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Hands-0n Transit for the Young
Thursday, May 11, 2017 4:49 PM

Middle school students on METRO field trip

This is a guest post by Monica Russo, METRO media specialist.

METRO Board Member Christof Spieler is used to giving lectures.

In addition to serving as vice-president and director of planning at engineering firm Huitt-Zollars, he teaches at Rice University’s School of Architecture and advises student design-build programs at Rice and the University of Houston.

But the group sitting before him recently is a much younger set. Middle school students from The Post Oak School have arrived to learn more about public transportation and its impact on mobility in Houston.

Students listen intently as Spieler discusses public policy, METRO’s New Bus Network, and the use of multi-modal transportation to solve congestion. There are periodic pauses throughout the lecture as students ask questions.

“We’re doing an intensive week-long city study of Houston,” says Jami Sweeney, Post Oak Middle School director. He says METRO is one of several government and civic organizations students are visiting that week. The field trips give children an opportunity to observe and experience the workings of local government.

“We know METRO is a big piece of quality of life and mobility around the city,” he adds.

Once Spieler concludes his lecture, students break for lunch and return to ride a METRORail train to the Rail Operations Center, also known as the ROC. There, kids are introduced to METRO safety personnel who discuss safety and offer a tour of the facility, including the rail yard and dispatch center.

Ramona Crayton, METRO senior Public Affairs representative, says the field trips are one of the highlights of her job. “Inviting school children to tour our facilities and learn about transit is rewarding,” she says. “These kids are the next generation, and it’s important we show them how vital public transportation is to this city and its overall quality of life.”

For more information on how your school can learn more about METRO and public transportation, contact 713-635-4000.

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