Dear CMTA Board members:
I am President of the Board of Directors of AURA and write to you today to support Connections 2025 in the strongest possible terms. I know you have been hearing many different things about the Connections 2025 service changes. I urge you to approve these changes tomorrow and implement them in summer 2018, as planned.
I’m not afraid to criticize CapMetro when I think they make mistakes, but Connections 2025 is not one of those mistakes. It is an important first step toward getting bus ridership growing again and making Austin a transit-friendly city. In our Transit City report, AURA called for a high frequency bus network and with Connections 2025, CapMetro has delivered on that in a big way. AURA recently gave CapMetro a grade of A- on our Transit City report card, due in large part to the promise of Connections 2025.
It is necessary that to remake Austin for transit, we must make some tough decisions. Some of those decisions may involve sharing neighborhoods with more neighbors, or making it slightly more difficult to use your car, so that more people can benefit from transit. Another tough decision is cutting a few—a very few—bus routes, so that literally thousands more riders can use transit effectively. For some, this may allow them to perhaps make the decision to live car-free or car-light lifestyles. For others, it may be the cost savings that allows them to access their jobs and continue to afford rent in the city by reducing their transportation costs. High frequency networks unlock the city by allowing people the confidence to ride without the fear of missing the next bus.
I was highly encouraged by ADAPT’s endorsement of the new service plan as well.
I am unable to come speak to you in person tomorrow, but I urge you to please, please approve Connections 2025.