Austin's lone commuter rail line will be getting a new track. A $18 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, announced Wednesday, will enable the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority to complete design, engineering, and construction of an additional track on its only existing commuter line. The new Red Line track will run along East Fifth Street from Onion Street to Matamoros Street. The addition enables more frequent train trips along the route, which includes the Saltillo Plaza station.

The project will include the construction of a second platform and signals at Plaza Saltillo, new bike and pedestrian infrastructure between Chicon and Pedernales streets; reconfiguration of a section of East Fifth Street along the rail route; safety improvements; and train control modifications

The project's budget is $32.2 million. CapMetro will $13.2 million, and the city of Austin will put in $900,000. The authority expects to complete it by 2026.

The $18 million grant for CapMetro's Red Line comes from a $97 million DOT program called Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity program, which was expanded under the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed in 2021.

RAISE has also designated grant money for projects in a commercial truck travel plaza near State Highway 130 and San Marcos Highway, the creation and design of a smart corridor network plan for Waco, and the creation of 5.2 miles of shared-use trails between light rail stops in Dallas.