Capital Metro is having free open houses the next few weeks in preparation for the upcoming MetroRail, the commuter train service. It will finish/start in Downtown Austin near the Convention Center, travel through East Austin, with stops at Plaza Saltillo and MLK, Jr. and then back West, with stops at Highland (Mall) , Crestview and Kramer Ln. and further up North, stopping at Howard Ln., Lakeline (Mall) and then it's beginning/final stop to Leander. As I write this, 2 open houses have already taken place in Leander and Plaza Saltillo (E. 5th and Comal), with more to come.
The next open houses are as follows from the Capital Metro website:
Crestview Station - Saturday, Feb. 21
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
6920 North Lamar Blvd.
Access St. Johns for limited parking at adjacent development
MLK, Jr. Station - Saturday, Feb. 21
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
1719 Alexander Ave.
Limited parking next to station
Downtown Station - Friday, Feb. 27
2 p.m. - 7 p.m.
401 E. 4th Street
At the open houses, you can get a train schedule which will be effective March 30, 2009 thru August 22, 2009, plus you can learn how to operate the ticket machines. The preliminary schedule has trains operating between the morning hours of 5:40 a.m. and 9:40 a.m and then the afternoon trips from 3:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. There will also be free wi-fi on the trains and bicycle racks for the bike commuter. If all 6 racks are taken, there is even a spot where you can stand with your bike if there is room on the train. Tickets will range from $1 to $1.50 with discounts available to students, active duty and reserve military.
I live at the TwentyOne24 Condos in East Austin so I got a chance to make the 2 1/2 block walk to visit Plaza Saltillo this past weekend just in the nick of time. I was on the last tour of the day and had the pleasure of seeing the inside of the train, Downtown Austin in the background, and then watching the MetroRail as it took off to the East. Enjoy the video and if you want further information, please visit http://allsystemsgo.capmetro.org/capital-metrorail.shtml or call (512)474-1200