Austin Light Rail project: Residents look at proposed station designs, locations

AUSTIN, Texas - The multi-billion dollar Austin Light Rail project is moving forward. Residents were given the opportunity to look at the proposed station designs and locations at an open house.

"We are going to use it all the time. I see there is a sign there for a couple of the stations we use all the time anyway," says Clay Olmsted, who uses Austin’s Public Transportation.

Posters outlining the proposed future homes of more than a dozen Austin Light Rail stations were on display for residents at the League of Women Voters event on Monday night.

"This is all a part of the federal environmental review process. We are looking to get feedback from the community and fold that into the process, so we can make sure that we deliver a project that really serves the community fully," says Peter Mullan, Austin Transit Partnership’s Executive Vice President of Architecture and Urban Designs.

According to Austin Transit Partnership, the Austin Project Connect Light Rail System is currently in phase one. It is projected to have 15 stations, each half of a mile to a mile apart from 38th Street to Oltorf to Yellow Jacket, with a 23-minute travel time from 38th to Oltorf, and 31-minute travel time from 38th to Yellow Jacket.

"Light rail will provide this incredibly consistent, predictable and fast way of moving through the city," says Peter Mullan.

"We've lived in big cities. I grew up in L.A. I have lived in Dallas and so on, you know it is always true they can't build enough roads to supply the traffic," says Clay Olmsted.

Austin Transit Partnership provided surveys for those who attended the open house to gain insight on the locations of the light rail stations and designs.

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"We take public transportation all the time, so we wanted to know what the new developments are going to be," says Clay Olmsted.

"One of the things we are asking the public to help us with is evaluating some different aspects of the alignment that could shape what it looks like in the future. A lot of the things you are currently seeing here tonight are ideas that came out of previous engagements. Ideas about where stations should be located, for example. That’s really fuel in our tank, and what keeps us going is being able to talk to the public and get their ideas and get their energy," says Peter Mullan.

The transit system is estimated to cost up to $4.8 billion and serve close to 29,000 riders daily.