Updated 10/5/2012: So you’ve got your tickets and you’re planning your stay for November’s US Grand Prix. One thing you need to know right now: unless you’ve got a pre-paid suite or are working at the track, it’s not likely you’ll be able to drive to the Circuit of the Americas (COTA). The country roads in to Elroy, home of COTA, are not wide enough to take all 120,000 spectators by car without major traffic backups (see: Silverstone 2012). To make race-weekend travel as smooth as possible, organizers are working on shuttle transit, which is included in a 3-day ticket for F1 weekend. There will be at least two “Park-n-Ride” locations where you’ll either leave your car or be dropped off, then hop on a shuttle and take a ride to the circuit. Below you’ll find a suggested route for bicycle riders. Helicopter Shuttle tickets are on sale and can be reserved via our website. Organizers are working on solutions for transit via limousine, taxi, and charter bus.
“Park-n-Ride” Locations (Mass Transit to/from the Circuit of the Americas)
Located near the intersection of 15th and Red River Street
Parking spaces at Capitol Garages as well as numerous other downtown parking locales
- Travis County Expo Center (approximate)
Located at the intersection of FM 3177 and Loyola Lane
10/4/2012 Update: Downtown Bus schedules to accommodate Austin Fan Fest road closures
Be a “green” visitor and avoid sitting in traffic! Bicyclists will not be able to bike to the circuit, but they will be able to park and lock their bikes in a “bicycle depot” located at the corner of Moore Bridge Rd. and FM 973. From there, bicyclists will be shuttled to the bus depot lot on McAngus road. According to the cool local electric bike company, Rocket Electrics, the trip from Austin to the bike depot is approximately 30 minutes. Within the city of Austin, you’ll find many public bike parking spots including upgraded street parking. The city is progressive when it comes to biker’s rights and is rated a “Silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community,” but be sure to familiarize yourself with bike routes and local laws.
- 9/29/2012: Update and report on the 11-mile bike route from downtown Austin to Richard Moya park
Driving in Austin
Traffic in Austin is normally very congested. Texans love their cars – combine this with incredible weather fluctuations, people commuting to and from work, and one of the fastest growing metro areas in the entire USA and we’ve got heavy downtown traffic most of the time. Luckily, we have a new toll road (we suggest getting a toll tag) and other options to get around, which we’ve covered in our article “A Brit’s Guide to Driving in the USA.” The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) has plenty of travel options, including car rental/hire. Parking can be tricky, but there are pay-by-the-hour parking garages or street parking available almost everywhere in town. Public transit Capital Metro also has an extensive bus system and a new above-ground rail route.
Walking in Austin
The downtown area, also known as the urban core, is pedestrian-friendly. Since we are a growing city, you may encounter construction, but alternate routes are clearly marked. Take time to explore popular entertainment districts like South Congress for funky character, Second Street for upscale and trendy shopping, and just about all of Sixth Street for nightlife and restaurants. Other areas of town are not as easy to walk to, but a quick bus trip can take you to a pedestrian-friendly zone.
More information about F1 Weekend travel at the city of Austin’s site. | Information sourced from here and here.
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