Businesses cash in giving rides during SXSW

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by SHANNON MURRAY / KVUE NEWS and photojournalist DAVID GARDENER

Bio | Email | Follow: @ShannonM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 14 at 5:42 PM

AUSTIN -- With thousands of people downtown for South by Southwest, getting from one show to the next can be a challenge. Now businesses are cashing in on giving you a ride.

"It's been pretty awesome exploring the city, getting into free shows," said Seve Zavala, visiting from Phoenix, AZ.

Zavala and his buddy Nicolas McKee made the trek from one venue to the next, willing to walk miles for live music.

"It's usually just blisters on our feet by the end of the day, but it's well worth it," said McKee.

You don't have to go by foot. You can catch a ride on the MetroRail, pay for a taxi or a pedicab.

"Nothing like a typical night; it's just busy, busy, busy," described pedicab driver Victor Chary.

Chary says he's working 16 hour days during the festival and he could make upwards of $100 an hour.

"It's hard to even go somewhere and take a break not to have people trying to flag you down," he said.

You can even find a bike of your own through bike share programs like Social Bicycle. Or hop in a smart car. Car2go is providing several drop off locations for quick and easy access.

"It's just nice to know you can go out of the metro zone or out of the convention center and boom, you've got a car," said car2go's Dana Golding.

The options are seemingly endless. Chevy is giving free rides through their Catch a Chevy campaign, and for a minimum of $75 a Rolls Royce could be yours for the night through a service called Uber.

"It's a new experience," said Uber's Matt Marra.

The San Francisco based company is in town for SXSW. The service offers private drivers anything from a pedi cab to a mid level car, to luxury vehicles like a Porsche or Range Rover.

"We're just one more option, trying to meet a massive amount of demand," Marra explained. "You're never going to have enough taxis or public transportation when you have millions of people coming into the city."

No matter where you're going, the ride might just be half the fun. Uber, Yellow Cab, and car2go all utilize phone applications for quick and easy locating and booking.

During this year's SXSW Interactive, another app, RideScout, launched. The app promises to locate and track all nearby public transit.

Plot your SXSW routes with the help of the free app WAZE, and while you're on it, join the KVUE Traffic Trooperz.

Stay up to date on KVUE's SXSW coverage on your mobile device with our free "KVUE News" mobile app. You can also see more SXSW stories and slideshows on KVUE.com here.

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