(From left) Debra Mora, Gloria Longoria, and Laura Villegas wait for their bus after attending Fiesta Fiesta at Hemisfair.
(From left) Debra Mora, Gloria Longoria, and Laura Villegas wait for their bus after attending Fiesta Fiesta at Hemisfair. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

San Antonians can look forward to more than a week’s worth of food, drink, cascarones, and parades during this year’s Fiesta. Before the festivities begin, however, City and law enforcement officials want revelers to plan how they’re going get safely to and around the various downtown events.

While the city hasn’t seen a Fiesta-related driving-while-intoxicated death since 2011, there were more than 500 DWI arrests during the last two Fiestas, the San Antonio Police Department said Friday morning.

A combination of a police car and a taxi warns fiesta-goers not to drink and drive.
A combination of a police car and a taxi warns Fiesta-goers not to drink and drive. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

There are a number of affordable and accessible methods of transportation to avoid the parking and traffic hassles that are part of Fiesta. From VIA’s Park & Ride service, to hopping on a bike from SWellCycles, to hailing ride-share or a cab, here are ways to get around town for Fiesta.

VIA Park & Ride

VIA Metropolitan Transit will operate special Fiesta Park & Ride services from April 20-28. Riders pay $2.50 for each part of the ride with discounts available for children, seniors, students, and active-duty military members.

Here’s a list of events served by VIA’s park and ride:

  • St. Mary’s Oyster Bake at St. Mary’s University. Park at Crossroads Park & Ride, where VIA will operate from 4:30-11:30 p.m. on Friday, April 20, and from 11:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 21. Riders will be dropped off and picked up at Camino Santa Maria at Cincinnati Avenue.
  • A Taste of New Orleans at Sunken Garden Theatre. Park at Crossroads Park & Ride or Randolph Park & Ride, where VIA will operate from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, and from 11:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 22. Riders will be dropped off and picked up on St. Mary’s Street at the entrance to the Japanese Tea Gardens.
  • Texas Cavaliers River Parade along the River Walk. Park at Crossroads Park & Ride, Madla Transit Center, or Airport Park & Ride, where VIA will operate from 5-10 p.m. on Monday, April 23. Riders will be dropped off and picked up at Convention Way Drive off Market Street.
  • A Night in Old San Antonio at La Villita. Park at Crossroads Park & Ride, Madla Transit Center, or Airport Park & Ride, where VIA will operate from 5-11 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24, through Friday, April 27. Riders will be dropped off and picked up at Convention Way Drive off Market Street.
  • Battle of Flowers Band Festival at Alamo Stadium. Park at Madla Transit Center or Airport Park & Ride, where VIA will operate from 4:30-10 p.m. on Thursday, April 26. Riders will be dropped off and picked up at Stadium Drive over U.S. Highway 281 between Trinity University and Alamo Stadium.
  • Battle of Flowers Parade in downtown San Antonio. Park at Crossroads Park & Ride, Madla Transit Center, or Airport Park & Ride, where VIA will operate from 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m. on Friday, April 27. Riders will be dropped off and picked up at Convention Way Drive off Market Street.
  • King William Fair in the King William Historic District. Park at Crossroads Park & Ride, Madla Transit Center, or Airport Park & Ride, where VIA will operate from 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 28. Riders will be dropped off and picked up at South Main Avenue at Guenther Street.
  • Fiesta Flambeau Parade in downtown San Antonio. Park at Crossroads Park & Ride, Madla Transit Center, or Airport Park & Ride, where VIA will operate from 5-11 p.m. on Saturday, April 28. Riders will be dropped off and picked up at Convention Way Drive off Market Street.

Rideshare

Uber and Lyft will operate during Fiesta, with Lyft offering $25,000 in “Sober Rides.”

Riders may use the promo code BUDLIGHTDD18 on the Lyft mobile phone application to receive two $5 allotments of Lyft ride credit. The credit may be used for two rides to or from Fiesta events from April 19 through April 29.

The Uber Logo as the application opens. Photo by Scott Ball.
The Uber logo on the popular ride-sharing smartphone app Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

“All SAPD officers have received the Sober Rides promo code, should we encounter revelers that need alternative transportation to get home,” stated Douglas Green, spokesman for the San Antonio Police Department.

Lyft also will be offering free Tricentennial “No Mo Fomo” Fiesta medals to the first 3,000 riders who use the service during the week.

Uber offers new riders a $20 credit off a first ride of $20 or more when signing up and using the promo code FIESTA2018.

Uber also has designated pick-up and drop-off locations for the Oyster Bake at St. Mary’s University and Night in Old San Antonio (NIOSA) at La Villita.

  • Riders will be dropped off and picked up at either Bangor and 36th streets, Culebra and Memorial streets, or Cincinnati and Camino Santa Maria streets during the Oyster Bake on April 20 and April 21.
  • Riders will be dropped off and picked up at Villita and Navarro streets for NIOSA, which runs April 24-27.

Parking

If you simply must bring your car downtown during Fiesta, the City of San Antonio has a map of downtown parking garages with parking rates that can be viewed here. Event rates apply during the duration of Fiesta and range from $8-$15 with an average price of $11. Downtown San Antonio also provides a map of other available parking garages which may be viewed here.

SWell Cycle

People coming into downtown for any of the Fiesta events may also use bike share operated by SWell Cycles to bike from location to location.

A map of SWell Cycle Docks may be viewed here, and rates may be viewed here. For non-members, the first 60 minutes of riding are free with $2 charged each 30 minutes afterwards.

SWell Cycle also now has a mobile phone application that allows users to check out bikes, search for docks, and manage their membership. The application is downloadable for Apple and Android devices.

A SWell Cycle. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Jeffrey Sullivan

Jeffrey Sullivan is a Rivard Report reporter. He graduated from Trinity University with a degree in Political Science.