On Monday, Cap Metro’s board will vote whether to accept Project Connect’s “vision plan” map. It paints a picture of Cap Metro’s dream scenario: a multitude of transit lines crisscrossing the Austin area, diffusing passengers from downtown to the fast-growing suburbs. Though the map does not set proposed routes in stone, Cap Metro officials consider it a milestone as the agency and the city of Austin head toward putting another transportation bond before voters in 2020 in what likely would be another attempt to build a second rail line.
The vote Monday should clear Cap Metro to start engineering and environmental studies along the proposed routes. At the recent public meeting about the project, Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Clarke were quick to say the proposed lines have not yet been wedded to modes of transportation. They could be populated by light rail, rapid transit buses piloted by Cap Metro drivers or self-driving autonomous vehicles.