At first, it may seem challenging to navigate the transportation system in Austin, TX. Getting from point A to point B can be difficult due to the public transportation options and the growing population. But fear not! Whether you’re visiting or living here, navigating public transportation in the “Live Music Capital of the World” doesn’t have to be intimidating.
With just a bit of background on buses, trains, and other ways to traverse Austin quickly and easily, you’ll feel ready to explore this vibrant city like a pro.
From locals’ tips for riding buses efficiently to recommended train lines for touring attractions near downtown, this blog post will offer everything you need to know when it comes to taking full advantage of all the public transportation offerings that Austin has available.
MetroBus: Getting Around Austin by Bus
Capital Metro operates a public bus system in Austin and surrounding communities called MetroBus. The network includes various bus routes that can be easily navigated using the CapMetro App. Keep in mind that routes, times, and destinations may occasionally change.
There are 14 high-frequency routes available for easy and fast movement around the city. Individuals who travel from Downtown Austin to their homes in Leander or the Round Rock area usually prefer these routes because they are fast and convenient.
To efficiently handle the numerous routes and destinations of MetroBus, it’s recommended to use their app. The new CapMetro App is a convenient tool to help you navigate the Austin area. You can pay for tickets on the go, track the location of your bus, and even plan out your entire trip itinerary.
CapMetro MetroBus Fare
- Single Ride: $1.25
- Single Ride, Reduced: $0.60
- Day Pass: $2.50
- Day Pass, Reduced: $1.25
- 7-Day Pass: $11.25
- 31-Day Pass: $41.25
- 31-Day Pass, Reduced: $20.60
MetroRail: Austin’s Newest Public Transit System
The MetroRail travels a 32-mile route connecting downtown, North Austin, and Leander. It has nine stations along the line and offers a comfortable and reliable mode of transportation for commuting to work downtown, heading to UT, or traveling between any of the stations. If you have Q2 Stadium Events, MetroRail operates special services with supplemental trans to the Q2 stadium. You can use Trip Planner or visit their website to see the special event service.
How to Ride a MetroRail?
You can either Park & Ride and catch Route 550 to connect to a rail station or take a Rail Connector that will take you directly to your destination. The majority of rail stations are served by bus routes, making it easy to hop off the train and quickly catch a bus to major employers, shopping centers, and educational destinations.
If you arrive at MLK Station, you can catch Route 465 to take you directly to the UT campus, while Kramer Station offers Route 466 to take you to The Domain or UT’s Pickle Research Campus. With its efficient routes and convenient connections, the MetroRail is an excellent option for commuters and travelers alike.
CapMetro MetroRail Fare
- Single ride: $3.50
- Single ride, reduced: $1.75
- Day pass: $7.00
- Day pass, reduced: $3.50
- 7-day pass: $27.50
- 31-day pass: $96.25
- 31-day pass, reduced: $48.10
There are various rideshare services that offer transportation for individuals and their guests to and from specific locations. The use of ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft has been on the rise in Austin because they provide an easy and cost-effective option compared to typical taxi services.
Through a straightforward app-based reservation process, passengers can effortlessly request a ride and monitor their driver’s location in real time. Uber and Lyft are two popular rideshare applications that operate throughout the city. The rates for each ride depend on the demand, car needs, and destination
In addition to rideshare services, there are also taxi services available in Austin. The pricing for taxi services typically starts at $2.40 per mile, but there may be some variation in pricing.
MetroBike: Eco-Friendly Transportation Option
Biking is not only an environmentally conscious transportation option, but it also offers unique access to Austin that other forms of public transportation cannot. MetroBike is a bike-sharing system that can assist you in traversing Austin on two wheels. If you have a bike of your own, you can also have access to MetroBike’s secure bike shelters to park your bike when you’re on the go.
How to Ride a MetroBike in Austin?
It’s recommended that you download both CapMetro App and BCycle app which will allow you to reserve your MetroBike and access a wider offering of bike passes and reservations you need.
MetroBike has 75 bike stations and growing. You can use the Austin BCycle map to find the nearest location. E-bikes are painted white while regular traditional bikes are painted red and grey.
After selecting your pass, simply arrive at your nearest MetroBike docking station and retrieve your reserved bike. To unlock bikes, enter your dock number into your BCycle app. To lock bikes, push the bike into the dock and remember to dock the bikes every 60 minutes to avoid additional fees.
While for e-bikes, activate the electric assist, and don’t forget to check the battery level before unlocking. Be safe and always wear a helmet when riding a MetroBike!
If you’re a cyclist bringing your own bike, you’re welcome to park your bike at the MetroBike shelters conveniently located at popular MetroRail stations. Here’s where you can find a MetroBike shelter along a MetroRail route:
- Kramer Station
- Lakeline Station
- MLK Station
- Plaza Saltillo Station
- Highland Station
- Tech Ridge Park & Ride
- South Congress Transit Center
You will need to purchase a MetroBike Shelter Access Card to gain access to these shelters. There’s a $3 charge to register an access card and requires $3 registration fee to renew every two years.
Riding Public Transportation in Austin, Texas
Austin is a great city to experience and explore without the need for a car. Taking advantage of the local public transportation network can provide you with many benefits, including ease of access, affordability, and convenience. You can plan fun days or nights out while using Capital Metro’s Bus and Rail systems; it’s easy to find discounted tickets or multi-ride passes that will help you save money in the long run.
With plenty of transportation options available throughout the city, there’s no excuse to miss out on all Austin has to offer – so hop on board, sit back, and enjoy the ride!