Capital Metro on Wednesday announced new routes on the MetroExpress and new services on the MetroRail to make commuting to work a bit easier, which they said will begin on Sunday Jan. 7.

Due to the improvements to the MetroRail, three additional services will be added to provide a better service and alleviate overcrowded trains, according to Capital Metro.

The Leander Station Morning Schedule:

- 6:51 a.m. and 6:56 a.m.

- 7:27 a.m. and 7:32 a.m.

- 8:03 a.m. and 8:08 a.m.

The Downtown Station Evening Schedule:

- 4:17 p.m. and 4:22 p.m.

- 4:53 p.m. and 4:58 p.m.

- 5:29 p.m. and 5:34 p.m.

There will be free access to MoPac's managed lanes, which will allow Capital Metro to offer 40 percent more service on the MetroExpress Commuter routes.

Capital Metro said federal grants made it possible to make changes to the rail.

A welcome change for Thomas Falcon, a Lakeline Station commuter.

"I think it's better for them," said Falcon. "I think it's cheaper up there so it'll help them. Save them 10, 15 minutes from driving down here and then actually going downtown."

Riders said the rail gets extremely crowded during rush hour.

So, Cap Metro added four more trains to accommodate the additional trips.

"If you look at our trains any morning or evening during commuter hours, you'll see that it's very busy," said Mariette Hummel, spokesperson for Capital Metro. "Often standing room only. And so we know that there's a need for added capacity. So we've been working on that."

Route 981 (Oak Knoll Express) and Route 985 (Leander/Lakeline Direct) will use the Express Lanes to bypass traffic congestion to downtown Austin directly. Additional trips will also be added to the 985, Capital Metro said, which will operate in two directions. Route 982 (Pavilion Express) and Route 987 (Leander/Lakeline Express) will serve the 38th Street medical area first before heading south towards the UT campus, the Capitol and downtown. The 982 Route also adds more trips operating in both directions throughout the day.

Additional services adjustments will be made, including additional morning trips on Route 7. Riders who still use the Premium passes that were discontinued back in January 2017 will no longer be able to use them starting Jan. 7.

The New MetroRail schedules for routes 214, 243, 464, 465 and 466 will adjust to the new MetroRail schedule.

For additional information, please visit the Capital Metro website or call 512-474-1200.