Austin, Texas, is growing quickly, and for many good reasons. It is recognized for its music scene, thriving economy, and many parks and lakes. Anyone interested in moving to Austin will be curious about how to get around the city. Although driving in Austin is the preferred method for most residents, the many public transportation options are a convenient and cost-effective alternative. Keep reading to learn all about public transportation in the city of Austin.
MetroBus: Austin's Original Public Transit
The MetroBus, operated by Capital Metro, is a public bus system that connects many of the areas of Austin and surrounding communities. This network of bus routes is easily navigated using the CapMetro App, with some changes expected from time to time in routes, times, and destinations.
The MetroBus has hundreds of routes and destinations. These are best managed using the company's app. However, it is also possible to call the company to get specific information for scheduling any ride. Service alerts are also managed using the app.
14 high-frequency routes allow for easy and fast movement through the city. People commuting to Downtown Austin to their homes in Leander or the Round Rock community often find these routes the fastest and most convenient option.
MetroBus Ticket Costs
- Single ride: $1.25
- Single ride, reduced rate (for people over 65): $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 Fastest Transit From Downtown to Leander
The MetroRail is one of the newest additions to Austin's public transit system. It is typically best for those who are commuting along the 32-mile route. This route connects downtown to the North Austin area and Leander. For those planning for a way to get into the city for work on a routine basis, this can be the ideal choice. Users leave their cars at one of the terminals, jump on the fast-moving rail, and get into work sooner.
It's also convenient for people traveling to a soccer match at Austin's Q2 Stadium. The rail line may offer evening use in some situations, for special events. MetroRail offers free onboard Wi-Fi, too.
Purchasing MetroRail fare is done using the online marketplace or the CapMetro App (the same as the MetroBus service). There are also vending machines located at the stations to allow for purchases.
Rates for special events may differ from these. Rates may also change over time.
MetroRail Ticket Costs
- 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
Rideshare Apps: On-Demand Car Services in Austin
Rideshare services allow individuals to purchase transportation for themselves and their guests to and from specific locations. A wide range of options is available in Austin. These come right to the luxury home or the condo homes to pick up riders. Here are a few of the rideshare programs operating in Austin.
RideAustin: One of the options available is RideAustin. This is a non-profit rideshare program that lets riders and drivers pair together using the company's app. This app also provides a fare estimate based on needs, location, destination, and other factors.
Uber: Another option is to use Uber, which operates throughout the city. It has a $5 minimum fare and is managed completely using the Uber app.
Lyft: Lyft is widely available throughout the city. Its rates are dependent on demand, car needs, and destinations.
There are taxi services in Austin as well. Taxi services are generally priced at $2.40 per mile or higher, though there is a lot of flexibility in this pricing. Other options for rideshare service may be available at flexible pricing.
Rideshare Ticket Costs
- Uber: $5.00 minimum fare
- Lyft: $4.26 minimum fare
- Dryver: $18.00 per hour
- Scoop: Average of $5.00 per ride
Bike & Scooter Share: A Fun Way to Travel in Austin
Austin residents who love bike share and scooter share options can also find several options to choose from in the area. The most common scooter-share option is Bird, which has rates starting as low as $1. These are dockless scooters that users can pick up at one location, use for as long as they need, and return to a second location. There is an app for Bird that makes navigating options easy to do.
MetroBike is another option. This is a bike share service available throughout Austin. Users rent the bike, ride it, and return it for the length of time they need. It is operated through the same service as MetroRail and MetroBus, making it easy to manage and explore. To use MetroBike, users must first choose a membership.
MetroBike Ticket Costs
- Pay-as-you-go: $1.09 to unlock and then $.23 per minute after
- Local30: $11.00, monthly membership for unlimited 60-minute trips
- Explorer: $12.99, unlimited 60-minute trips during a 24-hour time period
- 3-day Weekender: $19.49 for 72-hour access pass included
- Local365: $86.60, annual membership provides unlimited 60-minute trips
- Student Membership: $12, with verification of student ID, discounts are available for all students and staff of UT Austin and Huston-Tillotson
Public Transportation in Austin Is Easy and Fun
Access to roadways and public transportation is crucial when buying a home. With such a broad array of options available to residents who want and need to get around, Austin public transportation is flexible enough to meet most needs. The city's metro service is also very accommodating, providing a range of options for specialized needs. The CapMetro app is the best starting point for many of these services and for any new solutions that may arise.
Awesome outdoor activities, a comparatively low cost of living, and an abundance of fun things to do all help make Austin an ideal place to call home. Those seeking a city with good public transportation can explore any of the opportunities here in the capital of Texas.