Metro moves

Need a ride? Get the bus!

Make sure to follow these tips when taking public transportation around Austin. 

Photo Credit: Jessica Lin


So you do not have a car, and you have to get somewhere. What do you do? Get a Lyft? No! Go get on a CapMetro bus, it is free!

Riding a public bus in a big city can be frightening, but if you know what you are doing and you are confident, you will make it to where you need to be. Follow these simple steps and you can be a CapMetro expert in no time.

Before you leave your apartment/dorm make sure to either download the CapMetro app, or, if you do not have any phone storage, bookmark the CapMetro mobile site (

Then make sure to look up your route before you leave. Go to the “Plan Your Trip” tab and type in your starting location (example: Jester Dormitory) and where you need to go (example: Home Slice). Screenshot that so you have it and know what bus you need to go on in case your Internet stops working. Do not forget to also route your way back; this is extremely important! You can basically get anywhere as long as you know how to route yourself.

From there, walk to the bus stop (listed on your route map); some bus stops are on Guadalupe, some are on San Jacinto.  When you get to the bus stop, go to & find the “stop id” on the bus stop sign. Type it into the bar and then you can see how long until the bus you want will be at the stop. Make sure to have your UT Austin ID out before getting on the bus, that way you can swipe and get seated quickly.

Once on the bus, do not sit in the front – that is reserved for the elderly and handicapped. If you are nervous about riding on the bus alone, bring headphones and listen to music or a podcast while you ride. Make sure to pay attention at all times when on the bus so you do not miss your stop.

To get off either hit a “stop” button on one of the poles or pull one of the yellow cords on the windows. Disembark the bus through the back doors and say “thank you” to the bus driver.

When it is time to go home pull up your screenshot of the way to get back and follow the same rules as before.

Now here are some pro-tips:

  • The “801” & “803” are your friends; they are rapid and have free Wi-Fi.
  • Do not get northbound and southbound confused. If you do get lost on the bus do not panic, it only makes it worse.
  • Do not be afraid to consult a bus driver, they know the system better than anyone.
  • Make sure to consult a route map when going out at night, you do not want to be stuck somewhere because the bus stopped running (they run longer on the weekend).
  • The “3” bus stops every couple of feet, so watch out, if you get routed to The Domain that way, take the “803” instead.
  • Try to have a bus buddy, especially at night.
  • Make sure to charge your phone before going on the bus.

And here are certain bus routes to know:

  • The airport bus (100) stops right across from San Jacinto.
  • To get to HEB take the “10" bus: it stops right across from San Jacinto.
  • The “801” goes to SoCo, not the “803.”
  • The “803” goes to The Domain.
  • The UT Austin “663” bus drops you off right in front of Mozart’s.

You will most likely screw up the first few times, but you get better with practice. Knowing the bus system can be beneficial, you just have to be prepared and you will be good at it.