The current Downtown Station was always intended to be a temporary structure, and the time has come to build a permanent facility. The most prominent part of the MetroRail Red Line, it is the smallest, yet busiest of our 9 stations. Our goal is to create a great public plaza that ties together Downtown Station, the Convention Center and surrounding hotels and businesses, as well as to offer a unique, integrated visitor experience for downtown Austin.
A Landmark and Hub
The new Downtown Station will serve as a public gathering space and an iconic landmark for a thriving part of Central Austin, an architectural gateway into downtown. While the station and adjacent plaza will enhance the area's public space, its primary function will be to facilitate connections between MetroRail and other kinds of transportation. Riders will connect to:
- Local MetroBus service
- Electric Cab
- Austin's bicycle trails
- Expanded MetroRapid service (a recommendation of Connections 2025)
We are working to finish the design of the station. See below for a glimpse of its signature canopies:
What It'll Look Like
The station will feature parasol structures mounted on columns. The pentagonal roof atop each column will not only offer a striking visual welcome to downtown, but it'll also provide overhead protection for riders as they wait for, enter or exit the train cars. Similar canopies can be found in locations as diverse as Barcelona and Fort Worth.
Improving MetroRail Service
Another reason we're expanding the station is to let us build out the MetroRail line to operate at greater frequencies (15-minute intervals instead of the current 30). This means more riders can take advantage of a service that operates at standing-room-only levels during the morning and evening commutes.
A larger waiting area and improved crowd control operations are essential for the station. During events like SXSW or Pecan Street Festival, we see huge crowds arrive and depart in short periods of time, and Downtown Station needs to be able to handle the rush. New waiting and ticketing areas will reduce platform crowding during these times, and the tracks will be set 18”-22” below grade so that the platform will be even with the sidewalk.
Looking to the Future
We are now in the final phase of design and engineering for the station. The design process for the accompanying pedestrian plaza is being led by the city of Austin.
For more information, contact Sam Sargent at 512-389-7525 or firstname.lastname@example.org