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Public Transpo vs. Car: Austin has a Capitol Metro transit system http://www.capmetro.org with clean buses that run on schedule. Cap metro also has a commuter rail line that runs from Leader (north) to the Convention Center downtown. They have an Airport Flyer bus that departs Austin Bergstrom airport every 40 minutes & goes to downtown & UT campus. Cab from airport to downtown will run about $25-30 before tip. ACL Music Fest and many hotels offer shuttles.
If you want to visit outlying areas of the city, you’lll definitely want to rent a car. You can do it online on car rental websites, such as holidayautos.com, http://www.car2go.com/austin/en/conce..., or Decode Car Rentals. Some attractions such as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center are not served by a public bus. An excellent solution is to chose your hotel within walking distance of where you plan to spend most of your time and use a rental or taxi for those longer hauls to see everything special around Austin.
There are also many private Limo/Sedan companies in the Austin area. The airport keeps a list of those permitted to pickup at the airport, so you can be assured these companies will have proper registration, insurance, etc. http://www.austintexas.gov/department...
The sweltering heat in Texas in the summer can also make what would be a comfortable walk into something else.
Parking is usually not a problem, except for downtown on Friday and Saturday nights; and around the University of Texas campus. Hotel fees for parking vary. Capitol visitor parking is at San Jacinto & 14th, expect a 1/2 mile walk to the Capitol.
In most of downtown, Austin has implemented parking kiosks that take credit cards or money. They dispense a sticker (peel the sticky back off, flip it over & use it to affix the paper sticker) to the curb side, inside your car window.
Parking in most locations is free after 5 PM, except for around hot-spots like 6th street. Check the signs to avoid over-paying. Charges are usually $5-7 dollars and once you park you can usually walk both sides of sixth street in an evening. This works for you in two ways. You burn thos vacation calories and decreases your blood alcohol prior to reentering your vehicle.