Commuter rail is often sold to the public as a faster means of travel than buses. This can be true if the drive to the park and ride lot is short and your destination is within walking distance of a station. However, it is apparently not true in Austin.
The Austin American-Statesman reports that bus riders showed up at a Capital Metro hearing this week to oppose cancellation of two express bus routes that parallel the new commuter rail line. Their complaint? Taking the train takes longer.
As has become typical for new urban rail projects, Austin's commuter rail line is carrying considerably fewer riders than projected. During its first month of service, daily ridership averaged 900 (450 each way), less than one-half the projected 2,000. This is less than 1/100th of Capital Metro's daily bus ridership.