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October 25, 2013 at 04:00 AM EDT
Circuit of The Americas enhances transportation plan for 2013 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX
- New Park + Ride locations bring fans closer to venue, reduce shuttle bus times - Downtown shuttles to carry race fans from Austin Convention Center to COTA for only $5 - Limited on-site parking still available for purchase - Internal shuttles to run continuously on west and south sides of track - ADA shuttles positioned around venue to assist guests with mobility issues

Austin, Texas, Oct. 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Circuit of The Americas (COTA) today released details of the venue's transportation plan for the 2013 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX. The plan includes customer-friendly updates, including a  downtown shuttle bus circular, originating at the Austin Convention Center that will drop guests at COTA for only $5 per person, plus two new Park + Ride locations within three miles of the racetrack property.

NEW, CLOSER PARK + RIDE LOCATIONS

The new Park + Ride lots are located along FM 973 and FM 812, approximately three miles from the track. Patrons may park their vehicles in these lots and ride free shuttle buses to COTA each day of the three-day event (Nov. 15-17).  Park + Ride passes are on sale now at www.circuitoftheamericas.com/f1 and cost $20 per vehicle for a three-day pass or $10 per vehicle if you buy each day individually (advance-purchase or at the lot).  Here are the two Park + Ride locations: 

  • FM 973 Park + Ride (RED LOT):  Intersection of FM 973 and Burleson Rd.
  • FM 812 Park + Ride (YELLOW LOT):  9605 FM 812 (one-eighth mile east of The Crown Center)

Park + Ride lots will open at 7 a.m. CT daily, and shuttle buses from those lots will drop patrons at COTA's shuttle bus depots on McAngus Road, just one-half mile from COTA's Grand Plaza entrance.

DOWNTOWN SHUTTLE TO COTA FOR ONLY $5

This year, COTA is offering round-trip shuttle service from the Austin Convention Center downtown to the racetrack and back for only $5 per person, per day. Race goers staying in downtown hotels are encouraged to leave their vehicles parked in the downtown area, walk to the Austin Convention Center, and take advantage of the inexpensive round-trip shuttle to COTA.  Downtown shuttles will drop passengers at COTA's shuttle bus depot on McAngus Road, just one-half mile from COTA's Grand Plaza entrance.

NOTE: The Austin Convention Center is not a Park + Ride location, and there will be no designated parking areas for patrons at the Austin Convention Center. Consequently, race fans should be prepared to park elsewhere in the downtown area and then walk to the Austin Convention Center to pick up A shuttle to COTA. Again, the cost per person is $5 per day.

ON-SITE PARKING AT CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS

COTA has 13 on-site parking lots available for patrons interested in parking at the venue. A limited number of three-day and single-day on-site parking passes still available for purchase at www.circuitoftheamericas.com/f1. The cost for a three-day on-site parking pass is $200, while single-day on-site parking passes can be purchased in advance for $50 per vehicle on Friday and $100 per vehicle on Saturday and Sunday. Guests are encouraged to purchase parking based on the available lot closest to their seating area. On-site parking lots will open to the public at 7 a.m. CT during the race weekend. Guests who purchase on-site parking passes will receive specific instructions for how to access their assigned parking lots during Grand Prix weekend.

TAXIS, LIMOUSINES, CHARTER BUSES AND BICYCLES

Taxis, limousines, charter bus and hire-car serviceswith the proper permits can transport ticketed customers to COTA. Designated routes will be assigned to each for-hire vendor. Taxis will stage in a designated taxi pick-up area and will be available to transport race fans off site throughout Grand Prix weekend. Given the additional tourists in town for the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX and the University of Texas football game scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 16, taxis are also a good option for race fans staying in the downtown area to access COTA.

Cyclists will have a designated route from the downtown area along Burleson Road to a Valet Park + Ride location at Richard Moya Park (on Burleson Road at Emma Browning Ave.). From the Valet Park + Ride location, cyclists can take a free shuttle to the Circuit. There will be complimentary showers available at the Valet Park + Ride for cyclists.

COTA INTERNAL SHUTTLES AND ADA ASSISTANCE

COTA will run internal shuttle buses on two sides of the venue to help transports guests, staff and working media.  One shuttle will run a continuous circuit along the outer service road on the west side of the venue, from the Grand Plaza to Turn 11 and back, while a second will do the same on the south side of the venue, from Turn 1 to the Main Grandstand to the Grand Plaza and back. Internal shuttles will have designated pick-up/drop-off points to transport guests who prefer not to walk to seating areas or points of interest around COTA. Internal shuttles will not be available on the east side of COTA (Turns 2-10) in order to keep the outer service road there open for emergency and service vehicles.

Additionally, COTA Guest Services representatives in designated ADA Golf Carts will be stationed in on-site parking lots and at shuttle bus depots to assist guests with mobility and accessibility issues. COTA's ADA shuttles will transfer ADA guests to and from their seating areas throughout F1™ race weekend.

LESSONS LEARNED FROM 2012 FORMULA 1™ EVENT

COTA'S 2013 F1 transportation plan is fully accessible and incorporates key customer feedback and takeaways from the facility's first Formula 1 Grand Prix in 2012.  Moving Park + Ride locations closer to the track has decreased transport times for Park + Ride guests and allowed COTA to significantly reduce the number of shuttle buses needed for the weekend. Approximately 300 shuttle buses rented from organizations in surrounding cities will be utilized during this year as opposed to the nearly 500 buses that were required last year when Park + Ride locations were further from the track. 

Should heavy rains make any of COTA's Park + Ride and on-site parking lots unusable, patrons will be directed to park at the Travis County Expo Center in northeast Travis County and will be shuttled to the track from that location.  In the event of inclement weather, COTA will notify patrons about alternative parking plans in advance of each day's activities.

"Our team of experts in conjunction with City, County and State public safety and transportation officials put together an exceptional transportation and traffic-management plan for our first Formula 1 event, and we learned a lot last year," COTA Chief Executive Officer Steve Sexton said. "We've made refinements to this year's plan that will improve the customer experience by offering a free downtown shuttle for guests and by shortening the amount of time it takes to get to and from the venue for those who chose to drive themselves.

"It is still important for race fans and individuals working the F1 event to follow the access guidelines we're providing, to wear comfortable shoes and clothing, and to be mindful of items that cannot be carried into Circuit of The Americas. We look forward to seeing this new plan in action and to welcoming sports and entertainment enthusiasts from around the world back to Austin this November for another exciting Grand Prix."

GENERAL TRANSPORTATION GUIDELINES FOR GUESTS

  • Circuit of The Americas and local transportation and public safety officials are recommending these general guidelines for guests attending the 2013 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX:
  • If you are staying in the downtown area, take advantage of the free shuttle to COTA from the Austin Convention Center or take taxis or hire-car services to the track;
  • Carpool when possible to COTA and to shuttle stop locations;
  • Check the weather forecast before leaving your accommodations and dress and plan accordingly;
  • Head to COTA early to avoid any traffic congestion that may develop;
  • Do not bring prohibited items on shuttle buses; there will be no place to store them at the COTA's entry gates. A list of prohibited items is available at http://www.circuitoftheamericas.com/prohibited-items.
  • Individuals with an on-site parking pass should follow the specific driving directions and recommended routes that will be printed on their parking passes in order to enter the Circuit; (Please follow printing directions rather than GPS-identified routes.);
  • Expect traffic delays and anticipate congestion where it normally occurs on I-35, on Highway 183, on Highway 71/290 between I-35 and SH 130, on main arteries leading downtown, and in the downtown area;
  • Plan to spend the day at the COTA; there will be lots to see and experience, including FREE concerts at the Austin360 Amphitheater after qualifying sessions Saturday and after the F1 race Sunday and a FREE post-race track walk on Sunday; and
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.

Tickets for the 2013 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX start at $49 and are available at www.circuitoftheamericas.com/f1.  This year, guests may choose to buy three-day passes or single-day tickets, and tickets will be sold each day of the event at COTA's Grand Plaza Ticket Office.

About Circuit of The Americas

Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, is a world-class destination for premium sports and entertainment. It is the first racing facility in the United States purposely built for Formula 1™ racing and is designed to host a variety of sports and entertainment events. The Circuit is home to the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX, which was named the 2012 "Sports Event of the Year" by SportsBusiness Journal/Daily, and is the new North American host of the summer edition of ESPN's X Games.  Additionally Circuit of The Americas welcomes spectators from around the world for some of the most prestigious national and international motorsports series, including MotoGP™, V8 Supercars™, GRAND-AM Road Racing™, American Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championships.

Circuit of The Americas' 1,500-acre campus includes a variety of permanent structures designed for business, education, entertainment and sporting use. Its signature 3.4-mile, 20-turn undulating racetrack features remarkable elevation changes and a number of challenging turns patterned after some of the world's iconic Grand Prix tracks. The Austin360 Amphitheater is an expansive outdoor live music space, featuring the largest permanent stage in Central Texas and the capacity for 14,000 guests. The Circuit's iconic 25-story Observation Tower has a viewing platform offering 360-degree views of the venue, downtown Austin and Texas Hill Country. The 44,000-square foot Event Center offers an expansive convention and banquet space that doubles as an international Media Center during sports and entertainment event.  The Event Center includes more than 30 broadcast booths, an internal café and dedicated news conference room. The Circuit's massive Main Grandstand features permanent seating for 9,000, a variety of well-appointed suites, and the Velocity Lounge and hospitality area.  Circuit of The Americas also offers a state-of-the-art on-site medical facility, parking for 25,000 vehicles, taxi and shuttle bus depots and a permanent heli-stop. For more information and downloadable video, audio and photos, visit: www.CircuitofTheAmericas.com, www.Austin360Amphitheater.comor the Circuit's dedicated FTP site, media.circuitoftheamericas.com.

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CONTACT: Ali Putnam
         Office:  512.301.6600
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