AUSTIN -- Capital Metro has released numbers from the big Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix weekend in Austin and says it was all a huge success.
The agency said Wednesday that ridership on MetroRail, which extended its hours to include Saturday and Sunday, surged with a 67 percent increase with 5,500 trips. There was also a 435 percent increase of ridership on Saturday with 6,300 trips instead of the usual 1,200.
“As the public transportation leader in our region, people were depending on Capital Metro to move thousands around the city,” said Capital Metro president and CEO Linda S. Watson. “I’m happy to report that Capital Metro delivered.”
Numbers have not yet been released for Cap Metro's downtown loop bus service it offered over the weekend, but the agency says it was very popular.
Cap Metro hired more than 100 volunteers to help with the downtown F1 shuttle site, bus stops and rail platforms. Officials say its new mobile ticketing app also helped make ridership smooth over the busy weekend.
More statistics from the Formula 1 weekend:
- The MetroAirport service, which ran between ABIA and downtown, saw a 26 percent increase in use on Friday, Nov. 16 and a 34 percent increase on Saturday, Nov. 17. More than 3,300 people used the service Nov. 15-19 (23 percent increase).
- Capital Metro's six downtown loop buses traveled a combined 1,600 miles over the F1 weekend. That is the same as a trip from Austin to Denver and back.
- Extra trains and buses were put into service to handle overflow crowds at some rail stations over the weekend, ensuring a ride for anyone who wanted to get back and forth between the downtown area.
- Overall website traffic went up 55 percent during F1 weekend from the previous weekend (157,000 visits vs. 243,000 visits).
- Over 25,000 people visited the special F1 section on the website.
- The website’s trip planner saw a 30 percent increase in use.
- Volunteers handed out 15,000 Capital Metro maps and 6,000 city brochures Nov. 16-18.
- The GO Line experienced a 19 percent increase in call volume from Nov. 15-19.
“Working together, our region was prepared for this event, hands down,” said Watson. “After seeing the numbers, hearing the feedback from the community and our visitors, and after our own evaluation, Capital Metro knocked it out of the park.”