Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

In the band or on a bus, timing is everything

Jack Myer

Editor’s note: This column was submitted to the Texan by a member of the UT community.

There’s one lesson I learned at UT that I apply every day in my role as the President and CEO of CapMetro – timing is everything. The best things in life come at the proper time, and that’s especially true in public transportation.

I gained a deeper appreciation for the importance of timing when I was in the Longhorn Band. I played the French horn, and timing was critical in each performance. We needed precision in our marching and music to uphold our national reputation for excellence. That attention to timing is part of what makes the Longhorn Band so inspiring to watch. Each member of the band is focused on playing their part in a beautifully orchestrated and well-timed display.

A strong commitment to proper timing is also essential in public transportation – yet another lesson I learned at UT. As an undergraduate student in the early 1990s, I depended on the UT shuttle to get me to and across campus on time. In my junior year, my dad encouraged me to become a part-time driver for the UT shuttle. He worked in CapMetro’s vehicle maintenance department and he personally made sure that I made the call each morning before 6 a.m. to get my shift assignment for the day. It was the perfect job for my schedule. I could work morning shifts and free my evenings and weekends to attend band practice and marching band events. Plus, the pay was better than what I was making at my food service job.

Managing my time between classes, homework, band activities, and driving the shuttle was tough. Juggling my schedule with these responsibilities gave me an even deeper understanding of the importance of timing. I applied this appreciation for timing to my work as a UT shuttle driver. I experienced firsthand that the shuttle needed to be on time so I wouldn’t miss a class or band practice. I knew that each person I carried on my bus routes also had an important schedule to keep.

I continued my work as a bus driver through college and eventually became CapMetro’s UT shuttle coordinator, which led to even more opportunities for advancement. Last year, I became CapMetro’s president and CEO, and this year, I celebrate 30 years of service with the agency.

At CapMetro, one of our most significant measures of performance is whether your bus shows up on time. On-time performance is important to us because it’s important to you – our customers. Many UT students rely on CapMetro to get you around campus and around Austin, and a late bus or a missed trip can cause a serious interruption to your day. If your bus or train isn’t punctual, then it’s not reliable. Make no mistake – our aim at CapMetro is that every bus is on time, every time.

My career at CapMetro started as a bus driver, but my experience in transit began as a bus rider. I was once a student who relied on the bus to provide me with transportation to and around campus, so I know firsthand how much students depend on a reliable service to help them make it home, to class, and to work on time.

I’m grateful for your trust in CapMetro to provide reliable transportation. I know how valuable your time is as a student, and I pledge my continued commitment to strive toward punctual perfection for my fellow Longhorns and all our customers.

Watkins is a University of Texas alumnus and the President and CEO of CapMetro.

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