Support Us Button Widget

11 reasons to ride CapMetro’s Red Line, Austin’s first railway

The city’s current rail system is small, but mighty enough to take Austinites throughout North Austin and Downtown.

The Red Line pulling into the Downtown station.

Give the Red Line a try and you might find your new favorite form of transportation.

Photo via CapMetro

Never fear, the Red Line is here.

City Editor Figi here. 👋 I took CapMetro’s Red Line for the first time this week, and I have to say, I was impressed. Although the city’s full rail system is still a work in progress, seeing it in action felt distinctly like taking the rails in major cities.

If you have yet to enjoy a ride on the Red Line, here are a few reasons to give it a try.

  • You don’t have to be walking distance to a station — although it helps — to take the Red Line. Leander, Lakeline, and Howard Stations offer Park & Ride, where you can leave your car for free.
  • Taking a ride won’t set you back much — single rides on the commuter rail are $3.50, or $7 for a day pass. A 31-day pass will run you $96.25.
  • Anyone under the age of 18 can ride the rail for free.
  • You can buy tickets through your phone on the CapMetro App.
  • The rail spans 32 miles and has nine stations near major areas of town.

The Red Line is just the first part of Project Connect, which aims to creating connecting rail lines throughout the city in the next decade.

Graphic via CapMetro

  • Riding the line from Howard Station to Downtown took ~30 minutes and eliminated the need to pay for parking.
  • The cabin was comfortable and clean, with plenty of room for bikes, groceries, and backpacks.
  • I had a really productive day when I took the rail, perhaps due to the free Wi-Fi on board.
Benches under a red pavilion sit between the train tracks.

The Howard Station is a quiet Park & Ride, where you can park your car for free while you take the metro.

Photo by ATXtoday

  • If the Red Line doesn’t take you to your final destination, bus connections are available at certain stations.
  • The Red Line offers supplemental trains on Austin FC game days, for an easy route to and from Q2 Stadium.
  • In the event of an emergency, Express, Flyer, Rail and RideShare customers can get a taxi home with the Guaranteed Ride Home program.

Learn more about the Red Line.