CapMetro adjusts bus schedules in September amid staffing shortage

Austin+Capital+Metro+CapMetro+adjusted+schedules+graphic

Capital Metro has made some changes to our schedules this month because we’ve had difficulty recently fulfilling our promised service levels. We’re experiencing severe staffing shortages and have to adjust to that reality in order to give you better service.

So we’ve suspended service on our E-Bus routes, which are late-night bus routes that operate between downtown and the campus area or downtown and East Riverside, where a lot of UT students live. Our MetroRapid routes, too, won’t run much past midnight on weekends, like they normally do. This lets us devote the resources we do have (in terms of the buses themselves and our drivers) to the routes that serve the most people.

Which sounds nice and efficient, sure. But how do you get back home from downtown at the end of a night out, right?

For late-night service, you can look to our Night Owl routes. They run from midnight to 3 a.m., starting downtown and serving North Lamar (Route 481, which heads up The Drag, serving campus and West Campus) or East Riverside (Route 483).

Late-night trips on MetroRapid and the E-Bus routes are the only service suspensions we’ve made. Other changes involve how often your bus comes … every 15 minutes instead of in 10-minute increments or 30 minutes instead of 15.

The problem is that CapMetro just doesn’t have enough bus drivers and mechanics to provide the service we have scheduled, and so many of our customers have been left at their bus stop waiting for longer than they planned.

The staffing shortage dates back a few years and have been made more challenging by the pandemic. Finding enough people to work isn’t unique to Capital Metro. It’s common across the transit industry … and if you’ve been to a restaurant or a Target recently, you’ve seen it’s not unique to transit. Businesses everywhere are looking for people to hire.

We don’t have enough drivers, which leaves us short when trying to put buses on the road. We’re in the same place with our team of mechanics, which makes it difficult to maintain the buses that are supposed to be out there. This all adds up to missed trips and longer waits for your bus to come.

So, the pandemic has made things harder. This isn’t news. We’re moving through it, though, and we’re still putting buses on the road every day, taking you to class, to South Congress or over to the East Side.

So take CapMetro on Saturday to DKR for the game, and take the 803 up to The Domain. We got you.

To make sure you catch your bus, use the Trip Planner on the CapMetro App and sign up for MetroAlerts (which will give you service updates on your particular route). Also, wear a mask and get your vaccine.