Recovery with Care

Recovering with CARE

As CapMetro begins to return more service to the streets, our planning process has been guided by the need to protect the health and wellbeing of our staff and community. We’re taking every measure to provide a safe and positive transit experience. To help make that happen, we need you to wear a face covering and maintain a safe physical distance from other riders and the operator by leaving an empty seat between you and the next customer when possible and using the CapMetro App to purchase your fare if you can. During the current shelter-in-place orders, we ask that you limit your non-essential travel as much as possible and reserve transit services for those customers who cannot avoid it.


See below to learn what CapMetro is doing to ensure a safe ride for everyone as we begin to return more service. And, for a fuller picture of how we have responded to the pandemic and will continue to evolve that response, take a look through our Pandemic Recovery & Improvement Plan: Recovering with CARE.

C

Create safe places for staff and customers.

  • Requiring face coverings for both operators and customers
  • Disinfecting our vehicles and facilities regularly
  • Encouraging use of CapMetro App for fare purchases to decrease contact with operator
  • Encouraging safe physical distancing by leaving empty seats between customers
  • Installing plastic barriers to separate operators from customers
A

Apply our resources wisely and equitably.

  • Operating service that meets demand and allows for safe physical distance between riders
  • Continuing adjusted Commuter service that accommodates for reduced in-office work schedules
  • Coordinating with the University of Texas to determine appropriate service levels for UT Shuttles
R

Rely on data for decision-making.

  • Monitoring ridership and vehicle capacity to ensure riders are able to maintain physical separation from each other
  • Directing service to where it is needed, based on usage and traffic data
  • Coordinating with local and national officials to develop and enact protocols that promote safe and efficient service
E

Evaluate our results and adapt.

  • Remaining flexible in creation of schedules and deployment of vehicles - not being locked into an initial plan
  • Maintaining communications with partners and peers to learn national and international best practices and adapt them for local needs
  • Replacing fabric-covered seats on buses with vinyl-covered seats that are easier to clean*
  • Adding onboard ticket validators that will allow all-door boarding more often*
  • Installing hand sanitizer dispensers on board vehicles*
  • Adding vehicle capacity status to online and CapMetro App Trip Planner*

*NOTE: In process, not yet fully implemented

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 implemented free fares through May. These changes support our customers and serve our community's larger needs. As part of our return to more regular service, we reinstated fares for most customers beginning in June and all customers older than 18 in July.


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.
  • Most MetroExpress routes have suspended service temporarily. Route 935, Route 985 and Route 990 do 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. This helps 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.
  • 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. 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 encouraging social distancing on all transit services by advising riders to wear face coverings. 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.

  • 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, including the return of fares. 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.

  • 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.