CapMetro & COVID-19

Service Adjustment Update

CapMetro has implemented temporary changes to our service designed to promote public health and accommodate the social distancing advised by governmental and medical authorities. We began to operate a modified level of service on March 18, and we implemented free fares through May. We have reinstated fares for most customers in June . These changes support our customers and serve our community's larger needs.


We also are working with community partners like H-E-B, the Central Texas Food Bank and Good Apple to ensure our MetroAccess clients and others with the most need receive essential home goods and groceries through our home deliveries.

Schedule Changes at a Glance

  • Most MetroBus and MetroRapid services are operating their normal Sunday schedules. For detailed route information, visit our Schedules and Maps and select an individual route page.
  • Since March 30, most MetroExpress routes have suspended service temporarily. Route 935, Route 985 and Route 990 will provide adjusted Commuter service. See below for details.
  • MetroRail is operating a Monday-Friday daytime schedule, with no Saturday service and no Late-Night trips on Friday.
  • The new Route 455 Leander Shuttle supplements the reduced weekend MetroRail service for Leander customers. It operates Saturdays between Leander and Lakeline Stations.
  • Some MetroFlyer routes are operating reduced versions of their weekday schedules.
  • Night Owl routes are not operating.
  • The on-demand Pickup service operates weekdays between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Customers are required to wear a face covering and board the bus using the rear door to comply with social distancing advisories. This will help protect our operators and our customers. If you have a disability that affects your ability to wear a face covering, please contact Martin Kareithi, our program manager of accessible services, to request a reasonable modification. Call 512-389-7583 or email martin.kareithi@capmetro.org. Those using wheel chairs and other mobility devices or who need to use the ramp may use the front door.
  • MetroAccess service operates with service boundaries mirroring our adjusted schedules.
  • UT Shuttle service will not operate while the shelter-in-place order is in effect.

A few other routes are operating different schedules. Those exceptions are:

Modified Schedules:

MetroFlyer

How to Board Your Bus

Customers need to wear face coverings and board their bus through the rear door. Those using wheelchairs and other mobility devices may use the front door of the bus. If you have a disability that affects your ability to wear a face covering, please contact Martin Kareithi, our program manager of accessible services, to request a reasonable modification. Call 512-389-7583 or email martin.kareithi@capmetro.org.

Important Note: If you think you might be getting sick, please stay home and contact your healthcare provider. If you do not have insurance or a healthcare provider, but you do have symptoms of COVID-19, please call the COVID-19 Hotline at 512-978-8775 for guidance. This number is for all Travis County residents with COVID-19 symptoms who don't have insurance or a doctor. Visit Austin Public Health's information page for up-to-date, detailed information: austintexas.gov/COVID19.

We will update this page with the latest information as the situation develops. To receive service updates as they happen (for specific routes or for general CapMetro news), sign up for our new MetroAlerts service.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • CapMetro is following guidance from Austin Public Health and is committed to keeping our vehicles and facilities sanitized with enhanced cleaning beyond our normally high standards. In addition to our daily cleaning procedures for all CapMetro vehicles and transit facilities, we are applying a disinfectant to common hand contact areas including poles, handrails, armrests, door handles and stop request buttons.

    We have placed special signage on our vehicles that encourages social distancing while riding, which means that riders should sit apart and leave empty seats between them and other riders. We've also added a chain near the front of the vehicles to provide a barrier that separates our operators from customers. CapMetro is providing operators with face coverings, and a city order requires everyone riding CapMetro to wear a face covering, too. This serves to protect your fellow riders and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

    Along with these efforts, we ask that customers follow standard hygienic procedures to help prevent the spread of illness.

  • CapMetro is encouraging social distancing on all transit services by advising riders to board the bus through the rear door instead of the front door to protect the health of bus operators and customers. Anyone in a wheelchair or other mobility device or who needs to use the ramp may still board using the front door.

    We have placed special signage on our vehicles that encourages riders to skip a seat and give each other some extra space while on the bus or train.

    CapMetro encourages customers to follow standard hygienic measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Along with these efforts, we need your help:

    • Wear a face covering to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. These can be medical masks purchased by you or hand-made cloth coverings, even just a bandana. This serves to protect your fellow riders and the entire community.
    • Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Maintain good hygiene.
    • Limit your non-essential travel as much as possible, especially to locations with many people.
    • Limiting your contact with others is the best way to stay healthy.

    If you think you might be getting sick, please stay home and contact your healthcare provider. Visit Austin Public Health's information page for up-to-date, detailed information.

  • All bus and rail operators are provided with face coverings, hand sanitizer and gloves. All customers are required to also wear face coverings and board using the rear door to protect both employees and customers. We have  told our employees to not report to work if feeling sick.

  • Yes, Capital Metro began distributing face coverings to its employees on April 5. They are being distributed to all public-facing employees, including those in bus, rail and paratransit operations; building and vehicle cleaning crews, building and vehicle maintenance; security; and administrative and contract staff who not working remotely. Customers also must wear face coverings as a way to prevent the spread of coronavirus and protect our community.

  • Yes, we have signage with information from Austin Public Health in our vehicles reminding customers how to help stop the spread of illness. Included on the signage is to cover coughs and sneezes.

  • Most CapMetro services - including MetroBus, MetroRapid, MetroExpress and MetroRail - are operating on a modified schedule.

  • The latest review of our data shows that system ridership has decreased significantly. That's expected and exactly what should be happening with the shelter-in-place order in effect. We will continue to monitor this closely.

  • At this time, CapMetro will continue to operate transit services. Public transportation is a critical service in the Austin community and connects community members to vital places, such as hospitals, grocery stores and places of employment. People who do those jobs take care of us, and CapMetro helps them do so.

    For this reason, we will continue to offer our services for as long as we can. We will also continue following guidance from Austin Public Health to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for both employees and customers. Our data shows that system ridership has decreased significantly, but that's what should be happening under our shelter-in-place order.

  • We're slowly returning to regular service and operations and will do so in a way that protects the safety of operators and customers. In addition to the enhanced bus cleaning practices we've been implementing recently, we also installed plexiglass barriers to separate operators from customers, are requiring everyone on our vehicles to wear face coverings and are recommending customers practice safe physical distancing from each other by leaving empty seats between them and other riders when possible. Capital Metro also extended fare-free service to people experiencing unemployment who have received an approval letter for benefits from the Texas Workforce Commission during the public health crisis.

  • We've placed signs on most vehicles asking customers to leave empty seats between each other, to allow for social distancing and to give you confidence that riding CapMetro is a safe transportation option. Operators have been instructed to notify their dispatch centers if buses are too crowded to provide safe social distancing. If you don't feel comfortable riding a particular vehicle, please wait for the next bus. We will add another bus to that route when we're able to do so, in order to provide customers more space.

Most Recent Updates


Posted: 5/21/2020 at noon

Fares Return in June

Capital Metro is beginning to return to more regular service and operations in June, and part of that includes reinstating fares for most of our customers. We will do so in a way that protects the safety of operators and riders.

With the return of fares, customers will board the bus using the front door once again. Please have your fare ready before you board and tell the operator which pass you are purchasing. To ensure everyone's safety, we are implementing the following practices:

  • Enhanced vehicle cleaning.
  • Installation of plexiglass barriers that separate operators from customers.
  • Face coverings are required.
  • Safe physical distancing from other customers is recommended, so please leave empty seats between you and other riders when possible.

Capital Metro also extended fare-free service to people experiencing unemployment who have received an approval letter or email from the Texas Workforce Commission during the public health crisis.


Posted: 5/14/2020 at 9:55 a.m.

Fill Your Time with Some Cap-Tivities!

In case you missed it on the CapMetro Blog or on social media, we wanted to make sure you saw a fun new Stay-at-Home/Have Safe Fun activity book CapMetro put out this week. While so many of us are spending all this extra time at home, we thought we'd put together some fun for your kids … and maybe for you too.

Inside “ Cap-Tivities!” you'll find coloring pages, word searches, mazes and a whole bunch more. Take a look, have some fun and let us know how they turn out by tagging us in your social posts with the finished projects. 


Posted: 5/11/2020 at 9:55 a.m.

Some MetroExpress Service to Return May 18

As some offices reopen and our customers begin to return to work on site, MetroExpress will offer adjusted Commuter service for two routes beginning Monday, May 18. Route 985 will operate four morning and four afternoon trips to and from Leander and Lakeline Stations, and Route 935 will run two morning and two afternoon trips to and from Tech Ridge.

See below for schedule details:


Posted: 5/1/2020 at 1:25 p.m.

Schedule Adjustment Status Update

Now that some businesses in our area are beginning to reopen, it's likely that ridership on CapMetro services will begin to increase. We are monitoring ridership levels on our services and will place resources where needed to give customers the space to practice safe social distancing.

As of today, there are no changes to the current adjusted service schedule. But, as circumstances change, we are ready to respond with further service adjustments. Check back here for updates.


Posted: 4/30/2020 at 1:25 p.m.

What Comes Next?

Even as local and state governments begin to relax shelter-in-place orders, we'll all need some time to adjust to the current and still-evolving situation. CapMetro will maintain our adjusted service schedules and keep some of our social distancing procedures in place. We also are still requiring our customers to wear masks when riding CapMetro (with the usual, few exceptions for those who have difficulties wearing a mask).

CapMetro still provides as many as 40,000 trips a day, so the way in which we come back to full service affects a lot of people. It is something we take very seriously and will approach cautiously. For the sake of everyone's safety - our employees, our customers and our community - we're asking our customers to act responsibly. Be responsible for yourself and for others.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we need your help:

  • When you ride CapMetro, you are required to wear a face covering. This can be a cloth mask, handkerchief, bandana or simply a T-shirt pulled over the nose and mouth.
  • Please keep as much distance between yourself and other customers while waiting at a transit facility or while boarding a vehicle, and skip a seat when on board if that is an option.
  • Maintain good hygiene practices. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Continue to use the rear door to board the vehicle and help minimize interactions between operators and customers.
  • If you feel sick, please stay home and do not use Capital Metro services.

These steps will be crucial as you leave your homes more often and begin to interact with more people. Please ride safe and stay well.


Posted: 4/27/2020 at 6:30 a.m.

Free Fares for May

CapMetro will continue to implement free fares for all customers throughout May. Fare-free service will help social distancing by eliminating the need for customers to show their pass, pay the operator or use the farebox. It also speeds boarding and reduces crowding at vehicle entrances. The goal is to protect operators and customers from close physical proximity and to support customers that use our service to perform essential duties.

The fare-free period is not meant to encourage any additional ridership. Customers are reminded to use transit for essential trips only during the Stay Home-Work Safe shelter-in-place period.

MetroAccess ​customers will still be required to show a valid ID before boarding.


Posted: 4/21/2020 at 11:25 p.m.

CapMetro to Provide Masks to Customers

Thanks to a generous donation from our community, on Monday, April 20, Capital Metro began distributing face coverings to customers who do not have access to their own. The move is intended to allow everyone riding a bus or train to comply with the city and county order requiring face coverings.

We encourage everyone to wear a face covering of some type when out in public and are keeping this limited supply of masks to distribute to those in our community who are unable to purchase or make a face covering of their own. 


Posted: 4/14/2020 at 12:15 p.m.

City Order Requiring Everyone to Wear a Mask

The city of Austin and Travis County have issued orders requiring everyone to wear masks when in public facilities or when in locations that will not allow the space for proper social distancing.

This includes public transit vehicles, and so all CapMetro customers are required to wear a face covering of some sort as a means of protecting others in the community. These coverings can be cloth masks that you purchase but can be other items, as long as they cover the nose and mouth. Acceptable options are:

  • Cloth masks
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Bandanas
  • Scarves
  • Shirts pulled up over the mouth and nose

Customers should wear their face coverings waiting at the bus stop, too. Our operators will remind any customer not wearing a face covering of the new requirement and may choose not to leave a stop if a rider refuses to cover their face.

The new order requiring face coverings does not replace the need to maintain physical distance between yourself and others. Please maintain at least 6 feet between you and anyone else.

Update on 4/16/2020: A face covering is not required for anyone for whom wearing one poses a greater mental or physical health risk, such as anyone who has trouble breathing or would be unable to remove the cover without assistance.


Posted: 4/7/2020 at 8:25 a.m.

CapMetro Begins Mask Distribution

In line with new direction from the CDC, Capital Metro began distributing face coverings to its employees on Sunday, April 5.

The cloth face coverings are being distributed to all public-facing employees, including those in bus, rail and paratransit operations; building and vehicle cleaning crews, building and vehicle maintenance; security; and administrative and contract staff who not working remotely.

We obtained a supply of face coverings thanks in part to generous donations from community organizations such as the Asian Pacific Islander Public Affairs Association. Some Capital Metro staff members have also started making masks at home for our frontline employees.

These coverings are not meant to replace other public health precautions that have previously been recommended by public health authorities. Maintaining social distancing and good hygiene practices, including hand washing, remain crucial to slowing the spread of the virus.


Posted: 4/3/2020 at 4:35 p.m.

Stay Home, Stay Healthy

Capital Metro is using any available resources to help our community in whatever way we can during this public health emergency. With the reduced levels of service being offered now, our MetroAccess team has formed partnerships with community businesses like H-E-B to ensure those with the most need receive the food and household goods they need.

Beginning Monday, April 6, we'll start a new home delivery program with fresh produce provider Good Apple. It's available for those most in need of help during this time of self isolation, people over 55 or with compromised immune systems. For details, visit our home delivery page and apply to receive these meals.


Posted: 3/30/2020 at 3:45 p.m.

Thanks for Applying!

Last week we posted a job listing for several part-time workers to help us handle the advanced sanitation levels we're implementing for our vehicles and facilities. You responded in a big way! Thanks so much for stepping up and pitching in.

Your response has been so great that we are placing a hold on accepting any further applications for these positions at this time. However, there are more opportunities. Please visit the jobs page for our service providers to find those listings. And, for more information, contact:

  • MV Transportation North at 512-852-7203
  • MV Transportation South at 512-369-6278
  • Bubblz & Suddz at 512-480-3110
  • Capital Metro at 512-369-6282

Posted: 3/28/2020 at noon

Free Fares for April

CapMetro will implement free fares for all customers throughout April. Fare-free service will help social distancing by eliminating the need for customers to show their pass, pay the operator or use the farebox. It also speeds boarding and reduces crowding at vehicle entrances. The goal is to protect operators and customers from close physical proximity and to support customers that use our service to perform essential duties.

The fare-free period is not meant to encourage any additional ridership. Customers are reminded to use transit for essential trips only during the Stay Home-Work Safe shelter-in-place period.

MetroAccess customers will still be required to show a valid ID before boarding.


Posted: 3/25/2020 at 4:35 p.m.

UT Shuttle Service

With the shift of classes online amid the current public health crisis, UT Shuttle service will not operate while the shelter-in-place order is in effect. UT Shuttle riders should use the Trip Planner online and on the CapMetro App to find alternative bus service.


Posted: 3/25/2020 at 10:35 a.m.

MetroExpress Service Suspension

Beginning Monday, March 30, CapMetro will temporarily suspend MetroExpress service. The move is an effort to place our resources where they can best serve the customer amid the continuing COVID-19 public health crisis.

To retain service into Austin for customers in Manor and Elgin, Route 990 will still operate. Other MetroExpress customers can use the following chart to find alternative transit services:

Metro ExpressAlternative ServiceOrigin
Route 935 Tech Ridge ExpressMetroBus Route 1 North Lamar/South Congress
MetroRapid Route 801 North Lamar/South Congress
Tech Ridge Park & Ride
Route 980 North MoPac ExpressMetroRailHoward Station
Route 980 North MoPac ExpressMetroBus Route 50/150 Round Rock/La FronteraFrom Round Rock Transit Center to Howard Station
Route 981 Oak Knoll Express
Route 982 Pavilion Express
MetroBus Route 3 Burnet/MenchacaGreat Hills Park & Ride
Route 985 Leander/Lakeline Direct
Route 987 Leander/Lakeline Express
MetroRailLeander and Lakeline Stations

Customers can also use the Trip Planner online or on the CapMetro App to find transit alternatives to their normal trips.


Posted: 3/24/2020 at 1:10 p.m.

Shelter in Place

Even with today's shelter in place emergency order from local authorities, CapMetro's service remains an essential business and will continue to provide critical service for essential needs.

Adjusted Service Schedule

This adjusted schedule was designed to serve our community's larger needs. We served 40%-60% fewer riders, which means people are doing what they need to: staying home.

“Skip a Seat” Signs

We have placed “skip a seat” signs on all CapMetro vehicles, encouraging customers to give each other some extra space while on the bus or train. Customers must board the bus through the rear door to protect the health and safety of our bus operators and other riders. Those using wheelchairs and other mobility devices are allowed to still use the front door. During this emergency situation, we trust that everyone will respect the agency's fare system.

Enhanced Cleaning Procedures

We are continuing to enhance our cleaning procedures on buses, trains and at transit facilities. We have hired 50 part-time cleaners this week, and our goal is to clean and sanitize the buses more than once a day. Additionally, some members of our administrative staff will assist in the enhanced sanitation process.

Safely Equipped Operators

CapMetro operators have been provided the tools they need to perform their job safely, including hand sanitizer and gloves. The agency is following guidance from Austin Public Health and the CDC with respect to masks. While operators are not being issued masks to wear while driving, they may do so if they choose.

Supplemental Leave Policy

The agency has also enacted a supplemental leave policy that ensures staff members will be able to take care of themselves and their loved ones at this time without needing to worry about their employment status.

If you are sick, we ask you not to travel. If your travel isn't essential, we ask that you follow the order and not ride CapMetro.


Posted: 3/23/2020 1:55 p.m.

Temporary Transit Store Hours

In an effort to ensure the safety and wellbeing of CapMetro employees and still provide a high level of customer service, we will change the hours of operation at the Transit Store to 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., weekdays.


Posted: 3/23/2020 at 12:15

We're Hiring!

CapMetro is hiring part-time and full-time positions as we continue to provide essential transit services during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Join our team as we support Central Texans that depend on transit to get to their jobs and make other critical trips.

Open Positions

  • Bus Cleaners: We're hiring part-time bus cleaners (24 hours a week) to assist with enhanced cleaning of buses. No experience needed. Training will be provided during the hiring process. Pays $15.00 per hour.
  • Bus Operators: Full-time positions are available for bus operators, with immediate paid training and competitive benefits. No experience driving buses required. Starting pay is $17.30 per hour with a $1,500 hiring bonus.

Posted: 3/20/2020 at 2:20 p.m.

Leander Saturday Service

With the suspension of weekend MetroRail service, CapMetro will implement the new Route 455 Leander Shuttle to connect customers from Leander Station to Lakeline Station. The route will operate roughly when MetroRail would have, though its schedule has been designed to facilitate connections to MetroBus Route 383 and won't operate exactly when the train would have.

The first trip from Leander Station departs at 4:19 p.m., and the final return trip from Lakeline to Leander is at 11:39 p.m.


Posted: 3/20/2020 at 1:10 p.m.

UT Shuttle Service

With the shift of classes online amid the current public health crisis, UT Shuttle service will not operate the week of March 23. Please check back here for further updates regarding UT Shuttle service.


Posted: 3/20/2020 at 12:40 p.m.

Hornsby Bend Service

Beginning March 23, trips on the Hornsby Bend Feeder will operate on a reservation-basis only and not according to its previous schedule. Reservations must be made by phone (512-478-RIDE (7433) ) by 4 p.m. the day before. The reservation line is open between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.

If reservations are received for a particular day, the service will operate between 7-10 a.m. and/or 3:15-6:15 p.m. weekdays. If no reservations are received the prior day, the service will not operate at all that day.


Posted: 3/18/2020 at 5:30 p.m.

Round Rock Service, effective 3/20

CapMetro will adjust our service in Round Rock beginning Friday, March 20, as a part of our general schedule adjustment put in place to respond to the coronavirus situation.

Round Rock Service Changes at a Glance:

  • Route 152 will not operate at this time
  • Routes 50, 51 and 150 will operate between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. See below for exact schedules.
  • MetroExpress Route 980 will have two trips from Round Rock in the morning, but only one return trip to the Round Rock Transit Center in the afternoon.

Posted: 3/16/2020 at 12:35 p.m.

There will be an emergency board meeting held tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17 at 9 a.m.


Posted 3/13/2020 at 5:30 p.m.

Our MetroAccess clients who have questions specific to their service can review an informational question and answer update tailored to their needs. Visit the MetroAccess FAQ.


Posted: 3/13/2020 at 10:45 a.m.

In coordination with the University of Texas, CapMetro will discontinue UT Shuttle service today (Friday, Mar. 13) at 11 a.m. as a result of today's campus closure. No other CapMetro service is affected by this action.

In addition to today's service suspension, UT Shuttle routes will not operate next week during Spring Break, as a regular part of the service calendar.


Posted: 3/13/2020 at 7 a.m.

CapMetro is following guidance from Austin Public Health and continues to monitor the situation involving the coronavirus and COVID-19. At this time, there is no change to our service.

In addition to our daily cleaning procedures for all CapMetro vehicles and transit facilities, we are applying a disinfectant to common hand contact areas such as poles and handrails, armrests, door handles and stop request buttons. To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including flu and COVID-19, please follow standard hygiene measures.

We are working hard to keep our vehicles and facilities sanitized with enhanced cleaning beyond our normally high standards. Along with these efforts, we need your help:

  • Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Maintain good hygiene.
  • Limit your non-essential travel as much as possible, especially to locations with many people.
  • Limiting your contact with others is the best way to stay healthy.
  • If you're feeling sick, do not travel.