CapMetro launches new ride-sharing service

Capital Metro is launching a free ride-hailing service in Austin -- the first of its kind in the country.

AUSTIN - Capital Metro has launched a free, ride-hailing service in Austin – the first of its kind in the country.

The Pickup by Capital Metro app allows users to choose where they want to begin and end their bus trip around northeast Austin neighborhoods.

Cap Metro said the service area ranges from the intersection of Manor Rd. and Airport Blvd. to the I-35 access road north of Rutherford Lane.

"It will operate Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m,” said Sam Sargent, community involvement coordinator with Capital Metro. “It's free of charge during the 6 to 12 month pilot program."

KVUE downloaded and tested the app from the HEB in the Mueller neighborhood. We chose the St. John Branch library as our destination.

The app estimated the wait to be 6 minutes. KVUE waited for 14 minutes for the Pickup bus to arrive at the corner of Barbara Jordan Blvd. and Berkman Dr.

Once on the bus, a passenger was picked up, and she said she prefers the Upper Eastside Flex route, which this Picku" service replaced, because it dropped her off closer to her home.

If riders do not have access to a smartphone, they can request rides by calling 512-369-6200.

According to CapMetro, the Pickup app was developed in partnership with Via, which operates on-demand ridesharing platforms in NYC, Chicago and D.C., and licenses its technology to transportation providers globally.

Today was the first day the program was in service, and KVUE’s trip to St. John Branch library was fairly fast.

We were dropped off at the corner of Blessing and Wheatley Ave., about a block away from the library’s entrance. The ride was 10 minutes in duration and about 3 miles long.

To learn more about the Pickup service, click here.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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