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Capital Area Rural Transit System - CARTS (San Marcos, TX)


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CARTS serves an area of nine counties surrounding Austin, Texas including commuter service into Austin.

To start, they have ordered 5 New Flyer MD30s as per New Flyer's site. They are options off of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council contract.

Also, they have ordered 4 Nova LFS 40' as well, they are options off Austin's existing contract with Nova Bus.



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  • 1 month later...

CARTS is the agency providing local bus service at San Marcos and Bastrop, Texas. It als operates several inter-city services radiating primarily from its own Austin hub. While its current fleet is 100% cutaway pending the delivery of the low-floor buses mentioned in the post above, it has an interesting tendency of using cutaways with retro-style streamlined rears, from the small Ford's (One each of a connector/Grasshopper bus and a commuter unit on the Green route) ......


to the International low-floor units (unnumbered commuter bus on the Purple route and bus 2701 on a San Marcos local service).


The latest iteration of this oddball is on a large Ford commuter unit on the Red route. Does anyone have ideas on the manufacture of these bodies with streamlined rears? The only other transit use of these oddballs is in the Bozeman, Montana.


For comparison, I've also attached more conventional cutaways (Para-transit Ford unit 2222, Commuter Chevy unit 3403 on the Gold line, unnumbered commuter Ford on the Pink line and San Marcos local Ford buses 2564 and 2571).


All pictures are taken at various locations in Austin and San Marcos, including the agency's hubs there,and can be viewed at my CARTS gallery.

Hope that my report sheds more light on this little-known agency!

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  • 3 years later...

A small update on the agency:

Since my last visit to the agency's operating territory in 2016, the agency has added a few single-door New Flyer MiDi MD30's to its San Marcos city network.  Pictured here are buses 3006 and 3009.  Meanwhile, they have at least 1 blue small Ford cutaway fitted with a silver headsign like bus 2521.  All are pictured in San Marcos.

CARTS-SM1-3006-2.thumb.JPG.3a424ded11a5c491fe8ccc4358dfe277.JPG  CARTS-SM1-3009-1.thumb.JPG.3804686f5b0de52b5d696625d2bba019.JPG  CARTS-SM4-2521-1.thumb.JPG.80175551aaa4e9558b2d177ccbc0f2dd.JPG

On its commuter bus side, it has at least 2 bronze small Ford cutaways with silver headsigns like buses 2511 and 2517.  The olive large Ford cutaways are numbered in the 3300-series like bus 3300.  It has at least 1 single-door 35ft. Eldorado National XHF like bus 3501.  It is apparently new to Texas State University's Bobcat Shuttle system.   Bus 2511 is pictured in Austin, while buses 2517 and 3300 are pictured in Round Rock and bus 3501 is pictured in San Marcos. 

CARTS-Pink-2511-1.thumb.JPG.8c9471cdecf3f544e3e887429c2cbe0e.JPG  CARTS-Red-2517-1.thumb.JPG.383692cb0f1e3b230140ee3e5bd92256.JPG  CARTS-Silver-3300.thumb.JPG.ac07110ecc834e2b4709cc0fd02e0568.JPG  CARTS-Yellow-3501-3.thumb.JPG.7d6fc7becaf7f2801bce317171e9d610.JPG  CARTS-Yellow-3501-6.thumb.JPG.d59f75ad344673c9ee9b4a5a287bc52d.JPG

I am unable to spot the Nova LFX's in the 4000-series.  They are apparently only used when Texas State University is in session.  The first 2 digits of fleet numbers witn the agency are apparently derived from the length of the precise bus.  Here is my CARTS gallery:

Capital Area Rural Transportation System


Edited by Buzz2kb
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