Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority

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Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority

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Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Capital Metro, is a public transportation provider located in Austin, Texas. It operates bus, paratransit services and a commuter rail/light rail system known as Capital MetroRail for Austin and several suburbs in Travis and Williamson counties. Voters approved the creation of Capital Metro in January 1985, agreeing to fund the organization with a one percent sales tax. In December 2010, Capital Metro ridership numbered approximately 140,000 trips per day and has the highest per capita ridership in Texas.


Capital Metro was established by a referendum on January 19, 1985, to provide mass transportation service to the greater Austin metropolitan area. Voters in Austin and the surrounding area approved the creation of the agency, to be funded in part by a 1 percent sales tax. Capital Metro commenced operations on July 1, 1985, and took over the existing city of Austin bus services in 1986.

In an effort to boost ridership, Capital Metro did away with fares completely and instituted fare-free in an experiment that lasted from October 1989 to December 1990. The program was enormously successful in attracting new passengers, and increased ridership by 75% (but expanded service accounted for some of the growth). The fare-free scheme, however, attracted problem riders who drove away quality ridership. In response, 75% of transit drivers voted to have the program discontinued...
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