Percentage of High-Frequency Transit Route Street Lane Miles in Fair to Excellent Condition
High-frequency transit routes run on about 673 lane miles of roadway maintained by Austin Public Works. In fiscal year 2021, about 357 lane miles, or 53% of all high-frequency transit routes, are in fair to excellent condition.
Condition data is gathered by by a vehicle that scans roadway surfaces, covering 1/3 of the city each year. Street condition is then classified as excellent, good, fair, or failed based on Austin's street rating policy. The overall condition value is reported as the percent of lane miles that host high-frequency transit routes that are in fair to excellent condition. This is calculated each fiscal year by using the most recent condition data at the time the value is reported. In essence, the performance measure is a rolling three-year assessment of street conditions. The total lane miles in fair, good, and excellent condition are divided by the total lane miles that host high-frequency transit routes for that time, yielding the percent in fair to excellent condition.
High-frequency transit routes are in worse condition than the street network overall. This is due to the nature of transit bus loadings. A typical transit bus has significantly higher weight loadings and is equivalent to the impact of 3,500 cars or 200 typical delivery trucks. Additionally, high-frequency transit routes are generally near the core of the city. As such many of these streets are older and already in need of rehabilitation or reconstruction.
Streets are not all designed the same nor do they all have the same capacity to handle heavy traffic. The City adapts to changes in bus routing with increased repair, maintenance, and strengthening bus routes whenever possible. For high-frequency transit routes, this also means additional repairs, repaving, and building new concrete bus lanes on some of these streets to support their increased load demands.
Some of the streets that host these transit routes are not maintained by the City of Austin. They are state roadways, maintained by TxDOT.
The most recent set of street segment condition data for high-frequency transit routes is available here.
The trend of 53% of streets in fair to excellent condition on high-frequency transit routes tracks as expected. These primarily older streets that are impacted by high frequency transit routes are already in need of significant work. Furthermore, heavier transit traffic loadings accelerate the deterioration of these streets already having high volumes of normal traffic.
Note: To see the underlying data for this chart, please select the "View Source Data" link.
Additional Measure Insights
The high-frequency transit network is established by Capital Metro based on their studies of ridership needs throughout the City. The City is in a supporting role here by providing the best possible street network to support the transit services needed by the community as established by Capital Metro.
Measure Details and Definition
1) Definition: This measure describes the condition of streets maintained by the Public Works Department that host Capital Metro high-frequency transit routes as of FY2021. Private streets and streets maintained by the Texas Department of Transportation are excluded from this measure.
2) Calculation method: The sum of high frequency transit route lane miles in fair, good, or excellent condition is divided by the sum of all lane miles in the entire street network maintained by the Public Works Department that host Capital Metro high-frequency transit routes as of FY2021.
3) Data Collection Process: Condition data is gathered by by a vehicle that scans roadway surfaces, covering 1/3 of the city each year. Prior to FY2020, half the street network was assessed every year.
4) Measure Target Calculation: The target for street condition is based on a balance of citizen satisfaction, safety, functionality, and affordability. Our current goal is to get the street network up to about 80% fair to excellent condition streets. Ideally, someday the target maybe eventually be set even higher, but that must again be a balance between demand and affordability.
5) Frequency Measure is Reported: Annually (Fiscal Year)
Date page was last updated: January 2022