November 5, 2021 - TRA Austin -

After delays and more discussions, the Austin City Council signed off on a Joint Powers Agreement that sets the stage of the development of the $7.1 billion Project Connect program. The council vote was 10-0.

The three stakeholders in Project Connect are Capitol Metro, the city of Austin and the Austin Transit Partnership (ATP).

ATP Director of Strategy Sam Sargent said that the Joint Powers Agreement becomes the "rules of the rails" for the massive transit expansion program.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler was concerned how the ATP would choose a CEO and offered an amendment that would include community engagement in the process. In a post Adler said that "in drafting this language, community advocates helped with words to ensure a deliberative process around the appointment of the executive director, and one in which we can all be confident that all voices will be actively involved."

Austin District Council member Kathie Tovo was successful in getting an amendment approved to the JPA that covers preservation along future rail lines.

The Joint Powers document will help all entities work through issues of equity for all residents, land use, transit oriented development and engaging the community.