City unveils new way to make taking public transportation easier

City of Austin Transit Screen
City of Austin Transit Screen (KXAN Photo/Dani Guerrero)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A new way for commuters to take public transportation will be unveiled at Austin City Hall Tuesday. It’s called Transit Screen.

Essentially a TV board, Transit Screen will be located in the lobby and outdoor courtyard of City Hall. It will provide real time data on what public transportation options are available.

For example, it will state when a Car2Go is available and is about a one minute walk away. Additionally, it will tell you when a bike share station is less than one minute walk and how many bikes are available. The Capital Metro buses that arrive near City Hall will be also listed.

City transportation officials discovered through a survey of City Hall employees many weren’t using these options because they didn’t want to take the time to go and hunt down what was available.

“In about six months or so we are going to send out another survey again to see if they change their behavior and also to see if they notice Transit Screen, did it educate them, did they start taking midday trips with different options or did they come in and leave from work with different options,” said Tien-Tien Chan, Principal Planner Austin Transportation Department.

Transit Screen is currently used in 33 major cities and the goal is to have it available not just at City Hall, but in the lobby of commercial and residential buildings.

“We hope that with the visibility of Transit Screen at city hall that other people will see it as a really easy, low cost mobility solution for their clients,” said Chan.

The cost is $5,000 for the year. The city’s transportation department’s goal is to find high tech, low cost solutions to the traffic problems while they work on the multi-million dollar improvements to roadways.

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