Tech

Austin's CapMetro Gets Extra-Long Buses

Not your daddy's mass transportation...

Austin's Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (CapMetro) is upgrading its fleet with a slew of new, extra-long buses to ease the commute from the north end to downtown and back.

Rolling out next year, MetroRapid service should slice into the current drive time from North Lamar down to South Congress pretty significantly, but it's not just the added space of a 60-foot vehicle doing that. CapMetro has outfitted these big people movers with a signal relay technology that can actually stop traffic lights from turning red.

"As Capital MetroRapid vehicles approach an intersection, they will send a beam to a signal controller that will extend a green light a few seconds to allow the vehicle to pass through the intersection when it is running behind schedule," CapMetro explains. "Any extra green light time given to the MetroRapid vehicle will be coordinated with the next signal cycle to ensure that signal synchronization is preserved."

The city procured 22 of the 60-foot buses, and 18 of the 40-foot models, with the help of a $38 million federal grant. The project, which includes 77 new bus stops, is expected to cost over $47 million, according to The Austin Business Journal.

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Featured photo: CapMetro CEO Linda Watson poses with a MetroRapid bus. Courtesy, CapMetro on Flickr.

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Tags: Austin, CapMetro, buses, MetroRapid

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