Happy Wednesday.

🌤 Today's weather: Very pleasant. Partly sunny with a high of 74°.

🎧 Sounds like: "The Good Life" by singer-songwriter Devon Gilfillian, who will perform at 12pm today at High Noon.

🎂 Happy belated birthday to Axios Austin member Celia Bell. Consider supporting our work, too, by becoming a member.

Today's newsletter is 873 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Light rail might not reach airport

A map of Project Connect light-rail options. Screenshot of Austin Transit Partnership briefing material

Transit officials are now considering scratching a plan to link a new light-rail line to the airport as part of an effort to rein in the ballooning costs of the city's transit expansion effort.

Why it matters: It's the latest sign that the voter-approved plan to more effectively connect Austin together may not be fully realized.

What's happening: Of five Project Connect light-rail options presented in transit briefing material earlier this month to city staff and obtained by Axios, only one appears to make it to the airport — with another two terminating near the intersection of Riverside and Texas 71.

  • The final two options appear to reach only to Riverside and Pleasant Valley, about 4.5 miles from the airport.

What they're saying: "Austin Transit Partnership has been working diligently since last summer to develop updated Austin light-rail options that will fulfill the will of the voters by meeting the community's needs and staying within budget," Greg Canally, executive director of Austin Transit Partnership, which is in charge of Project Connect, said in a statement.

Between the lines: The potential revision comes as state lawmakers are hammering the project as unnecessary and costly — and have proposed returning the project to voters.

Catch up quick: Driven by real estate prices and spiking inflation, cost estimates for the project's two planned light-rail lines, including a potential downtown tunnel, have increased from $5.8 billion to $10.3 billion.

What's next: Project Connect kicks off another round of community engagement with an open house at the Austin Central Library on March 21 from 4-7pm.

Dig deeper

2. Q&A: ATX Women in Web3 founder Megan Murray

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Courtesy of Megan Murray.

Artificial intelligence may be the new, shiny object of South by Southwest, but there's still plenty of buzz around the Web3 movement.

Catch up quick: Web3 is an attempt by developers and investors to build the third generation of the internet, this time on a foundation of cryptocurrency and blockchain tech, Axios' Scott Rosenberg writes.

  • Cryptocurrency enthusiasts and their venture-capitalist backers — all mostly men — have raised tens of billions of dollars to build it.

By the numbers: A recent report from BCG X, the tech build and design unit of Boston Consulting Group, found that only 13% of Web3 founding teams include a woman and only 3% of companies have a team that is exclusively female.

We caught up with Megan Murray, a co-founder of ATX Women in Web3, in the midst of SXSW to chat about addressing the gender gap in Web3.

Q: To what do you attribute the gender divide among Web3 founders?

A: With any new technology, we see this. We see a huge influx of men. We really need to focus on onboarding women in the early stages of new technology, otherwise it's just not going to happen.

What's next: Expect to see ATX Women in Web3 during the Consensus conference in Austin later this year.

Read the full Q&A

3. 🤠 The Roundup: Wrangling the news

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Rick Kern/Getty Images

🏀 Ben Affleck and Matt Damon's Nike drama "AIR" will make a surprise debut at SXSW as the festival's closing night film. (Variety)

🔨 A Bastrop man is one of only nine competitors remaining in Caterpillar’s Global Operator Challenge in Las Vegas, which tests workers' skills and knowledge in operating construction machines. (KXAN)

💧 A spike in boaters, paddlers and foot traffic is hurting Lady Bird Lake, per a new study commissioned by the city. (KVUE)

4. 🎨 Day 6: SXSW panel picker

Comedian and actress Rachel Sennott performs onstage at "We Used To Be Funny" at The Creek and the Cave on March 13 in Austin. Photo: Hutton Supancic/Getty Images for SXSW

Hey, day six. Here we go:

🎶 Start your morning at the first day of KUTX Live at Scholz Garten, with performances from Jane Leo, Baby Rose, The Heavy Heavy, Son Rompe Pera and XXX. It runs from 7-11am, and a $10 admission fee gets you into the show and unlimited coffee.

🎨 Listen to a discussion about "The Decentralization of Art as We Know It" at 10am in the Austin Convention Center, room 10AB.

🎬 Watch a screening of "I Used to be Funny," starring Rachel Sennott, who plays the role of an aspiring stand-up comedian struggling with PTSD as she decides whether to search for a missing teenage girl she used to babysit. Show begins at 11am in the Rollins Theatre at the Long Center.

🎸 End your night at C-Boy's Heart & Soul's SoCo Stomp, a five-day music showcase that kicks off today.

On the job hunt?

💼 Check out the fresh open positions in the city.

  1. Sr. Staff Business Enablement Lead at Luminex.
  2. Manager Service at ASM.
  3. Senior Manager, Growth Sales at Instacart.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

5. 🎸 Photo to go: Emotional baggage claim

Boygenius’ Phoebe Bridgers (L), Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus (R) gave two surprise performances in the airport Tuesday. Photo: Nicole Cobler/Axios

Indie rock band Boygenius gave two surprise performances during South by Southwest on Tuesday, but didn’t have to travel that far.

Driving the news: The supergroup formed by Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus avoided the SXSW traffic. Instead, the trio stayed put at the airport, first surprising travelers at an unassuming stage near baggage claim before moving to the “Asleep at the Wheel” stage near gate 19 in the main terminal.

  • A crowd of roughly 50 people gathered — many with their luggage — while dozens of others continued milling about, waiting for their suitcases at nearby carousels.
Boygenius performs to a small crowd near baggage claim in the airport. Photo: Nicole Cobler/Axios

Worth noting: The band initially asked if they could rock out on a baggage carousel — the obvious choice for an airport performance — but airport security told them no, an officer told reporters.

What they're saying: After performing for about 45 minutes, including an unreleased song, Bridgers told travelers to "Fly safe!"

Thanks to Hadley Malcolm for editing and Kate Sommers-Dawes and Keely Bastow for copy editing this newsletter.

🥇 Asher is watching videos of the revolutionary high jumper Dick Fosbury, who died Sunday.

😭 Nicole can't believe she saw Phoebe Bridgers.