Monday, June 23, 2008

Albany is to Austin as CDTA is to Capital Metro?

If you've been around this region for a little while, you've probably heard comparisons to Austin, Texas. Not because of the climate, the natural resources, or the mayor, but because of Austin's growth and expansion in the tech sector which started in the 1980's. As a matter of fact, a bunch of folks from NY's Capital Region took a field trip to Austin in 2003, and gathered some information. There's the still-unfolding Sematech story, of course, as well as buzz in the nano industry about what that tiny technology is doing for Albany and Austin.

What about Austin's public transporation?

Currently they've got buses, with big plans for expanding into train service.

I'm sure the good folks at CDTA and CDTC are keeping abreast of trends in transportation. As a matter of fact, Austin's Capital Metro website has many of the same features as CDTA's site.

Here's something they have that we don't.

A new blog run by the staff at Capital Metro -- sounds daring to me. Meanwhile, I can't imagine CDTA planning to launch a blog when the board's governance committee recommended at the last board meeting to stick to the status quo and keep their meetings running without a public comment period. You can watch the video of that entire meeting on the CDTA website. BTW, Austin's Capital Metro board meetings do have public comment periods, with lots of rules.

AND HEY! National Dump the Pump Day was June 19th.

Over 100 transit agencies, including our very own, participated in the push to entice consumers to choose public transportation over personal vehicles. From Washington State to Kansas and the Ozarks to Florida, transit organizations provided facts and gave away lots of rides, cookies and even cash to willing participants.

CDTA is giving folks in our region until today, June 23 to enter to win free rides -- and you don't have to be a new rider to enter. Read all about it here, and I hope you are one of the lucky winners so we can catch up on the bus!

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