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#transportation

How Do I Get To Circuit of The Americas?

View of the Circuit of The Americas track from the COTA Tower

If you’re asking, you know that Austin is home to Circuit of The Americas, the only purpose-built Formula One track in the United States. Or maybe you don’t–perhaps you’re heading out to COTA for a night bike ride, outdoor concert, soccer academy practice, karting, MotoGP, or any of the other amazing activities hosted on the track.

Whatever the reason, you need to make your way to 9201 Circuit of The Americas Blvd., Austin, TX 78617. From pedals to propellers, we’re here to help!

Transportation Options for COTA

View of Circuit of The Americas tower from the track
Circuit of The Americas Tower, from the track. Photo Credit: Leah Nyfeler

Ride Your Bike to F1

When COTA first opened, the City of Austin worked out a bike route from downtown. There are dedicated bike paths, free bike parking onsite, and travel distance is about 13.6 miles from Top Trip Rentals’ Littlefield Lofts location (119 E. 6th St.).  Downtown Austin to COTA Bike Route

 

Do a CapMetro and Shuttle Combo

Public transportation is not Austin’s strongest suit, but the local service (CapMetro) has teamed with COTA to provide special MetroRail schedules for the weekend. You can ride MetroRail into downtown and take advantage of shuttle services from Austin Convention Center (4th and Trinity). The second shuttle pick-up is at Travis County Expo Center (7311 Decker Lane); both drop off at either COTA’s Front Gate or McAngus lot, near the Grand Plaza. CapMetro and COTA Shuttle Info

University of Texas Longhorn Band on track at Circuit of The Americas
COTA’s inaugural year, University of Texas Longhorn Band played. Photo Credit: Leah Nyfeler

Taxi to COTA

Austin has a variety of taxi services, all readily available from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and throughout the city. Those lime green ones? That’s ATX Co-op Taxi, a hybrid between traditional street-hail and ride-hail service, where each member holds an equal share in the company (and the drivers have a soccer team!). Road congestion can be frustrating (#atxtraffic) and time sitting adds up. But that taxi will drop you off and pick you up without parking hassle. Consult a handy fare calculator to estimate your taxi cost.

Pedicab driver waiting for riders at Circuit of The Americas parking lot.
Catch a pedicab to the parking lot. Photo Credit: Leah Nyfeler

Hail or Share a Ride

Have someone else do the driving and dropping off with an app. Uber is the official ride hailing service for this year’s United States Grand Prix (enter promo code RIDE2COTA for $20 off your first ride to COTA with Uber), but you know us: we love local business.  Try out Austin’s home-grown nonprofit ride-sharing co-op, RideAustin 

Sports cars in the parking lot at Circuit of the Americas in Austin
COTA’s parking lots are full of fine cars, especially Lot A. Photo Credit: Leah Nyfeler

Upgrade Your Car Service

If you’re going to sit in traffic, you might as well sit in style. Austin Private Car Services has special USGP packages for traveling to COTA (limo, anyone?). Now, we are all about that unique home-town experience, which is why we’re partial to Ross Elite Services, owned by University of Texas athletes and champions Aaron Ross and Sanya-Richards Ross.

Emergency medical helicopter ready at Circuit of The Americas for USGP
COTA has a full-service medical facility on site, including an emergency helicopter. Photo Credit: Leah Nyfeler

Why Not Fly?

One of the many entertaining aspects of COTA is watching the helicopters come in and drop off passengers. You, too, can skip the highway lines and soar to the track. Epic Helicopter Tours will ferry up to six people, but you need to book at least 48 hours in advance. (And while we’re at it, here’s a shout-out to Lonestar Helicopters, which has provided aerial support for F1 and flown rescue missions to Hurricane Harvey’s smallest Houston victims).

Drive Your Car to COTA

There are a variety of parking lots at COTA, and you’ll want to consult maps to determine exactly where each is and which your permit specifies. If you haven’t bought that parking pass, you’re out of luck–they’re all sold out for 2017’s USGP.

Circuit of The Americas Grid Girls lined up by track with camera man
What will the COTA Grid Girls be wearing this year? Photo Credit: Leah Nyfeler

Locals KnowTop Trip Rentals’ University Hills vacation rental home is a 16-mile drive to COTA, with a nice portion on TX-130 S. The speed limit on TX-130 is a motorsport lover’s dream: 85 mph, the highest in the United States.

 

 

 

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October 20, 2017

How to Get Around Austin Without a Car

In Texas, we love to drive. Cars rule the road. So how do you get around Austin if you’re not driving?

At one point in time, Uber and Lyft suspended operations in Austin after voters weighed in on Proposition 1. As a result, the Austin City Council proceeded with more stringent security requirements. (This Texas Monthly article provides excellent coverage about the debate. Welcome to Austin, folks; we have lots of civic engagement!)

What Are My Ride Options in Austin?

Car2Go waiting at Austin's Convention Center during SXSW
There’s always a bank of Car2Go at the ready, across from Austin’s Convention Center. Photo Credit: Leah Nyfeler

If you’re navigating Austin without a car, what are the transportation options?

  • Austin has public transportation (take Capital Metro for both bus and light rail)
  • Try a ride hailing service (like GetMe and RideFare;  Wingz goes to and from the airport only)
  • Car2Go is a convenient carsharing service  (and dedicated parking places).
  • Pedicabs work well in the general downtown area (there are several companies)
  • Austin’s primary cab services are Yellow Cab and Austin Cab (note that Austin’s cab companies gets less than stellar reviews on Yelp. From the complaints, cab services seem to take a long time, so allow plenty of lead time when requesting a pick-up)
  • Austin B-cycle, a cycling ride share, is a great way to have some fun and get a bit of exercise. And there’s a station conveniently located directly in front of our Littlefield Lofts on 6th Street!
Austin B-cycle station near the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge
Go from station to station; this Austin B-cycle rack is near the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge. Photo Credit: Leah Nyfeler

TIP: Top Trip Rentals hasn’t tried it yet, but Shire Cab Company gets great reviews. The driver, Al, is a local musician (and, we hear, a character), so try Shire Cab Company for that uniquely Austin experience.

June 30, 2016