Wild Art | 02.13.15

Miguel Castillo, a mechanic for 4 Way Auto Repair and Wrecker Service, works on a car in Kyle, Texas.

Michael Baez | Daily Texan Staff

Jordy Mont-Reynaud fixes his hat at Mozart's Coffee Roasters on Thursday afternoon.

Mariana Muñoz | Daily Texan Staff

John Cisneros Jr., a mechanic for 4 Way Auto Repair and Wrecker Service, works on a car in Kyle, Texas

Michael Baez | Daily Texan Staff

Advertising student Christina Hernandez studies by Pleasant Valley Road on Thursday afternoon.

Mariana Muñoz | Daily Texan Staff

Students and employees who commute to Austin from surrounding areas such as Georgetown and Kyle may have more public transit options headed their way in the future.

Currently communities that cannot afford full service transit services are unable to work with rapid transit authorities such as Capital Metro, but a bill filed in Texas Senate would allow these communities to create government entities to fund levels of service they need.

The bill would allow rapid transit authorities to create local government corporations, which are nonprofit corporations created by local communities to act on their behalf. State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, and state Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, authored the bill.

Transportation authorities such as Capital Metro would be able to work with surrounding cities to provide levels of service most useful to those communities, said Capital Metro spokeswoman Erica Macioge. 

“We are very supportive of this bill and have sought help getting it filed,” Macioge said. “It would allow us to potentially provide transit service to communities outside our area.”

Macioge said CapMetro’s current structure is strict in that it can only accept 1 percent sales tax from communities in order to receive transit service, rather than other sources of funds. Creating local government corporations would allow CapMetro to work with communities that cannot adequately fund full transit service but have needs for other levels of service.

“Our area is growing so rapidly and we’re thinking regionally and planning regionally, but we have a problem because we’re not actually able to provide the service,” Macioge said. “This would allow us to create a local government corporation where we could enter into agreements with those local authorities.”

Areas such as Georgetown, which lost funding from the Capital Area Rural Transportation System because of high urbanization rates in the last U.S. census, would be able to work with CapMetro through a local government corporation to determine what level of service is most beneficial to the local community.

Mechanical engineering senior Brian Roppolo commuted to campus from Georgetown until fall 2012. Roppolo said having regular bus service or train service from the Georgetown area would be useful to commuting students because of irregular class and study schedules.

“I think I would have [used it] because I would have saved on gas,” Roppolo said. “I could drive down to Cedar Park and take the train if I wanted to, [but] being that I was an engineering student and I would stay after 11 o’clock. When the train started it would come twice a day or something like that, it’s not conducive to someone who doesn’t have that flexibility.”

Policy staff from Watson’s office said though smaller communities have other options for funding public transit, such as contracting separate companies, this bill would be an additional way to coordinate public transportation with local government. 

“This just allows [Capital Metro] other tools in our toolbox and tools for other communities as they grow,” Macioge said. “We are supportive of the bill and hope that it moves forward.”

COLLEGE STATION — For 10 games, Rick McIvor watched. He practiced, he worked and he was more or less ignored. While Todd Dodge and Rob Moerschell were taking turns saving each other, McIvor only played obvious passing situations. Everyone go long. Rick McIvor — instant offense.

The strategy worked once, an 80-yard touchown to Kelvin Epps against Auburn. It failed miserably another time. McIvor provided the instant offense for TCU when his only pass of the game was picked off and returned 66 yards for a touchdown.

“It was unfortunate,” Texas coach Fred Akers said. “He goes in there against TCU cold, right off the bench and his first pass is picked off for a touchdown. Rick McIvor two years ago couldn’t have handled that.”

In Texas’ 45-13 nuking of Texas A&M before a record crowd of 76,751 at Kyle Field, McIvor didn’t have any troubling handling the Aggies. With Texas trailing 13-0 and its offense choking in its own cloud of dust, McIvor entered the game and administered CPR. Less than 15 minutes of playing time later, the Longhorns had scored all 45 of their points.

“The coaches had talked to me this week about playing more,” McIvor said. “But I hurt my back early in the week, and I wasn’t sure if I’d be ready if needed.”

The win clinched the 11-0 Longhorns’ 17th outright Southwest Conference title and their 22nd overall. It was the Longhorns’ third consecutive victory over the Aggies, whose record fell to 5-5-1.

The day was a vindication of sorts for McIvor. As the Longhorns worked out in preparation for their opening game with Auburn, McIvor was battling Moerschell and Dodge for the starting quarterback position. But McIvor, who missed fall workouts with scholastic problems, was further set back when he suffered a turf burn on his elbow and wrist and an infection set in. He missed 10 days of practice.

“It was pretty bad,” Akers said. “I’d go to the health center to visit him, and they’d make you wash your hands in alcohol before you left the room.”

As a result, when Dodge, the announced starter for the season opener, separated his shoulder, Akers called on Moerschell to start the game.

McIvor spent most of the season on the bench. Going into the A&M game, he had thrown just 12 passes all season and completed just three for 105 yards and one touchdown. During the A&M game, he completed eight-of-12 passes for 170 yards and four touchdowns as the Longhorn offense set season highs for total offense (445 yards), passing offense (258 yards) and pass completions (12).

“We’ve talked it over all season, and my feeling is nothing matters except winning,” said McIvor, when asked about sitting on the bench. “It hasn’t bothered me at all, so long as we’ve been winning. That may be hard for a lot of people to understand, but that’s exactly the way I feel. No matter what it takes, no matter who’s in there, all that matters is us winning. I didn’t get discouraged. I knew I’d get my chance.”