Safer Transportation at SXSW a Success


Last year’s SXSW tragic car accident that killed four pedestrians spurred city officials and entrepreneurs to create an atmostphere of safe transportation options for festival attenders. The driver of the vehicle was drinking and unfamiliar with the city roads. He plowed through the center of the festival onto a pedestrian street.

This year offered many new options for SXSW crowds to travel. UBER unveiled UberPOOL. This service allowed clients to share vehicles and costs provided they are heading in similar directions. Ridescout, the real-time ground transportation aggregation service, released a new version of their app. They have teamed up with the city’s Capital Metro Transit System so that users can purchase bus fares on their apps. Austin is the first city to open up public transportation with a mobile ticket provider so that users can find information on and purchase bus or rail fair via phone. Finally, Lyft allowed users to request a ride via Mobile Magic and they are eligible to win a ride in a Tesla, Bently or Ferrari. That’s motivation to catch a ride!

The city of Austin also amped up the amount of police personnel that were stationed downtown this year. The APD implemented a “no refusal” period starting at 9p-5a during SXSW to enforce DWI laws. All of these precautions proved successful at avoiding another unnecessary tragedy and helping to get pedistrian traffic out of a croweded area quickly.

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