Austin - Getting Around
Austin Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) is 6 miles (10km) southeast of the city center and there are a selection of buses, taxis, shuttles and car rentals to get you into town and back. Chauffeured sedans or limos are also available to pick you up or drop you off at the airport but normally require advance reservations.
The Austin Steam Train Association runs several tours aboard the Hill Country Flyer steam train into and around Texas Hill Country. The train makes short half hour jaunts as well as a 30 mile (50km) circuit on weekends March through December. The Steam Train Association does actually own a live steam train, but it has been out of commission since about 2000. The train still runs though, just using a borrowed diesel engine. Still nice, but not as cool as it used to be.
Capital Metro is the city's public bus network with a solid system of inexpensive neighborhood express and downtown routes. CapMetro also runs several free trolley-style buses around downtown, known as 'Dillos (short for Armadillo Express).
Driving is not too difficult. Traffic is bad from 7-9 am and 4-6 pm Monday through Fridays. There are two major north-south expressways I-35 and Loop 1 (which all of the locals call Mopac). There is only one true major east-west freeway in Austin located south of the city center which is variably called Ben White or US 290 West/Texas highway 71. The freeway section of 290 West/Ben White currently runs from I-35 to just east of Oak Hill. Freeway extensions are currently being constructed east on 71 to the airport, and the beginning stages of construction are taking place west towards and past Oak Hill. Oak Hill is the point at which 71 and 290 split apart and go in separate directions, and in case this isn't confusing enough, I make the distinction between 290 West and 290 East because at I-35 290 East actually heads up the interstate, and then continues on to the east in North Austin. There is a second freeway that runs from the Northwest side of the city down to the Southeast side of the city past the airport. This freeway is called US 183, and in North Austin it may also be referred to as Research Blvd. Most of it is freeway now, however there are still several major intersections which are currently being constructed and turned into freeway.
Parts of the city are subject to flooding at times during the year, however it is not common as Austin does not get an excessive amount of rain. Note: For anyone unfamiliar with proper treatment of flooded areas, NEVER' drive through flooded low water crossings. You will lose your car and possibly your life. As little as one inch of running water can and does wash a car away and each year there are some deaths due to this. If you don't die, then you'll be on the news and everyone will mock you and make fun of you for being and idiot and driving into the flooded area.
While driving is not too bad, parking is difficult; look for municipal parking garages as officers will ticket you in the blink of an eye. (Check meters, though, because many are free in the evenings, on weekends, and on major holidays.) Worse yet, vehicles illegally parked in private parking areas are very quickly towed, so make sure that you don't park in spots marked no parking. see
There are several cab companies on call if you'd prefer to avoid the driving hassle altogether, such as American Yellow Checker Cab (512-452-9999) and Roy's Taxi (512-482-0000). For airport transfers or those who just demand a bit more luxury you can rent a chauffeured sedan, limousine or minibus from Marriton Limousine (512-329-7007 or 1-800-940-7007)
The Yellow Bike Project produces free yellow bikes to be used by anyone who needs to. If you see a free yellow bike ride it to your destination and then leave it for the next person. Yellow bikes are not to be locked up and are ride at your own risk. The Austin Yellow Bike Project has been operating for seven years and has released over 600 yellow bikes. For contact info: Call 512-457-9880.
Adapted from WikiTravel under the Wiki License
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