes will be moved off the avenue and onto Guadalupe and Lavaca Streets. Crews will begin taking down the bus stops along Congress Avenue in the next few weeks.
Why is CapMetro taking these extreme steps? The goal is simple — to make Congress Avenue a more pedestrian and customer friendly place. Business owners hope it will attract new people to shop and eat along a street that is less congested and noisy with bus traffic.
Only one will remain, the Metro Airport route which only runs along part of Congress. Why that stop? Capital Metro Spokesperson Melissa Ayala explained, “To keep it in the vicinity of the nearby hotels that are in the Congress Avenue area.”
The move has been in the works since 2010 and is part of Capital Metro’s comprehensive report called “Service Plan 2020” and is designed to create a bus service that better serves the community, increases ridership, and helps traffic congestion.
For the past few months crews have been working to install a dedicated bus lane and shelters along Guadalupe and Lavaca to accommodate the new MetroRapid service. Those stops will now also service about two dozen other routes.