Austin skyline

Getting Around Austin

Austin is a big place. Here are some helpful transportation tips and tricks on how to get around.

Bus

All UT Shuttles and Capital Metro bus & light rail services are FREE with your UT Photo ID! Check out where you can go on Capital Metro's system map. Call (512) 474-1200 for more information.


Bike

Bicycle Registration

All students, faculty, and staff must register their bicycles (operated or parked on campus) with Parking and Transportation Services (PTS). After registering, your free UT Bicycle Registration decal is mailed to you. The decal should be placed on the bicycle's frame on the bar that supports the seat. Call (512) 471-7275 for more information.

Bicycle Parking

Bikes must be parked only at designated bike racks and lockers. Bikes parked on stairs or secured to handrails, wheelchair ramps, and pedestrian walkways are subject to impoundment and a fine. Owners will not be reimbursed for the cost of locks cut during impoundments.

Road Rules

  • Buy a quality lock. A coated U-lock is recommended for highest security. Make sure both your frame and wheel are securely locked to the bicycle rack.
  • Wearing a helmet while riding is required by law and may prevent death or serious injury in the case of an accident.
  • Obey traffic signs. You must follow all road rules while riding your bike, including stopping at red lights and stop signs.
  • As a vehicle, you must yield to pedestrians and other vehicles. Don't ride on sidewalks and walkways – walk your bike instead.
  • Stay in your lane. The campus-wide speed limit is 15 mph. By riding in the center of the traffic lane, you are more visible to cars behind you and parked cars waiting to back out.
  • Lights at night. State law requires a white headlight and red rear reflector.
  • Bus etiquette. Buses pull to the right hand side of the road to load and unload passengers.

Car

Renting a Car

  • You must be at least 21 years old to rent a car.
  • To drive a car in Texas, you must have liability insurance. If you do not have this type of insurance, you will have to pay for it on a day-to-day basis.

Rental Car Companies

The following companies are located at the Austin airport and are open 7 days a week.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Open 6:30 a.m. – Midnight
(800) 257-1136

Alamo Rent-A-Car
Open 6:00 a.m. – Midnight
(888) 826-6893

Advantage Rent-A-Car
Open 6:00 a.m. – Midnight
(512) 389-2633

Ace Rental Cars
Open 6:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
(512) 961-5277

Hourly Rental Car and Car-sharing Companies

Services such as car2go and Zipcar rent cars on an hourly basis. They are usually app or web-based, allowing you to sign up from your phone or computer.

Buying a Car

Buying a Used Car

Popular places to find used cars are Craigslist or the Classified Section of the Austin American Statesman. Contact the seller to get further information before you go see a car. Ask for the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) when you speak with the owner. Buy a Carfax on-line subscription so that you can check the VIN number. (You may want to share the cost of Carfax among several friends who intend to buy a car.)

Set Up a Budget

Keep in mind the expenses of auto insurance, sales tax, title application, vehicle registration, repairs, and maintenance, etc. You may compare prices at www.kbb.com. If you decide to buy from a private party, find an experienced driver to test-drive the car for you. Also, it is highly recommended that you take the car to an auto mechanic for a “buyer’s check.”

Car Titles and Registration

To avoid penalty, transfer the car’s Title within 20 working days from the date of purchase. Take your driver’s license and proof of insurance with you. See the Travis County Tax Office website for further details.

Auto Insurance

Contact a few insurance agencies. They should give you a FREE price quote. You need both your car VIN number and your driver's license number in order to buy insurance.

Driver's Licenses and ID Cards