FAQs

Changing habits is not always easy even if you want to save money, choose a healthier or safer option, or just relax and let someone drive for you. Movability Austin can be your concierge by bringing you the information and services you need and by helping you build a support network to help you get where you need to go.

1. Why use options instead of driving alone in my own car?
2. Do I really save money?
3. Are there other rewards?
4. How do I find options besides driving alone?
5. What happens if I get stuck without my car?
6. How can I ride transit?
7. How can I get around on a bike?
8. How can I carpool?
9. How can I vanpool?
10.How can I rideshare?
11. What is Movability Austin?
12. Who is Movability Austin?
13. What does Movability Austin do?
14. Is there a cost when I contact Movability Austin?
15. How do I (an individual) get started?
16. How do I (employee of a member company) get started?
17. How do I get my employer involved?


1. Why use options instead of driving alone in my own car?

Individually: You may have a lot of options and using them can save you time, money and stress.

As a City: Downtown Austin is the economic engine that provides the jobs, the economy, and the taxes that sustain the entire Central Texas Region.

The transportation system is at capacity into downtown – UT/Capital/Central Business District – during rush hours.  And more growth is coming much faster than new transportation facilities (roads, bridges, rail) can be built.

Movability Austin is working to increase use of options available and reduce the number of people driving alone during rush hours into downtown.  An option can be as simple as commuting earlier or later or a four day work week; but it can also  include riding the bus, a bicycle, carpooling, vanpooling, telework, and more.

Movability Austin can be your concierge, working with companies, their employees, and others to identify options available; help people understand how to use them; and work to improve services where  they are most needed.

 

2. How much money can I really save?

Your savings can easily amount to thousands of dollars a year, bigger than most tax refunds.  Saving $4,500 per year allows you to spend $50,000 more on a 30-year home mortgage.  Using transit or any of the other options can save you more than $8,000 per year, or the equivalent of several house payments and a well-deserved vacation combined.

Typical travel costs

Driving alone
Cost: $9,000 per year
Covers: Gas, loan payments, insurance, repairs, parking.

Carpooling (with one family member)
Cost: $4,500 per year
Covers: Dividing expenses in half

Transit
Cost: $400-$924 a year (depending on which pass you need)
Covers: Monthly Pass

Rideshare (van pool or car share-Cap Metro)
Cost: $720 a year
Covers: Gas, loan payments, insurance, repairs.  (Does not  include parking).

Bicycling
Cost: $150-300 per year
Covers: $700 bicycle, safety gear, and equipment divided over 5 years (the typical shelf life of a bicycle), plus annual maintenance.

See how much you spend

 

3. Are there other rewards?

Movability works with employers (Member companies) to establish policies and programs that provide real incentives.  An employer can give you what you spend on options like transit passes, costs for bicycling, or ride share fares before taxes are withheld.  You can set aside up to $130 per month for transit and vanpool or $20 per month for bicycling as pre-tax. Some companies will give you a payment, rather than paying $75-$120 per month for your parking.

 

4. How do I find options besides driving alone?

Think of Movability as your transportation concierge

We can help you explore the options available and of interest to you (biking, car pooling, transit/rail, car or van pooling, etc.).  If your employer is a member, we can also work with your company to explore additional options such as telework, flex-work schedule, and financial incentives.  Finally, we work with Cap Metro, car2go, ZipCar,  and other transportation companies to  help you build a game plan that will work for your commute and all of your other transportation needs.

Of course you are welcome to explore options on your own and some of the FAQs below may help you do so.

 

5. What happens if I get stuck without my car?

No problem! There is no need to bring your car into downtown even if you have errands to run or the occasional emergency. There are several options available that will cover you for those time you need a car.

car2go and  ZipCar allow you to use a shared car for quick trips. Movability is working with both car2go and ZipCar to provide discounted membership to interested employees of member companies, but you can sign up individually as well.

To get started:

  1. Sign up or register with service of your choice
  2. Go to their website or mobile app to locate a car near you.
  3. Reserve a car or just walk up to the nearest one.
  4. Unlock it with you card and Password.
  5. Drive to your destination.
  6. Park and sign out or keep the meter running

Cap Metro offers reimbursement for emergency taxi service anywhere in our service area for any MetroRailMetroExpress and RideShare customers.  For a small annual fee, Guaranteed Ride Home  is insurance that entitles qualified commuters reimbursement for up to four emergency taxi rides per year.

 

6. I just want to take transit (bus/rail/express bus), what do I do?

Riding transit means you have free time to relax, read, whatever and someone else deals with the traffic.

There are easy to use web and mobile options to figure out how to get from here to there.

Google Maps           

  • click “get directions”
  • click “transit icon”
  • A) type your location (or activate GPS) and B) type where you want to go.  That’s it.  You will get information on how to get to the stop, the bus route # you are looking for, the time it is supposed to arrive, and the cost.

Cap Metro Trip Planner

  • type start location and finish location.  Optional: use the “Depart Now” box to identify a specific time/day
  • click “plan a trip.”  That’s it. You will get information on how to get to the stop, the bus route # you are looking for, the time it is supposed to arrive, and the cost

Dadnab

Simply add Dadnab into your contact list – number 512.981.6221 [for Austin].  Then send a text message to Dadnab with the location you want to reach, e.g., 5th & Lavaca to Barton Springs & Kinney.  Dadnab will text you back with the nearest bus stop, the bus number and the time it is scheduled to arrive.

You can find more information on how to ride the bus and fares from Cap Metro’s website.  You can now buy passes online.

RideScout is a mobile app that will show you all your transportation options at once including car2go and CapMetro.

 

7. I just want to bicycle to work, what do I do?

Riding a bike to work can afford a great sense of accomplishment – maybe you’re interested in getting a great workout during your commute, or simply relaxing and taking in the scenery on your way to and from work. Either way, it’s good for the environment and great for you!

This video has some great tips on how to get started:

 

Google Maps 

  • click “get directions”
  • click “bike icon”
  • A) type your location (or activite GPS) and B) type where you want to go.  You will get information on a good route to bicycle and you can shift the route by simply clicking on a spot you want to avoid and  drawing the line to a better location or place you need to pass.

Understanding how to ride safely and conveniently takes a little more prep time on your part.  You can stop by your favorite bike shop for advice on gear, routes, and tips.  There are also good websites that offer advice on bike commuting such as Austin on Two Wheels.

You can get direct training and other support from  Mellow Johnny’s downtown bike shop. For an in-depth safety training opportunity check out The Center for Cycling Education. This locally developed online training program will cover everything you need to know to ride your bicycle safely and legally, giving you peace of mind on the road.

Many buildings offer protected bike parking within a secure garage and some buildings offer shower and locker facilities for tenants.  Movability Austin is encouraging more building owners and managers to offer bicycle facilities to their tenants. Contact us if your build does not have these facilities.

 

8. I just want to carpool to work, what do I do?

Many people simply carpool with a spouse or family member.  Tell us your carpool story.

If you work for a member company, Movability will survey employees to assess who among your coworkers would make good carpool partners, based on proximity, work schedule, and other metrics.  If we haven’t contacted you already click here.

Movability may also be able to help you to arrange vanpool or carpool options using a Capital Metro vehicle if you have more people or don’t have a vehicle.

If you need help finding people near you with whom you can carpool, MyCommuteSolutions is a website that does everything from tracking your trips to finding you carpool matches. The commute tracking supports bicycle, transit, and carpool/vanpool options.

 

9. I just want to vanpool to work, what do I do?

Cap Metro has vans and Movability can help you get together with five to12 friends  at least three days a week for the drive to and from work.  You use the van and Cap Metro handles the maintenance, gas and insurance paid – for as little as $60 per person each month.

Here’s the low-down on Vanpooling:

  • The primary driver pays no monthly charge.
  • It doesn’t have to be every day. Your Vanpool buddies need to commit to ride three days per week. And that doesn’t count vacation, business travel, and illness.
  • Each group agrees on its own route and daily schedule.
  • The group’s approved driver can enjoy limited personal use of the van for errands, lunch, and appointments.
  • Vanpools help reduce traffic congestion, reduce air pollution and save each rider money every month. All Vanpool riders can also receive a free monthly bus pass upon request.  In addition to saving money, you’ll reduce your stress level as well as your car insurance. And you’ll even have time for coffee, the paper, and a breakfast taco!

Movability can help, but if you want to do it on your own here’s how you get started:

  • Recruit people who live and work in the same general area. Capital Metro’s RideShare team can assist you by providing recruitment materials and referrals through our computerized rideshare matching system.
  • When you have enough members for your Vanpool, call 477-RIDE(7433) to contact the RideShare staff. Capital Metro will set you up with everything you need to get rolling.
  • If you wish to learn if there is a vanpool currently operating that meets your needs, please call 477-RIDE(7433) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • We have vans that can carry from a maximum of 8 to 12 passengers and you will need at least 5 passengers to start your group. These are distributed on a first come first come basis.

10. I want to share a ride to work, what do I do?

Austin has three options for finding people willing to share a ride or for those wanting a ride.  You can sign up as an individual or as a company.

Carma is a real time ride sharing app. It’s easy to use interface make it simple for finding a carpool buddy on the days you want one. Just download, setup your profile including your normal commute trip and let Carma do the work. The app will let you know when they have found your match. It’s great for both those that want to drive and those that want to ride.

RideScout is a mobile app that will show you all your transportation options at once including car2go and CapMetro.  This app will also connect  and share rides with your Facebook friends!

MyCommuteSolutions

Signing up allows you to see other people wanting to prove a ride or get a ride.  You can also enter and track your commutes.  The commute tracking supports bicycle, transit, and carpool/vanpool options.

ParkMe

This service enables you to find available parking in downtown before you even leave for your destination. ParkMe can be used via the website or on your mobile device. Download the app today! For more details see our article in Let’s Go News.

11. What is Movability Austin?

Think of Movability as your concierge – like a hotel concierge we help you find and get to what you actually want.

We provide the information you need to help make alternative transportation choices for going downtown.  Choices that can positively effect both you and your city. We don’t provide the mobility devices such as a bike, bus, car or train.

For example, if you want to ride a bus, Capital Metro is the one providing the reliable transportation.  Movability will help you figure out the route/times, the cost, how to purchase passes to save even more money and other valuable information.

If your employer is a member we will also work with them to give you added benefits such as tax-free money for passes, maybe even paying you for the parking space you aren’t using.  We can even work on providing free car2go membership for when you need a vehicle midday or a taxi ride for an emergency trip.

 

12. Who is Movability Austin?

You can find more information on our about page, but here are the highlights:

Movability Austin is a non-profit association. Our members are public and private sector employers as well as other interested businesses, non-profit organizations, and individuals.

Movability Austin is funded through partnership agreements (contracts for services) with Capital Metro, City of Austin, Downtown Austin Alliance, and Travis County. Membership also helps to fund our services. Both affiliate members and business Members pay an annual fee. Finally, Movability has grants and other contracts for services to accomplish mission.

 

13. What does Movability Austin do?

Movability Austin:

  • Helps improve mobility to, from, and within Downtown.
  • Works with employers and their employees to understand their transportation challenges and needs; then tailoring commute, parking, and promotional options that can help meet needs and solve problems.
  • Help people find and use carpool, vanpool, transit, and other services already available; then helping them integrate new services, e.g., arranging membership with  car2go or ZipCar for midday trips and Guaranteed Rides home for emergencies.
  • Enhances customer service to make it easier to use travel alternatives.
  • Makes it easy for employers, employees, residents, property owners, institutions and visitors to get good information on how to use travel options.
  • Engages with effective workforce-based strategies for managing travel demand.
  • Promotes the value in reducing “drive alone” trips into downtown Austin and success stories for people and companies doing their part.
  • Builds support for investing in Downtown mobility.
  • Seeks resources and support for travel alternatives and programs.
  • Forges public-private partnerships to develop new projects that improve mobility and access.
  • Advocates for policies, plans and investments that address the needs for downtown mobility.

 

14. Is there a cost when I contact Movability Austin?

If your employer is a member of Movability Austin, our assistance is free to you!

We provide member companies with a customized commuter plan that builds incentives and work policies that support employees who want to use travel options.  We also working directly with their employees to solve problems and make sure theirs is a fun and rewarding switch to healthier, happier commuting.

If your employer is not a member or you are an individual needing assistance, we will do what we can to help as a non-profit that cares about better mobility into and around downtown.

 

15. How do I (an individual) get started?

If you wish to try it on your own, the FAQ above and the Tool Kit can help you begin to identify your options.  Please remember that you are changing a behavior, so you have to think about the old cues and rewards that made it “a habit” to simply drive alone and avoid the old cues while keeping the best part, the rewards.

For a very inexpensive fee, you can join Movability Austin and we will help with transportation resources and even places to go for help from real, live people.  Since we are a non-profit that wants to improve mobility into and around downtown, you can always contact us directly and we will do what we can to help.

The more we know about your transportation needs, the better we can push for needed improvements.  So whether you choose a commute option on your own or work with Movability directly, make sure you are signed up for Let’s Go News below – it’s your chance to tell us how you’re getting to work, and what you’d like to see change!

 

16. How do I (employee of a member company) get started?

Companies are our members.  If you are the employee of a member company, you should have already heard from us or soon will.  If not, please click here to let us know because there maybe something wrong in our communications or ability to get hold of you.

 

17. How do I get my employer involved?

You can talk with your manager and ask them to contact Movability or you can suggest who (with decision making authority) we might speak with at your company.  Either way please contact:

Alix Scarborough
Email
Phone 512.586.8981

Click here for more information on becoming a member