Last week, Austin City Council approved two ballot measures that will give voters the choice to fund Project Connect, the $7 billion plan for a high-capacity transit system in Austin, and a $460 million active mobility bond at the November 3, 2020 election.
Proposition A will ask voters to approve an 8.75-cent property tax rate election for the Project Connect transit plan.
The 8.75-cent property tax rate election amounts to $3.85 billion of the $7 billion initial system investment. The remaining amount is expected to be covered by federal dollars. The Austin City Council and Capital Metro Board of Directors have created a joint governing agreement called the Austin Transportation Partnership (ATP) to manage the project implementation.
The proposed 8.75-cent rate is envisioned to include:
- $2.5 billion for the light rail Orange Line from North Lamar Transit Center to Stassney Lane with enhanced MetroRapid service to Tech Ridge and Southpark Meadows
- $2 billion for the Downtown Transit Tunnel
- $1.3 billion for the light rail Blue Line from North Lamar Transit Center to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
- $370 million for the commuter rail Green Line to Colony Park
- $300 million for anti-displacement efforts due to transit construction
- $300 million for maintenance facility improvements
- $200 million for transit-supportive investments
- $120 million for new Expo, Pleasant Valley, and Burnet to Menchaca/Oak Hill MetroRapid lines
- $60 million for three new MetroExpress routes, nine Park & Rides, and a new Transit Center
- $50 million for the MetroRapid Gold Line from Highland Mall to South Congress Transit Center
- $30 million for customer technology systems
- $25 million for Red Line Improvements, and
- $1.5 million for neighborhood circulators (15 new zones /vehicles)
Proposition B will ask voters to approve a $460 million general obligation bond election to fund active mobility projects throughout the City that are not addressed by Project Connect. The bond would fund additional investments in the existing Sidewalk Master Plan, Urban Trails Master Plan and Bicycle Master Plan as well as Vision Zero capital projects.
The $460 million proposal includes:
- Funding for Very High and High Priority sidewalks throughout the city.
- Funding for transportation-related Tier 1 Urban Trails that are also a part of the All Ages and Abilities Bicycle Network.
- Fully funding the remaining on-street bikeways that are part of the All Ages and Abilities Bicycle Network.
- Increased funding for Vision Zero capital projects throughout the city.
- Increased funding for Safe Routes to School to give more kids safe options to walk and bike to school.
- Local Transit Enhancement funding to augment transit lines not included in the Project Connect spending plan.
- Funding for the Neighborhood Partnering Program.
- Funding for large multimodal Capital Improvement Projects, including the construction of the Longhorn Dam Wishbone Bridge, Phase 1 of Congress Avenue improvements, Barton Springs Road improvements, and South Pleasant Valley Corridor improvements.
- Investments in improvements on substandard streets, primarily Ross Road, Johnny Morris Road, and Walnut Creek Trail connections.
See the entire recorded City Council meeting on ATXN.