We know there’s no big parking garage at McKalla Place. There are plenty of them around the Domain, but until we hear they’re offering gameday parking, it looks like we’ll need to be more imaginative about getting to the game than simply driving there in our cars. This post is part of an ongoing series exploring some of the options. See also: Getting to McKalla via the Red Line
CapMetro’s bus route #383 is the first route we’ll look at. It runs between the North Lamar Transit Center at N. Lamar and 183, and Lakeline Mall. Roughly halfway along this route is the Pavillion Park and Ride near Oak Knoll and 183 (next to Academy; see this map), and this is where our proposed gameday route begins. If you’re coming from somewhere closer to the mall, or near Westwood High School, say, then you may want to get on earlier on its route. But the trip from this Park and Ride is nearly as short as driving directly, and of course there’s plenty of free parking. It’s also right by one of our houses.
Pro tip: make sure you get on the southbound 383 bus, which will say “N Lamar TC” on the front, not the northbound one, which will say “Lakeline Station”. They can come at close to the same time, so if you’re not paying attention, your ride might be much longer.
The route to McKalla wanders a bit, as bus routes do. It follows 183 south for a while, then cuts over to Jollyville for a swing by the Arboretum before making its way to our destination: the stop on Braker Lane right by the intersection with Burnet (known memorably in the CapMetro app as “Braker/Burnet SW Corner, Stop ID 3020”). AKA, next to the new Starbucks on that corner.
Travel times vary, of course, but on our test run it took 14 minutes. Then an easy crossing of Burnet at the crosswalk and a stroll up Bright Verde Way, and we were at the northeast gate 5 minutes from dropoff.
Fare is $1.25 each ride, or $2.50 for a day pass. For a gameday round trip, there’s obviously no difference, but the single day-pass transaction will be one less thing to think about after the game, when we’re drunk on victory and/or craft beer.
The stop for that return trip is on the other side of Braker, in front of the Indeed building (“Braker/Burnet NW Corner, Stop ID 4682”, in CapMetro parlance).
The normal schedule for this route has buses coming by roughly every half hour, but CapMetro has announced that they’ll double the runs on game days, operating on an increased frequency of 15 minutes.
As mentioned above, this route also runs the other direction, from the North Lamar Transit center. We haven’t test-ridden that yet, but apart from easier stops on the Burnet side, it would be very similar to what’s described here.
For a ride nearly as short as if we drove ourselves, plus not having to worry about parking (let alone pay for it), all for just $2.50 per person, this may be the best choice even if there were tons of parking spots.