E-bike rebates to double under proposed pilot program "The city will likely dramatically increase its incentives for electric bike purchases beginning next year with a new program that will double the rebates given for individual and fleet-level purchases. ... The tiered rebate program will double the rebate provided through Austin Energy for e-bike purchases, with amounts based on the unit price for both individuals and groups of bikes. The incentive for individual e-bikes will start at $300 for the lowest-priced models and increase up to $1,300 once contributions from AE and [the Austin Transportation Department] are combined. The current limit on individual purchases is $600." (Chad Swiatecki, Austin Monitor) 

Austin's housing market keeps cooling off, tilts more in favor of buyers "Amid its ongoing cooldown, the Central Texas housing market continued to tip in buyers' favor last month, inching closer toward a more balanced market, according to the latest data from the Austin Board of Realtors. Home sales plunged by double-digits in October and buyers had more homes from which to choose, the board said in its monthly housing report for the five-county Austin region." (Shonda Novak, Austin American-Statesman)

Double-decker highway coming to South Austin "Amid howls of protest and a legal challenge in federal court, the Texas Department of Transportation is plowing ahead with the first of three projects to widen I-35 through Travis County." (Nathan Bernier, KUT 90.5 FM)

Clay Development may build Mustang Ridge warehouse "A Texas real estate firm could build a large distribution center southeast of Austin, adding more commercial development to the capital city's outskirts. A recent filing with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation indicates a 218,400-square-foot shell building for warehouse and office use is planned at 6925 FM 1327, south of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and Circuit of The Americas. That is in Mustang Ridge, a tiny city about halfway between Austin and Lockhart." (Mike Christen, Austin Business Journal)

Light-rail tunnel under downtown Austin might not happen after all "Some or all of Austin's light-rail system could be at street level downtown instead of underground, which was the vision sold to voters when they authorized Project Connect in November 2020. The Austin Transit Partnership (ATP), a local government corporation created to build the Orange and Blue Lines, is considering ways to cut costs as inflation eats into the budget for the multibillion-dollar system." (Nathan Bernier, KUT 90.5 FM)

New Austin ordinance aims to fast-track Project Connect planning, construction "The Austin City Council just made it easier for Project Connect's transit expansion plans to be approved under city code. The council has approved an ordinance that city staffers say will save time and money in the planning phase for Project Connect and help projects that are part of the new transit system get to the construction phase more smoothly." (Sarah Asch, Austin American-Statesman)

Eviction rates are skyrocketing in Travis County "Eviction rates have shot up more than 250 percent of the average in the Austin area, according to Travis County Health and Human Services. ... Many of the evictions are driven by rising costs, relatively stagnant incomes and the lifting of the eviction moratorium in March, but November has seen an anomalous increase, even since the moratorium was lifted. Rents for one-bedroom apartments in Austin have risen 35 percent since 2019, compared to a mere 8 percent increase in wages." (Seth Smalley, Austin Monitor)