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April 2008 - Posts

New Episode on METRO Matters TV Show
Our second episode of METRO Matters , our mini-TV talk show that launched last month, begins its 30-day airing this Saturday at 6:35 p.m. The show features Erik Oistad, chief information officer and vice president at METRO, who tells us how METRO accomplished Read More...
METRO Names New Contractor for METRO Solutions
Calling it a planned detour on an off-ramp, METRO released Washington Group International (WGI) as its lead facility provider and today named Parsons Transportation Group as its new lead contractor, tasked to do $12 million of work on three light-rail Read More...
Don’t Hold Back: Web Chat This Friday
Come join us for our fourth Web chat, Transit Talk, once again hosted by our President and CEO, Frank J. Wilson. It will be this Friday, May 2, from noon to 1 p.m. Ask anything you’re curious about – as long as it’s METRO-related. Are Read More...
METRO's Quarterly Financial Report Offers Good News
From Q Card usage to wait times for customer service, METRO reported numbers that met or exceeded goals at yesterday’s monthly board meeting. Here’s a summary of what Frank J. Wilson, president and CEO, reported to the Board of Directors: Read More...
Traffic Congestion: No. One Issue
What is the biggest problem facing the Houston area today: traffic, the economy or crime? Traffic congestion was the top concern, according to the 2008 Houston Area Survey, an annual survey conducted since 1982 and produced by Stephen L. Klineberg of Read More...
FTA Chief Lauds Congestion Pricing as 21st-Century Solution
Recently, New York legislators voted down a congestion pricing plan that would have charged motorists $8 to enter Manhattan south of 60th Street on weekdays. That was short-sighted and disappointing, said James S. Simpson, administrator at the Federal Read More...
Earth Day: Perfect Day for Transit
Today is Earth Day, a day celebrated by almost 1 billion people around the world with concerts, rallies and neighborhood clean-up events, according to Earth Day Network , an organization which started the first Earth Day in 1970. Even cartoonists are Read More...
Take the Train to the Zoo
The past few weekends have been some of Houston's best: sunny, blue skies, low humidity. It has been perfect zoo weather for families with children. And that means parking congestion. This past weekend, more than 26,000 people visited the zoo. In Read More...
Areas with Long Commutes Suffer Steeper Decline in Housing Prices
Houses that are close to public transit or close to work are maintaining their value or increasing in value, compared to neighborhoods that require a long commute. That's what a report today on National Public Radio indicates. In the suburbs surrounding Read More...
Q Card Kiosks at Transit Centers Shutting Down
Now that we've completed the switch from the myriad ways to pay for a bus or train trip to Q Card or cash, we are gradually closing the Q Card sales booth at our transit centers which were set up specifically to dispense Q Cards and load balances. Read More...
METRO Celebrates Earth Day with Green Drive
Herbal tea giveaways are just one way METRO plans to celebrate Earth Day at the Houston Zoo and the Houston Arboretum this weekend. Next Tuesday is Earth Day, but starting this weekend, you'll find METRO tables full of brochures and freebies that Read More...
New Commuter Hybrid Coaches Coming
Bus aficionados may have noticed our new MCI commuter hybrid bus driving around town. It’s the first of 52 hybrid-electric suburban commuter coaches we’ll be adding to our fleet by summer’s end. These 45-foot hybrid coaches look just Read More...
Big Brother is Watching You
By now, most motorists know that at many of Houston's intersections, Big Brother is watching you - at least electronically. The city's red-light cameras have helped officials catch 230,000 vehicles since the cameras went online in September 2006. Read More...
Pushing the Cowboy Out of the Driver's Seat
One of our frequent blog readers wrote a piece for the Houston Chronicle yesterday, urging Houstonians to carpool and fight the enemy: single-occupancy vehicles. Peter Wang, a geophysicist in the oilfield services and a board member of the Citizens' Read More...
A Web-based Tool Navigates Traffic Jams
How many times have we sat stuck in traffic and wished we had known that a car had just broken down, blocking one of two lanes of traffic? Well, now Microsoft has invented a Web-based service that uses complicated software models to help drivers bypass Read More...
Train Riders Rate DART A-Plus
Commuters in the Big D are giving high marks to their commuter rail service. Dallas Area Rapid Transit just completed a survey - and more than 90 percent of the respondents said they were satisfied with DART's service, with 93 percent saying they Read More...
No More Charter Buses at METRO
After this month, METRO will no longer be providing charter bus service for special events. That's because of a new federal rule calling for the first major change to charter bus regulations in 20 years. Effective April 30, public transportation operators Read More...
Light Rail in San Antonio?
With gas prices averaging $3.24 a gallon in Texas, residents of San Antonio are rethinking the value of light rail. Eight years ago, San Antonio defeated a proposal for light rail which called for a main line to run from Highway 281 North and Loop 1604 Read More...
METRO Unveils Robust Web Site
If you're reading this blog, you're on our Web site and may have noticed a whole new look and feel to our home page. We have just completed a 10-month project redesigning our Web site that will be easier for you to use. "We added a lot more Read More...
Chatting with CEO on Hot Lanes & Airport Express Bus
We just finished our third Web chat we conducted at noon today with president and CEO Frank J. Wilson. Our topic was our new METRO Airport Express service we're planning to launch in August, and HOT lanes - high occupancy toll lanes in which single Read More...
Walking to Reduce Carbon Footprint
Anyone who lives here knows that Houston is not a walkable city. There may be pockets of streets where you can walk from office to restaurant to dry cleaners. But there are few walking neighborhoods. A report today on National Public Radio features a Read More...