Downtown Tunnel | CapMetro Engage

Downtown Tunnel

The Downtown Transit Tunnel - providing connections that improve the speed and reliability of the entire CapMetro transit system

An image of an underground tunnel with people, retail shops and entertainment.

The Downtown Transit Tunnel will separate our proposed light rail service from street traffic, enabling faster, safer and more reliable travel through downtown.​ The Orange and Blue Lines will connect at underground stations at Republic Square and other downtown locations, which also will serve customers taking the Gold Line. These stations would feature such amenities as retail, restaurants, a transit store and service center.​

The Austin Underground will encompass those social features across multiple stations at Republic Square and other downtown locations. These stations will be climate controlled and include features like public art installations, convenient shops, coffee shops and restaurants, free Wi-Fi access, comfortable seating, public restrooms and security cameras. Agents at the CapMetro Transit Store will serve customers with transit information and sell tickets for all services.

People walking in the the downtown tunnel alongside station stops for a train.

SAFER OPERATION WITH COMPLETE SEPARATION:

A downtown tunnel will provide a safer environment for all mobility modes.

PLACEMAKING OPPORTUNITIES:

These types of transit spaces could include:

  • retail/food
  • restrooms
  • public art
  • AC-controlled environments

FASTER SERVICE UNDERGROUND:

The downtown tunnel would bypass approximately 20% of surface level traffic signals, which improves speed and reliability of the whole network.

FUTURE-PROOFING:

Allows the system to increase capacity for future service demand.

REDUCTION IN SURFACE CONFLICTS:

With the construction of a downtown tunnel, approximately twenty percent of the intersections could be made conflict free resulting in improved safety, reliability and travel time for all mobility modes, including emergency vehicles.

IMPROVEMENT TRANSIT OPERATIONAL RELIABILITY:

The benefits of grade separation and the elimination of surface conflicts improves travel time reliability and ultimately the quality of the customer’s trip for everyone citywide.

EXPANDING TRANSIT FOOTPRINT:

By placing a light rail transit system in a tunnel and expanding the service options of the corridor, one can help maintain the mobility capacity of the corridor and react to the growth and the congestion that comes with it.

Graphic showing there are 37 towers planned in Downtown Austin; 14 will were built between 2010 and 2018, which will provide one million square feet in office space and will bring tens of thousands of workers to downtown.

As part of Project Connect, a downtown transit tunnel is proposed that will separate the light rail service from street traffic and provide connections to not just the Orange, Blue and Gold Lines but also to the MetroRail Red and Green Lines and our robust MetroBus system. Furthermore, the downtown tunnel will encompass social features across multiple stations at Republic Square and other downtown locations including climate control, retail shops, restaurants, public art installations, free Wi-Fi access, and restrooms.