AUSTIN, Texas - Capital Metro reports it had record-breaking ridership on its buses and trains from March 13-22. The agency offered extended service to accommodate the estimated 70,000 people in attendance for South by Southwest 2015. It offered 1,700 hours of additional service and says ridership on MetroRapid and MetroRail topped last year's event by 15 percent.
MetroRail ran enhanced service on both Saturdays during the event, with an increased midday frequency of every 30 minutes, and special service on Sunday, March 15. Overall, Capital Metro provided nearly 63,000 total train rides, over 8,000 more than 2014. Ridership peaked on Thursday of the festival, with over 9,000 rides taken in one day alone. Ridership on Friday, March 20 was also strong, with close to 8,500 boardings.
Both MetroRapid routes together provided nearly 100,000 rides during the event, with a high of over 13,000 boardings on Thursday, March 19. This was the first year of service for Route 803 during SXSW, which saw almost 37,000 trips taken. MetroRapid ran until 2:30 a.m. on Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21.
Local bus ridership was also strong throughout the 10-day festival. Final ridership numbers will be available mid-April.