How to Ride SX

The Annual, How to Ride SX—or why drive and pay for parking when you can take the Cap Metro?

I ride the bus. I rode the bus before it was cool to be green and reduce your carbon footprint. In fact, I didn’t even know I had a carbon footprint. But I do know how to ride the bus. I can get nearly everywhere in this town, and you can too. Just follow some time honored rules and a few others unique to Austin.

Yes, the fares have increased since the last SXSW. It’s now $.75 for a single ride, $1.50 for a day pass (good for 24 hours), $.50 to ride the Dillo.

No, the bus driver can’t break your $20. Better yet, it might be more cost effective to buy a pass. They come in various value levels. The most likely one for SX revelers is the 7-day, $7 pass. If you’re on and off the bus a lot, go for the $12, stored value card. Buy it at the Cap Metro store on 4th and Congress. You can also get a paper map and a booklet of all the bus lines and schedules.

Buses only pick up at clearly marked bus stops. Don’t hail the bus from the middle of the street or some other location.

If you are at a stop that serves several bus lines, do not rely on the driver’s ESP to know that you want his/her bus. Hail the driver with a wave of your hand.

When you want off the bus, signal the driver BEFORE your stop. If your bus is crowded and you can’t reach the signal, call out to the driver, “Next stop, please.” Locals often thank the driver when they disembark. It’s not necessary it’s just our way.

The Cap Metro online trip planner is notoriously imperfect. You do better studying the maps on your own, call the GO line (512-474-1400), or ask someone waiting for the bus.

The Night Owl Buses are fantastic and cover all parts of town. Lines and departure times vary, but they all leave 6th & Congress hourly with the last departure around 3am. Check the schedules.

Be safe, have fun, and stop burning precious fossil fuels. Why pay for gas when that money can be better used for rocktails?

Ride on!

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

The Future of Food Is the Future of You
The Future of Food Is the Future of You
Find out exactly what that means in the next few days – for free

Wayne Alan Brenner, March 17, 2021

Films and Shows at SXSW by Austin Residents and Veterans
Films and Shows at SXSW by Austin Residents and Veterans
Fill your schedule with ATX @ SXSW

March 5, 2021

More by Belinda Acosta
Margaret Moser Tribute: Rose Reyes
Rose Reyes
“She was the leadership in Austin journalism that made sure women, Latinos, blacks, and youth weren’t overlooked”

June 30, 2017

Margaret Moser Tribute: Marcia Ball
Marcia Ball
“She’s a music writer who writes to enlighten”

June 30, 2017


Cap Metro, SXSW, travel

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle