Cap Metro’s hearing at the Sunset Advisory Commission on Tuesday wasn’t the public flogging many might have expected, given the mass transit authority’s myriad problems over the past several years. It came as a shock to no one as Sunset staff delivered testimony that centered on the financial crisis the transit authority faces. Several commissioners, however, none of whom represent Austin, were surprisingly engaged and cognizant of recent reforms at Cap Metro and gave them credit for their responsiveness to the Sunset Commission’s Staff Report which recommended several changes ranging from financial management to labor contracts to rail safety.
For those who have not followed the story from the beginning (include me in that), Cap Metro’s Sunset review began with the passage last session of Sen. Kirk Watson’s (D-Austin) SB 2015. The bill was co-sponsored by Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin). In addition to calling for the review “as if the authority were scheduled to be abolished”, it changed the structure of the Cap Metro board and called for another review in 2016. (more…)