Save Your Money By Riding Transit to SXSW


We know you’re already frantically searching for the best free events on the South By Southwest (SXSW) schedule, being held this year on March 10-19. Why not take your budget-friendly planning a step further and take public transit to the events? All CapMetro services except MetroBike are free with your UT student ID. CapMetro buses can take you from the UT campus and connect you to venues, theaters and big tech events in the downtown or East Austin areas.

When you start mapping the shows, screenings and events you want to attend, you’ll be grateful you can skip the parking and carpooling stress. Also, we highly encourage you to take transit in groups, especially at night. This handy map can show you the transit routes that take you to the most popular SXSW venues.

Easiest Way to Downtown: Rapid 801 and 803. Bus Routes 1, 3, 7, 10, 20 and 30

Our high-frequency routes serve the UT campus and surrounding areas. They arrive about every 15-30 minutes, daily. Whether you’re headed downtown or back to campus after enjoying a day at the festival, our buses are ready to get you there.

Getting to East Austin (from Downtown): Routes 2 and 4

Several badge-free events are held on East 6th street, just east of I-35. Don’t miss out on the immersive tech experiences, hop on Route 2 or 4 after you’ve already enjoyed a few downtown events. You could also walk over after attending events in the Rainey district.

Getting to and from the Airport: Route 20 Manor Road/Riverside

Picking up friends or family from the airport or leaving town for spring break? Skip the rideshare surge pricing and ride Route 20. CapMetro runs convenient, frequent bus service to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport from its neon guitar bus stop on the lower level. Route 20 operates every 15 minutes, 7 days a week. It serves the downtown via Lavaca and Guadalupe and is convenient to many local hotels.

Best late-night routes: Night Owls (Routes 481-486)

Catching a show that runs past midnight? Try the Night Owl. These special routes run from midnight until 3 a.m. every night except Sunday and cover many areas of the city.

Even more special service!

With special extended hours for SXSW, CapMetro Rail can also take you downtown in case you live in North Austin or Leander. If you’d prefer to be even more mobile, using one of our MetroBikes is a great option to go from event to event. UT students enjoy a deep discount and only pay $12 for a year of unlimited rides from both bikes and e-bikes at any of our 75 bike stations around the UT campus and central Austin. Just be sure to dock your bike and grab a new one once you’ve reached the maximum ride time, 60 minutes.