AUSTIN (KXAN) - Capital Metro experienced record-breaking ridership numbers during the 2013 South By Southwest festival.
Ridership on MetroRail, which provided extended hours and higher frequency, boomed during SXSW. The trains carried over 49,000 riders, an increase of 14,000 from 2012.
The agency also broke a single-day record, when approximately 9,000 passengers boarded trains on Friday, March 15.
In addition to rail service, weekday ridership on buses going from the airport to downtown increased by 135 percent.
"Locals and festival attendees have embraced Capital Metro as a valuable transportation option during SXSW," said Linda S. Watson, Capital Metro president and CEO. "Capital Metro gave riders a great alternative to driving and parking downtown."
Preliminary estimates showed an average of 97,430 people boarding buses on Thursday, March 14, and 100,340 on Friday, March 15. The numbers from the music portion of the festival were up 7 percent and 15 percent respectively.
Final bus ridership numbers will be available in April.
For SXSW, CapMetro recruited more than 70 volunteers to assist at rail platforms and bus stops to help with the influx of visitors. The group also put an additional train into service during the final weekend of SXSW after trains filled to capacity.
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