City Of Austin, Austin Transit Partnership & CapMetro Solidify Light Rail Implementation Plan

June 6, 2023

Next steps for light rail include planning work, and environmental impact study



Austin, Texas — The Austin Transit Partnership today announced the first phase of Austin Light Rail, running from 38th Street to Oltorf to Yellow Jacket with additional priority extensions, has been approved by all three partners including the Austin City Council and the CapMetro Board of Directors. The recommendation was initially one of five options revealed in March, and was selected after planning data analysis, engineering evaluation and community dialogue came together to identify this plan as the path for light rail that serves the Austin community.

“We’re thrilled that we have been approved to move forward with this project, and continue with transforming the mobility landscape in Austin,” Greg Canally, executive director of Austin Transit Partnership, said. “ATP has been community-minded throughout this entire process, and we thank both City of Austin and CapMetro for approving the recommendation and in doing so, validating the feedback from our community. This is a big win for Austin, and now that we have been given the green light, we are jumping into the important work to make this vision a reality.”

The Austin Transit Partnership was created as the result of a 2020 election in which the voters approved Project Connect and the formation of an independent entity responsible for overseeing the program. Since its inception, it has been working closely with CapMetro and the City of Austin to create a plan for Austin’s first light rail system that integrates well into the existing transit system while planning for the future. The details of the recommended light rail plan are available on ATP’s website,

“The people of Austin have led the way to building consensus around this first phase of light rail, which will shape our city for generations to come,” Mayor Kirk Watson said. “Thanks to their vision and support, we can now move forward with a strong foundation for the future and a solid partnership that is committed to delivering light rail to our community.”

Now that the plan has been approved, ATP is taking steps to implement Austin Light Rail. An independent environmental impact study will be conducted, and ATP will continue strategizing with CapMetro, community leaders and the business community to ensure that the project advances to enhance the mobility landscape for Austin and Central Texas. 

Additional quotes for attribution:

“After decades of unwavering commitment by the community and the Austin Transit Partnership Board, these actions today pave the way to do what we’ve been hearing from Austinites who want more transit options. On behalf of the ATP Board, we are excited to continue to work toward making Austin Light Rail a reality and Project Connect a success.” 

— Veronica Castro de Barrera, Chair, Austin Transit Partnership

“CapMetro has worked for the better part of two decades to bring light rail to this community. Today is significant and realizes the efforts of years of work and the tens of thousands of people who have provided input into this process. Delivering safe, reliable and customer-oriented service for our customers is a priority to me. Central Texas has a lot to look forward to when it comes to public transportation.”

— Dottie Watkins, CapMetro President & CEO

“The Project Connect Community Advisory Committee is excited to see the Austin Light Rail project move forward. This first phase of the project greatly reflects the community voices that gave their input during the community engagement process and we are excited to see the project come to fruition.”  

— Awais Azhar, Chair, Project Connect Community Advisory Committee

“The extensive community engagement process reflected Austin Transit Partnership’s dedication to creating an Austin Light Rail system that will take Austinites to where they truly need and want to be. Transit Forward will continue to work closely with Austin Transit Partnership and Capital Metro to ensure that this project will reflect the feedback of the Austin community.”  

— Bill McCamley, Executive Director, Transit Forward

About Austin Transit Partnership

The Austin Transit Partnership (ATP) is the local government corporation responsible for implementing Project Connect and leading Austin Light Rail.

ATP is responsible for the day-to-day implementation, planning, financing, execution and oversight of Austin Light Rail.

In November 2020, Austin voters approved a referendum (“Prop A”) to provide a dedicated revenue stream to fund investments in Project Connect, a program of transit improvements, including Austin Light Rail. More information on the original Proposition can be found at


Danielle Kaigler – 617.840.1689

Dennyse Salinas – 956.588.8943