CARTS passengers can now purchase passes on Hopthru App

Press Release via CARTS

CARTS PASSENGERS CAN NOW HOP ON BOARD USING A SMART DEVICE TO PAY FOR BUS PASSES

The Capital Area Rural Transportation System, THE BUS in San Marcos and Go Geo riders in the City of Georgetown can now use their smart device to purchase bus passes.

Hopthru is a San Francisco based mobile ticketing platform for public transit agencies. Using the Hopthru app, riders are able to purchase passes anytime, anywhere and then present them while boarding. Riders may purchase passes with their credit card, debit card or commuter benefits card and then store them until they are ready to ride.

Hopthru enables riders to purchase passes at their convenience rather than stand in line at stations or on the bus to pay for physical passes.

Riders can receive a link to download the app by texting “hopthru” to 43506. After signing up, they are prompted to select their transit agency, rider type and ticket type, then complete their purchase. Once a rider is ready to board, they can activate their pass and then present it to the operator while boarding. Purchased passes can be activated at anytime with or without internet connection, enabling riders to travel without having to worry about keeping a cell signal.

CARTS provides transportation for the non-urbanized areas of Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Travis and Williamson counties and the San Marcos urbanized area.  Anyone in the CARTS District will be able to ride one of the many CARTS services using the new Hop Thru app effective September 17, 2018 and the first ride is FREE! Go Geo passengers in the City of Georgetown and THE BUS passengers in San Marcos will also be able to download the app for transit services there.

Guadalupe St. Improvements Open House Oct 17

Texas Department of Transportation representatives and City staff will host a come-and-go open house from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Hays County Courthouse Rotunda on Wednesday, Oct. 17.

The event will introduce proposed improvements for Guadalupe Street from University Drive to Grove Street. The improvements include striping for bike lanes and parking, as well as sidewalk improvements between MLK Drive and the UPRR railroad tracks and bike/pedestrian crossing improvements at the tracks.

Exhibits of the improvements will be on display, and the public is encouraged to attend and provide comments for consideration.

For more information contact the City of San Marcos Engineering Department at 512.393.8130 or email to enginfo@sanmarcostx.gov.

via City of San Marcos

Downtown Customer Study Results

Provide input on Small Area Plans before Oct 31

The City of San Marcos has recently kicked off the San Marcos Small Area Plan (SAP) Program survey to gather input for specific planning needs in many existing neighborhoods. The City is seeking comments to help establish areas of need, selection criteria and the type of City assistance that should be available to participating neighborhoods.

As an Intensity Zone intended for growth by the Comprehensive Plan, Downtown is not a part of the SAP Program; however, many DTA members, customers, and friends live in existing neighborhoods that may participate in the SAP Program. All are encouraged to provide input before the SAP Survey closes October 31.

Want to learn more? The City is also hosting and Open House and Presentation on October 24 from 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM at the Price Center. There will be one presentation at 6:00 and one presentation at 7:00. Stop in at any time to view the draft program details and provide your input on the design of the City's proposed Small Area Plan Program.

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VeoRide Dockless BikeShare Coming to San Marcos Sept 20

CITY OF SAN MARCOS PRESS RELEASE

September 4, 2018

City, Texas State Collaborate on Bike Share Program

The City of San Marcos and Texas State University are collaborating on a bike share program that will bring affordable, convenient access to bicycles to the community.

The City and University will host a launch event on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 214 E. Hutchison, near the intersection of Hutchison Street and North LBJ, at 9 a.m. to introduce the program to the public.

Indiana-based VeoRide is providing the customized bikes to the City and University at no cost, and riders can reserve a bike for as little as 50 cents for 15 minutes of use.

VeoRide’s easy-to-use and adaptable dockless bike share system allows riders to locate a nearby bike via their smart phone. With a dockless bike, riders have greater freedom to travel where they want, and there is no need to return the bike to its original location. VeoRide bikes feature sturdy construction, built-in safety features and three gears.

Current pay-as-you-go bike rental rates start at 50 cents for 15 minutes. Day passes are $6.99. Additional packages are available for $25.99/month or $99.99/annually and include unlimited 30-minute rides. Texas State students are also eligible for discounts on monthly and annual passes.

To rent a bike, first download the VeoRide app and locate a bike. Once a bike is found, open Bluetooth on your phone, scan the QR code on the bike or enter the bike’s ID to unlock, and ride. At the end of the ride, park at one of several designated parking locations identified in the app and simply push the button on the bike lock to end the trip.

 For general information about VeoRide and to read frequently asked questions, visit www.veoride.com.


Additional Coverage can be found at the following links:

Texas State Release

Community Impact

Statesman

PARK(ing) Day Planning Kick-Off

PARK(ing) Day is an annual, open-source, international opportunity to reclaim and reimagine outdoor urban space for people through a temporary installation on space typically dedicated to the car. This year, to continue San Marcos' tradition of participation, the San Marcos Planning Department, Main Street, and Sustainable Placemakers are collaborating on an installation downtown on South LBJ. But first, everyone's putting their heads together to brainstorm and game plan on September 10th at 6PM Sean Patrick's.

This year's actual Park(ing) Day will take place September 21st. That's right: the day after the September Third Thursday Walkabout and the day before the Mermaid Promenade.  So, all DTA Members are encourage to attend the planning session on the 10th to be part of the design and programming to turn this one day international event into an installation that works for all three days.

For some history, check out San Marcos' video doc of PARK(ing) Day 2017: https://www.facebook.com/CityofSanMarcos/videos/10155324504587400/

Find more info and let other's know you're going to the Planning Session at the Facebook Event Here

DTA Helps Launch Parking Marketplace

With increased demand for parking in Downtown San Marcos and the launch of enhanced enforcement of time-limits via License Plate Recognition (LPR) technology, the Downtown Association (DTA) recognizes an opportunity to unlock private OFF-street parking spaces that are vacant or underutilized to provide a solution for those in need of parking.

The DTA has partnered with PARQEX to create a local, online marketplace where private, OFF-street parking spaces can be listed and rented in a matter of minutes via the web or an Android or iPhone app. 

While the online marketplace allows for daily, weekly, or even hourly parking, the current focus of the marketplace is to provide parking on a monthly basis for known users in need such as downtown employers and individuals requiring longer than the allowable two-hour time limit for ON-street parking downtown.

Early this month, the Downtown Association sent out nearly 300 direct mailers to all property owners within the downtown encouraging them to list any vacant or underutilized spaces on the marketplace. With PARQEX, owners can make spaces available at all hours or just during certain hours of each day or certain days of the week.

For owners or renters that prefer not to use an online tool, the DTA is also maintaining a separate list of owners with parking available and renters looking for parking. If a match appears, the DTA will put the parties in touch.  To add your availability or need, email us at info@downtownsanmarcos.org

Ready to sign-up and list or rent a space? Click the logo below to sign-up and receive a free $15 credit.

Still have questions? Head over to the DTA’s Parking Marketplace FAQ by clicking below for a lot more info.

GSMP Info Sessions on DWTN Shopper Study August 14

The City of San Marcos and the Greater San Marcos Partnership (GSMP) have teamed up with Retail Coach, a national retail consulting and research firm, to help our downtown and local businesses optimize strategies to attract their ideal customer base. 

GSMP will be hosting an event at their downtown office to provide an informational session to San Marcos business owners to take a deeper look into the study. This session will provide the opportunity to discover more about the local shoppers in our town and further understand: 

  • Who your customers are
  • Where they come from
  • How long they stay in store
  • Where else they like to go
  • And other consumer behavior

Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about how you can create a successful strategy for your business! Reserve your spot by clicking the link below.

Retail Coach Session

August 14th
1 PM OR 5:30 PM (Two Sessions)
113 N Guadalupe St, San Marcos, TX 78666

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The Mermaids are coming! The Art League can help you prepare!

The Mermaid Promenade is coming up on September 22, 2018! Last year, nearly 5,000 “Mermaidians 😊” danced, promenaded, and paraded through Downtown San Marcos. This year it could be even more. Get your business prepared to celebrate and join in the fun! 

The Art League of San Marcos has artists who are ready to assist Downtown Association members in getting your shop ready for the many folks who will gather this year!

If you can use artistic help in preparing for this event, contact Kathryn at: info@artleaguesmtx.org to get matched up with an artist.  Possibilities include window painting, dressing up store fronts, and more. Get them your ideas and watch them come alive!

The deadline is August 10, 2018 for obtaining this assistance as the artists need time to get/implement ideas!  Let’s get busy and start “Mermaiding”!!!

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DTA Submits Letter on Downtown/Parks Connection

As the City of San Marcos is revising its Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan, the Downtown Association (DTA) has submitted the letter below requesting that improved connectivity between downtown and the Riverfront Parks system be incorporated into the Plan prior to its adoption.

Keep track of the Parks Master Plan process via the City's website here.  As of the date of this post, both the current (2010 adopted) and draft (2018) master plans are available for download. A schematic of riverfront parks plan is available on page 76 of the draft available at the link above.

License Plate Recognition (LPR) Parking Enforcement Begins

The License Plate Recognition (LPR) system for parking enforcement is now live and has been in use in the downtown area for about three weeks. Warning tickets were issued for the first two weeks, but actual tickets are now being given and numerous tickets have been issued.

The City currently has one full-time and three part-time parking technicians rotating and working together to make sure there is full-time coverage in the downtown area between the hours of 8AM to 5PM.  They are tasked with covering the areas of Downtown bounded by University Drive, C. M. Allen Parkway, MLK Drive and Moore Street.

Issued tickets are placed on the driver’s side windshield of the vehicle. If the ticket is not paid within 10 days, a follow-up collection letter will be sent directly to the vehicle owner as part of the collection process.

It is still early in the system roll-out and the Downtown Association will continue to provide updates as they become available.

City to Use License Plate Recognition for Parking Enforcement

CITY OF SAN MARCOS PRESS RELEASE

The City of San Marcos will begin using license plate recognition technology to help parking enforcement officers manage downtown parking.  Preparations for the automated system are underway with full implementation scheduled prior to March 1. 

The City contracted with NuPark, a firm based in Cedar Park, TX, to provide the automated technology. The company will provide the City a comprehensive cloud-based parking management system fully integrated with enforcement, citation and permit functionalities. The mobile license plate recognition (LPR) enforcement allows the City to automate the process with more accuracy and efficiency.

How LPR works:

  • The LPR system captures two photos of observed vehicles: (1) a context photo of the vehicle and its immediate surroundings and (2) a photo of the license plate. The photos are not of a resolution that allows identification of vehicle occupants if they are present.
  • Along with the photographic data, the system also records the global positioning system (GPS) coordinates and date/time information of the observation.
  • Parking enforcement will regularly monitor all areas with time-limited parking restrictions, which are primarily downtown.
  • If a vehicle remains parked in the same location in excess of the posted time limit, the LPR system will notify the officer and a citation may be issued.

What LPR does not do:

  • The system does not store owner or driver information directly with the LPR record.
  • The system is designed only for parking enforcement purposes and does not scan for warrants.
  • The system does not keep data indefinitely - data collected that does not result in parking enforcement action or is not part of an ongoing law enforcement investigation or prosecution is retained for 180 days.

“The City of San Marcos was interested in a technology-driven solution for parking enforcement that could interface with our existing systems and have the capacity to expand and adapt as our approach to parking management becomes more sophisticated,” said Kevin Burke, the City’s Economic Development & Downtown Administrator.

Parking enforcement officers are responsible for enforcement of a wide range of parking-related offenses. In 2016, the City’s parking enforcement team issued 6,742 warnings and citations for infractions such as parking in front of a mailbox, parking in a handicap space without a permit, and parking in excess of posted time limits downtown. On-street parking throughout downtown San Marcos is limited to two hours, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“In San Marcos, what we heard from our community outreach was a desire for enhanced enforcement of our existing on-street time restrictions to provide more available parking by encouraging turnover. We determined that LPR parking enforcement could be a good first step, allowing us to increase enforcement while facilitating data collection that will guide our implementation of other parking management strategies in the future.”

For more information about the program, contact Kevin Burke at 512.393.8108 or kburke@sanmarcostx.gov.