I have attempted to provide the information I currently know about travelling to Temple, Texas.
The Killeen airport is 34 miles away from Temple. The Waco airport is 48 miles away. The Austin airport is 73 miles away. And Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport is 140 miles away.
I have heard that the the Austin airport is best option to fly into in terms of combined cost and time, so I have created this page with that in mind.
If your research shows differently, please feel free to consider the transportation options below if you fly into a different airport. However this might not be a comprehensive list in that regard; there may be additional options and likewise some of these options may not be available for all airports. Please plan accordingly.
Rental cars are often in short supply. If you will be renting a vehicle then I advise reserving it as far in advance as possible.
If you rent a vehicle from the airport, two of the three routes that will take you to Temple involve toll roads. One toll route is north on 183. The other toll route is north on 130. During rush hour these are definitely your best bets if time is a concern. As traffic on especially 35 through Austin can slow down to a painful crawl during busy times. But if you take the toll roads, the charges (which will probably be less than $10 each way) will be billed back to you through the rental car agency and they may tack on extra fees. I suggest checking with the rental car agency if this is a concern. You can also change your settings in your map app to avoid the toll roads so you will be redirected around them.
That being said, Texas usually has the lowest-priced gas in the nation. As of this writing in December, we are currently well below $3 per gallon.
In practice the speed limit on Texas highways are more of a suggestion. The safest way to drive is to not to worry about the speed limit and go with the flow of traffic while staying out of the left lane unless you’re going to pass quickly or join the racing competition. The 130 toll road speed limit is at least 80 mph at times, which means locals are going to be driving closer to 90 mph. But the other highway speeds are generally still well above 60 mph unless there is traffic.
All that being said, mostly Texas State Troopers are the ones hanging out in mostly certain rural areas to catch speeders. You will find them mostly from north of Georgetown all the way to Temple. And going 15 mph over the speed limit will incur hefty consequences.
If you end up renting a car and you’ve never been to one before, definitely stop by the Buc-ee’s in Temple, Texas. Everything is bigger in Texas and Buc-ee’s is a prime example. You have to see it to believe it. A Texas road trip requirement. Hundreds of gas pumps. Yes, you read that correctly. Dozens of clean bathrooms. Brisket, fudge, beef jerky, endless snacks, lots of Texas-themed decorations and so much more. Don’t forget to take your picture with the beaver. 😉
Other than Buc-ee’s, I recommend stopping for gas at QuikTrips. Or the State rest stops in Salado for restrooms. They are usually the nicest and cleanest options for those things along the way.
As far as I know, there is not an airport shuttle provided from the hotel in Temple.
I have never used SuperShuttle Express or ExecuCar, but I know that they have been around for awhile and are not fly-by-night companies. It appears that they have door-to-door service into Temple. Your research might show that their rates may be a cost-effective option, but I recommend planning and booking in advance.
I have never used the Killeen Express Shuttle service, but I have seen it dropping off customers at the Austin airport. They have a stop in Belton. I’m assuming you could get dropped off and picked up there. And then take a Lyft or Uber to/from Temple. It might be a cost-effective option, but I suggest researching all the costs and times for pickup and drop-off.
TAXIS & ZTRIP
I absolutely do NOT recommend using the traditional taxi service providers at the airports or in Temple. Their vehicles and service generally leave a lot to be desired when compared to the rideshare app service providers. They are also notorious for overcharging passengers. I do not consider them a safe option for transportation.
That being said, the only exception to my well-deserved aversion to traditional taxi service providers is zTrip. Yellow Cab no longer exists in Austin. zTrip is the company that bought them out. And zTrip is kind of a hybrid between the old Yellow Cab and the new rideshare providers.
zTrip drivers are still licensed with city as chauffeurs, whereas rideshare drivers have only gone through a generic background check. That means the zTrip drivers may have additionally done an FBI background check and also been fingerprinted. They may also have been given an initial drug test to get hired – whereas the rideshare providers do not require this. And the zTrip vehicles are frequently inspected and better maintained. They also have some wheelchair-accessible options. And USA-based customer service.
zTrip has an app you can download to book your trip: https://www.ztrip.com/austin/ Or options to call, hail in person at the airport rideshare pickup area or book on a computer.
However, the caveat is that depending on the time of clay the rates may be much higher than the rideshare apps as the rates are set by the city. I recommend comparing zTrip prices to the rideshare apps if this is a concern. But sharing the ride with someone else might help offset the cost difference. Also be aware that if you take a zTrip ride to somewhere in Austin before going to Temple, I believe there is a minimum airport pickup fee of at least $20+.
Additionally, zTrip is based in Austin. I’ve never tried but Temple may be out of range in order to request the return ride back to Austin using zTrip.
Lyft, Uber, and Hitch are the most popular rideshare app options. I have created separate sections below in order to share what I know about them. Wridz is another legitimate but less popular rideshare app; however I have never used it. I suggest downloading the apps and comparing prices.
If you would like to use a rideshare app service to get from Austin to Temple, you shouldn’t have a problem as there are usually plenty of drivers almost anytime of day at the Austin airport.
For the ride back to the Austin airport, you will absolutely want to schedule your pickup ahead of time in the rideshare apps. And give yourself plenty of time. Because there are not as many rideshare drivers in Temple as in Austin. And sometimes the rideshare apps pay the drivers so poorly that it isn’t worth it to them to go such a long distance. (They’ll be lucky if they receive even half of what you are charged. And they pay for their own gas and maintenance.) So they will be notified that it is a long ride to the airport before they accept the trip, and some might cancel before one accepts. As such, I’d suggest sharing the ride with someone else if you are both going to the airport at around the same time.
Traffic to the Austin airport can get very heavy during rush hours. Austin is a very popular city for out of town visitors and the the airport demand sometimes greatly exceeds capacity. I’d absolutely suggest getting to the airport at least two hours ahead of your departure time especially if you need to check bags and go through security. I hear that TSA PreCheck is highly recommended, but you need to pursue it as soon as possible in advance.
If one of the rideshare app drivers offers to give you a lower rate than the apps if you pay them in cash “off the record”, please do so only knowing you are now taking the trip at your own risk. Although the cash rate may be cheaper, the rideshare apps include more safety and insurance. Your location will be continually tracked in the app and you can share it with loved ones by turning on that feature. You will also most likely be covered by the rideshare company insurance in the event of an accident. But if you decide to save a few extra dollars in opting for a cash ride off the apps then you won’t have those protections. I don’t recommend doing cash rides off the app for that reason.
Hitch is an Austin-based company that is specifically competing with busses to offer passengers long-distance rides between cities. It will probably be the cheapest option for transportation depending on the time of day.
That being said, there are some caveats:
If you use my referral code, you can currently get $25 off your first ride: https://www.ridehitch.com/r/MPPrVrJLsI
There will be different prices depending on the day and time of day. Please research accordingly.
There are three levels of rides. I recommend ordering the Door to Door service. Even though it is more expensive, it is direct private service from your choice of pickup and destination locations. Whereas the Station to Station service will require extra work and money to get to where you need to go and the rides are potentially shared with others that you do not know.
You can schedule your ride up to 60 clays in advance.
If your flight is cancelled or delayed and you miss your Hitch pickup time, you will not receive a refund. You will receive Hitch credit for the amount you paid as long as you cancelled the ride at least an hour in advance.
If your flight is delayed, you may be able to reschedule another Hitch ride on the same day, but that is not always guaranteed. The pickups usually only run from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
A great thing about Hitch is that the customer service is usually readily available via messaging in the app. They are real people located in Austin. I interact with them frequently and can guarantee that their service is light years ahead of other rideshare apps.
If you order a ride through Hitch, you should be able to communicate with the driver up to an hour in advance and ask them to pick you up in the normal Arrivals area at the airport. But the driver may or may not feel comfortable doing this as it is not the normal course of action for rideshare pickups. If the driver is not comfortable doing this and asks you to go to the designated rideshare pickup area, please follow the instructions below for getting picked up where Lyft and Uber passengers go.
LYFT & UBER
Lyft and Uber are the most popular standard rideshare service providers. Between the two, I prefer Lyft as they offer a modicum of customer service over Uber. Which isn’t saying much as both apps have abysmal customer service. All seemed to be outsourced to overseas providers who seem to be trained to get rid of you as quickly as possible if you are even lucky enough to find the option to contact them (usually only via chat) in the app.
There are designated rideshare pickup and drop-off areas at the Austin airport. The drivers are generally restricted from picking you up and dropping you off anywhere outside of the designated areas.
The drop-off areas are exactly where you would expect them to be right next to the terminal entrances. Just be sure to tell your driver which airline you are flying out on and they should be know where to drop you off in the correct spot at the terminal.
The pickup areas are not as intuitive. I have included information in that regard below. My apologies in advance, but unfortunately the rideshare pickup area for the Austin airport is a lot of work compared to some other airports.
Your Lyft or Uber driver will expect you to be in the designated rideshare pickup area. Do NOT order the rideshare pickup before you reach this area as it will take several minutes to get there. Wait to order the ride until you have retrieved your luggage and have made it over to the designated rideshare pickup area.
Although you cannot see them because they are parked in a different location, there are usually dozens of rideshare drivers waiting in a staging area and ready to pick you up as soon as you order the service. Once you order the ride; the driver will usually arrive in front of you in less than five minutes. However, if you order the service before you are physically in the rideshare pickup area and ready to go, you risk incurring a cancellation fee if you are not able to meet the driver in time.
The walk to the rideshare pickup area is not short or climate-controlled. Plan accordingly if you need to dress for the weather. I also suggest checking in advance with airport personnel if you have physical limitations and need assistance.
In order to get to the rideshare pickup area, first retrieve your baggage. Then exit the terminal into the Arrivals pickup area. Then cross the street to go into the parking garage. And then follow the signs for the Rideshare Pickup area.
You have two options once you enter the parking garage. You can either walk across the entire garage to get to the Rideshare Pickup area on the ground floor of the Rental Car Facility. Or you can wait, depending on the time of day, for a little golf cart shuttle (aka tram) that comes around to transport passengers to the rideshare pickup area so you don’t have to walk all the way across the garage. In the early or late hours of the day, this shuttle may not be running. Please ask an airport employee what times the shuttle runs. They may be able to confirm that information for you.
Once you arrive at the ground floor of the Rental Car Facility in the designated rideshare pickup area, there will be many lanes of vehicles. The traditional taxis (including zTrip vehicles) will be in the first lane. There will be another blue section of lanes next to the taxis. Then there will be two yellow lanes of vehicles. Then two red lanes of vehicles. The Lyft vehicles generally are in the yellow lanes. And the Uber vehicles are generally in the red lanes.
Each colored lane will have numbers on pillars in the garage, ranging from one to eight. When you order your rideshare pickup service, you will specify which color and number you are at. So for example, if you order the ride for pillar Yellow 4, the driver knows to drive into the garage and meet you at the Yellow 4 pillar. Please be sure to be at the correct location when you are being picked up. If you aren’t in the correct location, the driver will legitimately be able to cancel the ride and you will be charged a cancellation fee accordingly.
If you are in the correct location and can’t find the driver, call and message them as soon as possible. If you are having trouble getting cell service in the garage, you can connect for free to the Austin Airport WIFI. Although this is probably not that secure.
UBER & LYFT AIRPORT SCAM
One problem is that there are a few very rude and bad rideshare app drivers that have a scam where they will give an extra phone to someone sitting in the staging area. The person in the staging area with the extra phone will be holding their place in line while the driver is actually out of the airport and taking other rides. When the phone in the staging area is assigned a customer to pickup, the driver may not be anywhere nearby. They may or may not ever come pick you up. And the scam is that you will get so frustrated by them not showing up that you will cancel. And then you may be charged a cancellation fee.
I believe that scam is most often run by Uber drivers more than Lyft drivers. Another reason why I recommend Lyft over Uber.
But in either case, if you see that your driver has been in the same location on the app screen and isn’t moving after at least five minutes, then I’d suggest using the options in the app to reach out to customer support and notify them of the issue and the possibility that you are being scammed. Five minutes should be plenty of time to get moving if the driver was assigned your trip while they were in the restroom or fueling. But anymore than five minutes without them moving from the staging area at all and probably something is up.
The only exception is if you notice that they have moved from the original staging location and then are stuck in traffic on a road that enters the terminal. As the Austin airport sometimes gets super busy and backed up by the entrance of the terminal. You can call the driver from the app to check on them if this is the case. They should answer and confirm.
If they don’t answer or you get a gut feeling that they may be lying, just notice your surroundings. If the majority of other rideshare customers around you are also waiting the same amount of time, then traffic might be the issue. But if everyone around you seems to be getting picked up, especially if they ordered their ride after you, then the driver might be wasting your time.
If you feel like you were being scammed and were not assisted by the apps’ customer service then go ahead and cancel the ride and dispute the charge after the fact. But document all of the trip and driver information by taking screenshots before you cancel the trip.