For anyone curious, switching from private to public transportation is in fact a viable, even pleasurable experience in Austin. And for the thousands who rely on CapMetro every day, here’s 10 things they realized pretty much right away…
10.) The Discounts On Weekly And Monthly Passes Are Ridiculous.
If you make Capital Metro an integral part of your commute, you can save big on weekly and monthly passes. You need to be committed to riding in order for these options to make financial sense, but if you are in it for the long haul, you’ll pay a significantly lower fare each time you ride and save a bundle over operating a private vehicle.
9.) Dedicated Bus Lanes Are The Best.
On Lavaca and Guadalupe Streets through downtown, buses have their own lane in each direction — northbound on Lavaca and southbound on Guadalupe. The idea is to get everyone moving a little more quickly by separating the different sizes of vehicles. A stopped bus only impedes other buses instead of stacking up a lane of cars.
8.) MetroRapid Is, At Times, Faster Than Driving.
Those long red buses are part of the MetroRapid system where high-occupancy, high-frequency routes run through the north-south corridor of town. During rush hour, they run every 15 to 20 minutes. You’ll spend less time at the bus stop. You’ll also spend less time on the bus because the stops are further apart than they are on regular routes.
7.) You Won’t Ever Have To Walk Through A Parking Garage Again.
Capital Metro has stops near all the town’s major employers. If you work at one of these big places, chances are you have a quick ride to and from work — and an option that doesn’t require horrible paid parking in those giant cement tombs.
6.) If You Still Need To Use A Car, Parking Is Free.
Park-and-ride stations allow you to take a short drive to a major station in your part of town and ride the bus to wherever you need to go. You won’t totally ditch your car, but it won’t be idling in rush hour traffic. Better yet, parking is free!
5.) You Can Totally Bring Your Bike!
Buses have bike racks on the front, so you can bring your bike along for the ride. If you don’t want to pedal all the way to your final destination, put your bike on the front of the bus and get off where you please.
4.) Saving Tons Of Money On Gas Feels Great.
No matter what the price of gas, those little numbers on the pump always seem to churn way too fast. Fill up less often by making more of your trips with CapMetro.
3.) Dumping Your Car Payment Is Super Gratifying.
Texans are all but attached to their cars, but if all your usual destinations are on a bus route, you might be able to reclaim that money in your monthly budget. If you work in Austin, using CapMetro with a bike makes it entirely feasible to get rid of your car loan payments, maintenance expenses, gas costs, and insurance premiums altogether.
2.) There’s Free Internet Access, Too.
MetroRapid buses have free wifi aboard, so you can be productive before your workday starts or continue the Netflix binge you started the night before. Either way, you’ll be connected the whole trip. Why pay your mobile carrier for data when it’s free from CapMetro?
1.) Declaring Freedom From Rush Hour Feels Great.
No more sitting through several light cycles before going through an intersection. No more cutting through downtown because there is an accident on I-35. No more road rage when your fellow drivers are reliably boneheaded and inconsiderate. For anyone who never wants to drive in rush hour traffic again, CapMetro is your Declaration of Independence.
Photo: CapMetro on Facebook, creative commons licensed.