Capital Metro works to accommodate tens of thousands of passengers for festival

As tens of thousands of people descend on Austin for South by Southwest this week, say hello to more traffic congestion and crowded buses and trains. The demand has obviously increased since the start of the festival, and Capital Metro says they're working to make customers happy, but festival goers say, they are just not doing enough.

If Capital Metro were a movie, right about now it would be getting some grim reviews.

"It's been somewhat crowded."

"It's been pretty poor, the trains are never really running when they should be, especially late at night when the bars are closing," said Kristi Hanush, passenger.

Cameron Hermens came all the way from San Diego for this year's South by Southwest festival, and he says the transportation system is much different from what he is used to.

"Here it just seems like, maybe they don't come as often, they don't have as big as an infrastructure," said Cameron Hermens, passenger. With MetroRail's growing popularity for taking south by southwesters downtown, they're extending their services until 12:30 in the morning.

But even with the extended hours this week, many feel that's still not enough extra time.

"Well I was looking at it today if I want to stay out late, I won't be able to take the train back," said Hanush.

"There's just not a chance, people aren't done with anything until around 1:30 or 2," said Janelle Whitehead, passenger.

Despite the grim outlook, Capital Metro says it's doing everything in its power to accommodate everyone.

"We have as much out there was we possibly can right now, we have extended hours later than ever," said Melissa Ayala, Capital Metro Spokesperson.

Festival goers say with a few tweaks, the system can become more tailored for them.

"Specifically their app, which didn't seem to reflect the updated times, for South by Southwest," said Hermens.

"Definitely run more often, the buses, especially with festivals or anything going on, are packed full. It's really uncomfortable and a lot of times you don't even make it onto a bus or a train people are running to get on it," said Hanush.

Capital Metro says next to the system running until 12:30 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Friday through Sunday, the system will run until 2:30 a.m.


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