MetroRail is about to hit a higher gear with a multimillion dollar federal grant. The announcement was made Thursday afternoon at CapMetro's downtown train station.
The money is coming from the U.S. Department of Transportation as part of a nationwide effort to jump start projects.
CapMetro is getting $11 million and will use the money to fast track rail projects along the red-line.
The passage from downtown, northwest to Leander only has a few places where north and southbound MetroRail trains can pass.
The federal grant will pay for additional sidings and double tracks in critical areas. Bridges will be upgraded and new signal systems will be installed to reduce vehicle delays at crossings.
CapMetro officials estimate the improvements will increase ridership by 15 percent and reduce commute times by as much as 10 minutes.
Currently riding the rail from Cedar Park to downtown takes almost an hour.
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