AUSTIN, Texas — Formula one racing brings the car lovers and their cars down to tracks. For many, parking has been hard to handle. On-site parking was already sold out, so parking farther away and taking shuttles was one of the only options. Cars packed single day lots and shuttles ran smoothly Sunday morning, after a night of reported chaos.
“They weren’t able to guide you on where to go or what shuttle to take or how to get back as fast as possible so it took over an hour to an hour and a half to get back,” said Vanessa Lopez, a San Antonio resident who was among the thousands who attended the Justin Timberlake concert.
Complaints of disorganization and long waits for buses circuited social media. James Lafferty of Austin took to Twitter and said, " I can’t believe this was [[an]] official parking lot. No logical system or safety." Others went so far to say they’ll never go to the event again.
Faye Guild wrote on Twitter: "The parking situation for parking Lot Q is ridiculous. 90 min waiting just to get on the bus back to the car???? #disorganization."
Justin Hopkins said: "COTA has A LOT to do when it comes to organization. Thousands of people that waited hours to get shuttled back to their vehicles."
“I don’t think we’re going to be back here in a very long time, just due to the waiting the confusion, the crowd," Lopez said. "I mean it’s just expensive, you're trying to come here to have a great time and it just feels like all they really care about it just money.”
The minimum $40 price point had many steering clear from these lots and heading toward private property nearby. Pat's Parking on Elroy Road is just 100 yards away from an official Circuit of the Americas parking lot. Dozens by Sunday afternoon chose to park there.
“COTA can’t handle all the people that are out here," said Brian Stubbs of Austin. "This is also great for this little city out here Elroy, right, it brings money into the town and this small community that normally doesn’t get to see this volume of people.”
The cost of parking in the private space is half the price. But for owner Pat Figueroa, whose family has owned the property since the 1970's said for him, it's not about the money.
“On the other side of the fence it's quite a larger fee, here I can help people and meet people from all over the world,” he said.