Capital Metro holds a groundbreaking ceremony for its new station outside Austin FC Stadium

Photo by Sam Stark

Wednesday, July 20, 2022 by Samuel Stark

On Monday night, following a convincing rendition by the Austin FC Marching Band of Camila Cabello’s “Havana” (singing “McKalla, ah la-la” instead of “Havana, ooh na-na”), the State and local officials and Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority staff participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of what will be the new McKalla Station, located on the east side of Austin FC’s home stadium, Q2 Stadium .

McKalla Station is one of two new stations, the other being Broadmoor/Domain, to be built along the MetroRail Red Line as part of Capital Metro’s multi-billion dollar transit initiative, Connect Project. McKalla station is scheduled to open in late 2023.

“We are here at the gates of Q2 Stadium. This is a world class facility. And we are now adding what is world-class equipment,” said Andy Loughnane, president of Austin FC.

The new station is intended to accommodate the increased traffic that Austin FC games will bring and to support population growth in the area.

Austin mayoral candidate and state representative Celia Israel told a mid-size crowd gathered at the ceremony that on Austin FC game days, about 20,000 runners are expected to use the services of Capital Metro, according to forecasts by Capital Metro staff.

“We can use a sports hall as a transit entrance. Try it,” Israel said. “It’s not that people don’t want public transit. They want more connections and more reasons to say yes to public transit,” she added.

The red line runs from the city center to Leander. As well as adding new stations along the Red Line as part of the Connect project, there are also plans to add a set of additional tracks, which will increase the frequency of service, and to add quiet areas for maintain some tranquility for nearby residents. tracks.

“Public transit is so important to the life of a city. I don’t know a city that’s considered a fabulous, wonderful city that doesn’t also have wonderful public transit,” said Jeff Travillion, Chairman of the Board of Capital Metro, at the ceremony.

“What (McKalla Station) means for this neighborhood is amazing, but what it means for Austin is also important,” he added.

In addition to transporting fans to the stadium, the Capital Metro team and stakeholders hope McKalla Station will provide more connectivity to housing, employment and leisure activities for people living in the North Burnet neighborhood. The station will also offer connections to cycle and pedestrian paths.

“We recognize that event transportation is a great introduction to public transit for many people in our community. We look forward to welcoming new riders to the system, as well as daily riders using the station which will be open five days a week,” said Dottie Watkins, Interim President and CEO of Capital Metro.

Once the McKalla and Broadmoor/Domain stops are constructed, Capital Metro plans to decommission the existing MetroRail Red Line station at Kramer.

The MetroRail Red Line improvements are part of the Project Connect transit initiative. The line will eventually intersect with the larger regional transit system, including planned new lines and MetroRapid and MetroBus routes.

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