Fun Fun Fun Fest Pro-Tips

This weekend’s (November 2-4) will bring thousands of people to Auditorium Shores and downtown Austin for a three-day fest and subsequent FFF Nites showcases. Since parking is scarce in the surrounding area and towing will be enforced in the Bouldin Creek neighborhood, fest-goers are strongly encouraged to skip the hassle of traffic and parking by taking the bus, biking, walking, carpooling, taking a pedi-cab, or hailing a cab down to Auditorium Shores throughout the weekend.

The FFF Fest website says that parking garages at Palmer Events Center and the Long Center will not be available for festival parking, but there will be tons of bike parking on site for cyclists. There will also be a free shuttle running from 11am – 11pm throughout the festival. Shuttles will be picking up at the following locations (map):

  •  Along the south side of 5th street between I 35 and San Marcos
  • All three lots between 5th and 6th east of San Marcos and west of Medina
  • On the south side of 6th half way between San Marcos and Brushy

If you have to drive, make the most of it by carpooling or using local ride-share services HeyRide (a brand new app that links people to carpool for safe, on-demand rides) or amovens (another terrific ride share service) to join up with safe drivers/passengers, save money, reduce your carbon footprint and get to the grounds. This is also a great time to get on board with zipcar or car2go. Car2go’s FFF Fest drop zone is conveniently located at One Texas Center (505 Barton Springs Rd).

Telecommuting Can Make You Smile

Telecommuting, aka working from home, has seen some recent gains in popularity as our job culture evolves and changes over time. The many benefits of telecommuting are becoming increasingly uncovered by employers and employees. Austin is no stranger to the practice. More workers in Austin telecommute than any other city in the country. Recent research shows that the occasional telecommuter increases productivity with side benefits of increased happiness, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and saving gas money.

Did you know that….

The average employee who starts telecommuting reports their stress level goes down

  • 75% of telecommuters eat healthier when they work from home
  • A half time telecommuter can save around $750 per year

Check out this infographic to read more of the benefits of telecommuting!

What’s So Special About Urban Rail?

We all know people who claim they will use public transit just as soon as Austin has a rail system. Some people just prefer the comfort, style, and convenience of travel by rail. In order to get a closer look at the factors behind Austinites desire for rail, we conducted a very unscientific poll of people from all different areas of town, professions and demographics. And pretty quickly two common threads emerged: time and traffic.

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” William Penn

People lead very busy lives between their career, family, social activities, creative pursuits, and athletic endeavors, which means our time has become extremely valuable to us. These days, we have become accustomed to the proliferation of life changing products that allow us to access information and products with ease thanks to computers and smartphones. We have become so used to innovation and go-to devices like Google Maps, Netflix and TiVo that we prefer a lifestyle that caters to our “on demand” needs. But an “on demand” mentality can have a dark side as folks think about their individual demands by jumping into personal-use cars and creating traffic. When everyone does this, we see a Wild West-effect as situations become hectic and maybe even a bit scary in bad traffic. We are too civilized to revert to chaos and people see rail as a more civilized solution that protects us from traffic, which allows us to relax and use our time better.

  “Although I enjoy saving gas money, my time is much more valuable.”Austinite

 “The problem with the buses is that…they are stuck in the same traffic as everyone else, so you might as well take your own car.” Austinite

No one wants to sit in traffic. It’s frustrating and unhealthy. The common perception is that rail can save time because it is not generally stuck in street traffic and can control signals at intersections. Also, rail offers more convenience and consistency than other transit because it has direct routes to destinations. People wanting rail hope that it can get us out of traffic and to our destination quicker, safer, and with less frustration so that we can get on to doing what we want.  Rail also gives people time onboard to do other things like read and work on a phone or tablet.

In the meantime, there are lots of time saving transportation options in Austin currently. We, as a city, saved almost 2 million hours in traffic delays last year due to the current transit infrastructure. So, there’s no need to wait for rail to start using options. You can start by taking the bus once a week, cycling or walking for all your short trips and/or by using ParkMe to find parking before you leave the house.