When you’re traveling north and south in Austin, the primary options are Interstate-35 and Loop 1, also known as “MoPac.” Both are heavily trafficked during peak travel times, so if it makes sense for your commute, get to know some alternate routes, such as Lamar Boulevard or Burnet Road. When traveling north and south in Central Texas, State Highway 130 is a quick route with minimal traffic that connects to I-35 in Georgetown and Buda, with many convenient exits along the way. Get a TXTag account set up online at www.txtag.org. You’ll save 10 percent and you won’t have to stop to pay.
Loop 360, also called “Capital of Texas Highway,” is one of the more scenic routes to take when you move about town. Compared to MoPac, you’ll encounter more stoplights but typically less traffic during top travel times.
State Highway 45 and State Highway 183A, also toll roads, can shave considerable time from a daily commute. Along with U.S. Highway 290, State Highway 71, and U.S. 183, these roads are the primary east-west thoroughfares besides city streets. Please note, 290 and I-35 are the same road through much of Austin’s center.
If you haven’t discovered the benefits of public transportation, perhaps it deserves a closer look. Aside from the relaxing notion of not using your car, there’s also the luxury of time to read, listen to music, or catch up on your social media. You may find it suits your lifestyle beautifully.
Capital Metro, Austin’s public transportation authority, offers 21 Park & Ride facilities and transfer centers with combined parking for more than 2,700 cars. MetroBus provides a clean, inexpensive and reliable way to get around Austin. You’ll find easy online tools to help customize your itinerary, too. MetroBus partners with Dadnab™, a free text messaging service. Send your current location and desired destination to (512) 981-6221, and you’ll receive a reply text with the bus you should take, including any transfers. You can also text your bus stop’s ID number to find out when the next bus will come.
Capital MetroRail, Austin’s urban commuter rail, travels a 32-mile line from Leander to Downtown Austin, Monday through Saturday. Many of the stations are also serviced by MetroBus, so it’s easy to coordinate your trip from start to finish. Nine stations are located along the line, and all trains stop at each station. If you’d like to drive your car and leave it at the station, use the Park & Ride lots at the Leander, Lakeline, and Howard stations. Capital Metro’s entire fleet of buses and railcars accommodate bicycles.
In a collaboration with car-sharing company car2go, rent-by-the-minute smart cars can be found near some MetroRail stations as well as major bus corridors.