CapMetro’s extended MetroRail leads directly to heart of South by Southwest activities


South by Southwest is back after a two-year, COVID-imposed hiatus, which means it’s time for the return of film, tech, music and special guests.

And traffic.

But CapMetro offers a transportation alternative with extended MetroRail service. Trains lead directly to the heart of the South by Southwest activities, with stops at the Plaza Saltillo Station on the East Side and the Downtown Station near the Austin Convention Center. Daily rail schedules during the festival will run from Friday, March 11 to Saturday, March 19. The last train will depart downtown at 2:30 a.m. on Fridays, 2:20 a.m. on Saturdays and 12:30 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays.

Since South by Southwest draws hundreds of thousands of people, MetroRail trains could become full as eager festival goers try to get downtown. However, riders needn’t worry as CapMetro has another great transportation option in its MetroRapid bus services. These buses will run routes until around midnight Mondays through Saturdays and until 11:30 p.m. on Sundays. There are also Night Owl routes, which run until 3 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

The best thing about CapMetro services is UT students, faculty and staff ride free with a valid UT ID.

Masks are required on MetroRail trains, MetroRapid buses and any facilities where riders will wait for their mode of CapMetro transportation. Riders can get a head start and plan their trip in advance through the CapMetro app.

Despite labor shortages, CapMetro wants to help all travelers get back to the action of South by Southwest after two years away. Employees are prepared to provide safe, quality transportation services that deliver riders to the festival on time so they don’t miss a second of the fun.

This year, the fun includes art installations and programs, a comedy festival from March 11 to March 15 and countless film showings through their film festival. Speakers include actor Jensen Ackles, Mayor Steve Adler, Knight Professor of Journalism Bill Adair, Carver Museum director Carre Adams, Blacktag CEO Akin Adebowale, Fempreneur Consultant founder Chandra Adusei and Stealth Media CEO Nora Ali.

The festival is hybrid, meaning it will offer in-person and online viewing, and masks must be worn in spaces designated for conference sessions, exhibitions, pre-functions and registration. Credentialed participants must provide proof of completed COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to receive their credentials. A free COVID-19 testing center will be available in the Austin Convention Center.