AUSTIN (KXAN) - If Saturday was an indicator, F1 fans planning to take one of the shuttles to the Circuit of The Americas track on race day can expect their ride to last less than an hour from when their bus pulls away from the pickup point.
The shuttle buses will be lined up to accept race-day ticket holders at 7 a.m. at one of two locations: the corner of 15th and Trinity streets downtown and the Travis County Expo Center at 7311 Decker Lane.
The shuttles will continue to operate until 3 /12 hours after race. Here is what the official CoTA website says about what to expect:
Q. How long will it take the shuttle to get to the track from each of the shuttle locations?
A. The downtown shuttle will take approximately 40-50 minutes while the Travis County Expo Center shuttle will take approximately 30-40 minutes. We encourage attendees to arrive early as possible for the shorter travel times. Please allow for extra time to get to your seats upon arrival.
For race-goers who plan to drive to the track or take taxi or limo, estimating the trip time is more complex. A lot will depend on where they're starting from, what time they hit the road and whether there are any mishaps along the way.
There were few complaints about the shuttle service from fans were queued up to see Saturday's practice and qualifying runs.
Hundreds of people were in line by 6:30 a.m., and the first five shuttles had already taken off with the early birds by 6:55 a.m. And it's been smooth sailing ever since.
Talk about an early start for some race fans at 15th and Trinity streets, where buses are taking ticket holders to the track.
The hundreds of people in line hoped to get to Circuit of the Americas as soon as the action started Saturday morning.
Some of the early birds in line said they got there around 5:30 a.m., lots of coffee cups in hand and lively conversations as race fans from all over the world had a good time mingling with each other.
KXAN News met some from Minnesota and Arizona. Some have been to a Formula 1 race before while others are experiencing it for the first time.
Notably, they seemed very impressed with what they saw Friday -- both on and off the track.
One man said he'd been to the Formula 1 track in Canada but that this one had it beat.
With a total of 500 shuttle buses, the view down Trinity Street alone was impressive as the buses lined up neatly -- ready to take the seemingly endless stream of fans. If all the buses were to line up one behind another, they would be about three miles long.
The free shuttle buses for ticket holders is definitely the cheaper route, as parking in some private lots around the track stood at $50 as of Saturday morning. Meanwhile, some parking garage are charging $20 in Downtown Austin.
And taking the shuttles is a smart decision because the early birds will likely beat the crowds and much heavier traffic expected later Saturday.
Race fans told us Friday that they were pleasantly surprised at how smoothly the process was going of getting over to the track -- as well as back from the track. And it's the same story Saturday morning.
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