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CapMetro celebrates completion of additional train tracks from Leander to Lakeline

This is the first rail project completed under Project Connect, according to CapMetro.

LEANDER, Texas — Capital Metro (CapMetro) is celebrating a Project Connect milestone.

The local transit agency said the first portion of a project that placed additional MetroRail Red Line tracks from Leander to Lakeline is now complete.

This is the first rail project completed under Project Connect, CapMetro's multibillion-dollar overhaul of Austin's transit system. The plan calls for two light rail lines, a Downtown Austin tunnel, several new bus routes, funding for housing, equitable development planning and park-and-ride options.

On Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at Leander Station, CapMetro officials were joined by Leander Mayor Christine DeLisle and Veronica Castro de Barrera, board chair of the Austin Transit Partnership, to celebrate the completion of the project.

"It is a relatively simple thing, but it is so important because it allows us to adjust schedules. It allows us when things go a little wrong, to recover our schedules faster. And this and other investments that we're making in the city will allow us eventually to increase the frequency and lower the travel time it takes for people to get from Leander into downtown," said Dottie Watkins, interim president and CEO of CapMetro.

Project Connect was approved by Austin voters in 2020. Since then, several projects have broken ground, but officials have said there is a long way to go, especially for the light rail lines.

In November, KVUE's news partners at the Austin American-Statesman reported that a large amount of progress had been made on expanding bus lines and the existing MetroRail line. At the time, Project Connect had already cost $113 million, while the 8.75-cent property tax cut out for Project Connect in Austin had yielded $316 million.

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