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Is there public transportation in Austin TX or should you rent a car?

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Answer: 5

1. cbgrace71
I am from Austin and have traveled all over the US. In Austin, rent a car. It is a pretty typical southern city in that things are spread out. Unless you are attending a music festival downtown or something like that, where you are staying in one place. Other than that, it is not like New York where you can just catch the subway.

We have a super shuttle here is you are concerned about getting from the airport to your hotel. Although, Austin is a fairly easy city to navigate...well, except for the name changes on the roads...we locals have a bad habit of naming our highways differently than the number name. If someone tells you to get on Mopac, well Mopac = Loop 1. Get GPS in your car.
2. Gurl
There is public transportation (buses) and downtown you can walk to many places but I would rent a car if you want to travel around the town. I have never heard of a tourist taking the bus in Austin. It is expected that you will drive or get a taxi. In fact I have never heard of anyone planning to use public transportation in Houston, Dallas, Austin, or San Antonio as a tourist. A rental car is BEST!
3. kathy s
A car rental would, of course, give you more freedom to travel around the city. Capital Metro (which is the city transportation system) is a good bus system - if you know where you are going. It operates from early morning (lots of commuters) until late in the evening. You could go on the Capital Metro site and find out about schedules. There are bus schedule books in HEB grocery stores all over the city. I'm sure there are other places too but I remember seeing them at courtesy booths at HEB. If you are in the downtown area there are trolleys painted green and called "The Dillo" (as in armadillo!). The Dillo trolleys go all over the downtown area and are free. You sound like you are expecting to be a visitor. Depending upon what your budget affords, the car would be the easiest. It is not hard for a resident Austinite to use the bus system but it might involve waiting and changing buses to get where you want, and if you are having a good time in one area of the city, you would be like Cinderella leaving the ball to get to the bus stop in time for the last bus of the night! My experience with taxis was that in the evening there was sometimes a long wait. Hope this information is helpful to you.
Kathy
4. newyorkgal71
Austin is large enough to have public transportation. Do search for Austin, Texas, Chamber of Commerce, they may info on public transportation.
5. Juan S
There is Capital Metro which only cost $1 and ride all you can for 24 hours
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