AUSTIN (KXAN) — Tuesday morning Capital Metro will start testing out the next expansion of MetroRapid that will roll out August 24. The trail run will start at 4:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and drivers will not pick up passengers.
The new 803 bus route covers 15 miles of Austin along North Burnet and South Lamar from The Domain to Westgate Mall to UT and Downtown. The new route will also share the 12 current MetroRapid stops along route 801 which launched in January.
“This service should really attract people to transit that maybe haven’t used it before,” said Linda Watson, President and CEO of Capital Metro. “Because it is such a nice bus it does go much faster, it will compete better with the automobile, and you can save a lot of money.”
The 40-foot buses, which offer free Wi-Fi, can fit 78 people. Capital Metro said that Tuesday’s test run is to help drivers get familiar with the route and to also test out new technology. Drivers have the ability to hold a green light a little longer so the red and silver buses can cross intersections safely if behind schedule.
“This is a very high level service. It operates very frequently. It’s got a lot of technology in it. There are fewer stops. There are signal priority and bus priority lanes in the downtown area,” said Watson. “So your trip will be faster, you can also do mobile ticketing, so it’s a very high level, high quality transit service. It’s a new service for Austin.”
METRORAPID BUS FARES
- $1.50 for a single ride
- $ for a day pass
- $13.50 for a 7-day pass
- $49.50 for a 31-day pass
Capital Metro said the new services will also give passengers to use its mobile app to buy passes, us as an e-ticket and also track the real-time schedule.
Buses will make stops every 12 to 20 minutes during the week and every 20 to 30 minutes on the weekend.