AUSTIN (KXAN) — Traffic jams and Austin are inevitable, but with South By Southwest and Spring Break added to the mix, the problem can feel exacerbated.
CapMetro has been monitoring just how Austin and all its visitors get around by using its new Operations Control Center in the north side of town.
The nerve center of the CapMetro infrastructure looks like a command center from NASA complete with massive monitor walls, staff attached to desks communicating to drivers via radio and real-time video feeds of dozens of stops.
Mariette Hummel, spokesperson for CapMetro, says the Control Center will serve as a litmus test for monitoring how people get around Austin.
“We have managers who are monitoring the on-time performance of these buses who can see how many buses are currently delayed, what is causing these issues, and can we resolve these issues so that the customers are not affected,” Hummel said.
One reason why there seemingly is more gridlock is due to buses sharing lanes with other traffic, Hummel says. CapMetro says some of the delays it is reporting can last up to an hour on some bus routes.
Despite these delays, some familiar with navigating SXSW say this year feels different, and the reason may be Spring Break not coinciding with the festival.
“You can tell that people are getting more used to getting around and the vibe and where to go,” says Gabriel Perez, who works for Southside Pizza and has worked during SXSW.
“You can take a bus or capital metro, but Uber will probably get in a little quicker.”