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Take METRO to Weekend Happenings
 

Montage of three events

With a three-day weekend ahead, the city is chockfull of options to relax and unwind. Whether you're listening to the magic of Mozart, or enjoying life-size comic characters, let's pause to remember our fallen soldiers on Memorial Day.  

Here are some highlights to enjoy. And remember, take METRO.  You'll save on parking, avoid wear-and-tear on your vehicle and keep your carbon footprint down. Plus, you can text nonstop on your ride - unless you're on a date!

Be sure to check Google Trip Planner to find your specific bus from your starting point.

Event: Comicpalooza. Comic book pages come alive at Texas' own international comic convention this weekend. This multi-genre event involves artists, exhibitors, speakers and programs from science fiction, anime, gaming and pop culture.

When: Friday, 10 a.m.-1 0:30 p.m.; Saturday, 12 a.m. - 11 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. - 11:30 p.m.; Monday, 12 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Where: George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas.

Getting there:

METRORail: Red Line, exit at Main Street Square, walk about one-quarter of a mile to the center. Ride free all day Saturday.

Bus: 18 Kirby, 81 Westheimer-Sharpstown, 82 Westheimer-West Oaks

Event: "The Magic Flute." This magical, family-friendly opera combines a compelling plot with beautiful music. The whole family will enjoy this tale of magical flutes, evil queens and dancing bears. Any available free tickets at the Miller Outdoor Theatre box office one hour before performance. Open seating on the hill. 

When: Friday & Saturday, 8 p.m.

Where: Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Dr.

Getting there:

METRORail: Red Line, Exit Hermann Park/Rice University Station. Ride free on Saturday.

Bus: 8 S. Main, 1 Hospital, 65 Bissonnet

Event: "A Photographer's Collection: Gifts from Michael and Michele Marvins." More than 400 photographs form a classic collection of work from the 19th century to the present, including work by Ansel Adams, Philippe Halsman, Gertrude Kasebier, Henri-Cartier-Breson and Walker Evans.

When: Friday & Saturday, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Sunday, 12:15 p.m. - 7 p.m. Through July 5.
Where: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet St.

Getting there:

METRORail: Red Line, exit Museum District Station. Ride free all day Saturday.

Bus: 1 Hospital, 8 S. Main, 65 Bissonnet

RAILFEST 2015 Sold Out
 

RAILFEST Sold Out

METRO's free concert at the BBVA Compass Stadium is sold out. All free tickets have been distributed.

The concert tomorrow celebrates the grand opening of two light-rail lines - the Green Line (East End) and the Purple Line (Southeast).

If you missed out on tickets, you can still take advantage of free METRORail rides all day on Saturday, May 23. Come ride the rail on Saturday and experience Houston's growing transit system.

Better Signage with Final Destinations
 

Cartoon figures waiting at bus shelter

When the New Bus Network rolls out on Aug. 16, look for new, improved bus stop signs.

Every bus stop and vehicle header sign will list the bus route number, the route name and the route destination. This will make it easier for you to know what route to take to get you where you want to go.

Until these new routes are effective on Aug. 16, you'll start to see a poster attached midway on some of the poles at the bus stop. The poster - what we call an infopost - indicates what route will serve that bus stop on Aug. 16. We in the process of attaching these infoposts on our hundreds of bus stops. These infoposts will give you a a preview of what the route number will be, the destination name and how frequently the buses will arrive during peak and regular times. Some of the infoposts will include a map of the route.

Look for the New Bus Network - and better signage coming this summer.

 



RAILFEST: Free Concert & Fireworks
 

RAILFEST 2015 poster

Bring the whole family this Saturday to a free concert that concludes with spectacular fireworks.

RAILFEST 2015 celebrates the grand opening of Houston's Green Line (East End) and Purple Line (Southeast) on Saturday, May 23. Two inaugural trains will meet in front of the BBVA Compass Stadium while the TSU Marching Band performs.

Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Our concert line-up has something for everyone. The Ernest Walker Band, a jazz group from the Southeast area will open, along with Zenteno Spirit, a Latin jazz group from the East End. Frankie J, a Latin R&B singer will later entertain the crowd for about 45 minutes.

The headline act will be NE-YO, a Grammy Award-winner for "Miss Independent" in 2009.

Mayor Annise Parker and METRO officials are also scheduled to speak. Stadium food and drink will be available.

Free tickets are available - but only downloadable ones at the BBVA Compass website. Download your tickets here. The HEB and RideStore tickets are gone. Join us in this historic event for Houston. It's your rail - come celebrate with us!

Signs Feature ID Numbers
   

Girl textingThe New Bus Network means better signs to help you navigate our system.

You will see new bus stop signs - and on each sign is a bus stop number. Text that number to a short code in the "to" field of your messaging app. You'll get the next bus arrival in a text message on your phone. There is no downloadable app to install on your phone. METRO pays for a service that texts real-time bus arrival.  

On Aug. 16, the New Bus Network starts. So get ready to enjoy our new network - and never again wonder when the next bus is coming. Start enjoying our better signage, and simply send a text starting Aug. 16 to find when the next bus arrives.  

Bags Over Bus Stop Signs

Bag over bus stop sign

If you’ve been riding our local buses, you’ve probably noticed plastic bags over our bus stop signs. Our bus stop signs are getting a makeover.

We have bagged all of our hundreds of bus stop signs. The bag gives you the current route information associated with bus stop. On Aug. 16, when the New Bus Network starts, the bags will be removed to reveal any new numbers and names of that route.

Check out this short video to find out why we’ve bagged our bus stop signs.

 

NE-YO Live in Concert: Free!

NE-YO with rail lines behind him

Come to a free concert to hear Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter NE-YO  this Saturday at RAILFEST 2015.

METRO is celebrating the grand opening of its two light-rail lines – the Green Line (East End) and the Purple Line (Southeast) at a free music festival on Saturday, May 23, at the BBVA Stadium. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. NE-YO is scheduled to perform around 7:45 p.m.

Shaffer Chimere Smith, known by his stage name NE-YO, is a rhythm and blues musician, who also produces records, dances and acts. He rose to fame when he wrote the 2004 hit, “Let Me Love You” for singer Mario.

NE-YO was born in Camden, Ark., of an African-American and Chinese father and an African-American mother. Both parents were musicians.

NE-YO’s Grammy Awards include “Best Contemporary R&B Album” for “Because of You” in 2009, followed a year later with two Grammys – “Best Male R&B Vocal Performance” and “Best R&B Song” for “Miss Independent.”

The TSU Marching Band will open the event at 5 p.m. as inaugural trains from the Green and Purple Lines meet in front of the stadium. Other musical groups performing include the Earnest Walker Band , Zenteno Spirit and Frankie J.

Download your free tickets here, or pick up tickets at METRO’s RideStore at 1900 Main or 1001 Travis, or any of these HEB grocery stores . Tickets are limited to four per person. 

 

 

Better Signage
 

Signs lined up that say: Bus Stop

The New Bus Network means we're giving you better bus stop signs to help you get you around.

Starting Aug. 16, every bus stop sign will list more detailed information to help you get you to your final stop. We'll have an updated route numbering system that will help riders navigate the system.

We'll also have route names that align with the primary street of travel. So if you're commuting down Bellaire, the route will be called the 2 Bellaire.

Another new feature: Every bus stop sign will list the final destination of that route, helping to eliminate confusion of which bus to take. Some of the bus stop signs will include a close-up of the route map.

We hope these new signs will make it easier for you to ride our system. In fact, we think you'll like these changes so much that we are predicting our ridership will grow by 20 percent in two years.

The New Bus Network. We're giving you better signage to improve your METRO experience. Watch for it on Aug. 16.

Weekend Fun with METRO
 

 

Montage of events

If you're in the mood for romance, check out a love story that unfolds in dance. Or get your groove on with morning yoga al fresco. At night, sit back and listen to a folk-singing legend.

Houston's full of fun activities this weekend, and you get to do it all with METRO.

Take METRO, don't worry about finding a parking space and relax to and from your event. Be sure to check the Trip Planner to find the exact bus from your starting point.

Event: "Giselle." Watch this classic tale of love and betrayal unfold on stage as the Houston Ballet brings to life the story of a beautiful peasant girl deceived by a count. Free tickets for covered seating are available at the box office of Miller Outdoor Theatre from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. or you can find open seating on the hill.

When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday - 8 p.m.

Where: Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Dr.

Getting there:

Bus: 1 Hospital, 8 S. Main, 65 Bissonnet

METRORail: Red Line, exit Hermann Park/Rice University Station

Event: "Blissful Warrior Yoga." Start your weekend by unwinding and rejuvenating with yoga. Stretch and breathe outdoors in this free class as you learn the basics of vinyasa yoga, breath and fluidity. Bring your own mat, towel and water.

When: Saturday, 9 to 10 a.m.

Where: Discovery Green Park, 1500 McKinney

Getting there:

Bus: 1 Hospital, 5 Kashmere/Southmore, 9 N. Main, 11 Nance/Almeda, 18 Kirby, 30 Clinton/Cullen, 36 Kempwood/Lawndale, 37 El Sol, 40 Pecore/Telephone, 48 Navigation, 50 Heights/Harrisburg, 52 Hirsch/Scott, 53 Westheimer/Briarforest, 66 Yale/Airline, 77 Liberty/MLK, 80 Lyons/Dowling, 81 Westheimer/Sharpstown, 85 Antoine, 131 Memorial.

METRORail: Red Line, exit Main Street Square Station.

Event: John Prine. Enjoy a concert by American country/folk singer-songwriter Prine, who's been composing and performing since the early 1970s. Prine learned to play the guitar at age 14, and now this Illinois native is delighting audiences nationwide.  

When: Saturday, 8 p.m.

Where: Cullen Performance Hall, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun

Getting there:

Bus: 30 Clinton/Cullen, 77 Liberty/MLK, 80 Lyons/Dowling


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Route 80 MLK/Lockwood: New & Improved
 

Route 80 Lockwood/MLK icon 

If you ride the Route 80 Lockwood/MLK, get ready for a new, improved ride.

Starting in mid-August when our New Bus Network rolls out, you'll experience a better route that is straighter with fewer branches.

Right now on Lockwood, METRO operates Routes 26 Outer Loop, 27 Inner Loop 40 Telephone, 42 Holman and 80 Dowling. Each of these routes only runs on a portion of this section. The 42 Holman does not operate on Sunday.

The New Bus Network is transforming this slow, cumbersome route into a streamlined route that will get you to places you want to go - and get you there quicker seven days a week. On the New Bus Network, the 80/Lockwood/MLK will run north to south will include these connecting routes:  45 Tidwell, 6 Jensen and the 20 Canal. 

Better connections and better routes are coming in August.  The New Bus Network has been built to give you faster, more reliable trips.

 

An Invitation to RAILFEST 2015
 

RAILFEST poster

Get your free tickets now and join us as we celebrate the grand opening of two light-rail lines.

You're invited to a free concert on Saturday, May 23, at the BBVA Compass Stadium where Grammy Award winner NE-YO will be the headline act. You can also hop on the train all day on May 23 for free rides.

You'll also get to enjoy the Ernest Walker Band, a jazz group from the Southeast area, along with Zenteno Spirit, a Latin jazz group from the East End. Frankie J, a Mexican-American R & B singer, will also perform.

The Green Line (East End) runs along Harrisburg through the historic East End, and the Purple Line (Southeast) travels through one of the city's oldest African-American neighborhoods.

You can pick up tickets at the RideStore at 1900 Main or at 1001 Travis, at our booth at the Fannin South Park & Ride, at any of these HEB grocery stores (limit four per person at HEB). Or download tickets now at the BBVA Compass Stadium website.

Take the Purple Line and ride for free, then exit at the EADO/Stadium Station.

Doors open at 4:30 p.m. to all ticket holders. At 5 p.m., inaugural trains from the Green and Purple Lines will meet in front of the stadium while the TSU Marching Band performs. A fireworks exhibit around 9 p.m. will conclude the festivities.

Houston, we've got rail! See you at the stadium. 

Route 27 Shepherd: A Better Route
 

Route 27 Shepherd icon 

If you've ever ridden the 27 Shepherd, you know that our current service is irregular and infrequent on weekends.

That's about to change this August. 

The New Bus Network starts with our service changes on Aug. 16. Bus operators will be driving a straighter, grid-like pattern to get you where you need to go - faster.

Right now, the 27 Shepherd is served by Routes 26 Outer Loop, 27 Inner Loop and 50 Heights. With the New Bus Network, the streamlined 27 will operate between the North Shepherd Park & Ride lot on the north and the Texas Medical Center Transit Center on the south.

On portions of this route, the headways will improve from a bus scheduled every 45 minutes to one scheduled every 15 minutes on weekends, as well as having a longer span of service. Additionally, this new route will provide connections to more than 30 local routes along the way, including eight other frequent routes: 2 Bellaire, 4 Beechnut, 25 Richmond, 26 Long Point/Calvacade, 65 Bissonnet, 82 Westheimer, 85 Antoine/Washington and 402 Bellaire Quickline.

The New Bus Network will improve your life by giving you a simpler route that's easier to understand. Buses on the red network will come every 15 minutes or less, connecting more people to more jobs. Watch for it this August.

Celebrate RAILFEST 2015
 

RAILFEST 2015 train and fireworks

You're invited to a city-wide party as we celebrate the grand opening of our two new light-rail lines - the Green Line (East End) and the Purple Line (Southwest).

On Saturday, May 23, the Green Line will begin operating along Harrisburg through the historic East End and the Purple Line will travel through one of Houston's oldest African-American neighborhoods.

You can ride METRORail free all day on May 23 - and take the Green Line (exit at EADO/Stadium Station) to our free concert at BBVA Compass Stadium. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. The concert kicks off with the Ernest Walker Band, Zentano Spirit, Mario Havikoro Dancers and Herman Charles Dancers. Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum recording artist Frankie J performs at 7 p.m. Frankie J was born in Tijuana, Mexico, and is a former member of the musical group Kumbia Kings.

The headliner act at RAILFEST 2015 is Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, NE-YO, scheduled to perform at 8 p.m. An American R&B singer, NE-YO won a Grammy in 2009 for "Miss Independent."

The evening will conclude with a fireworks finale at 9 p.m.

Get your free tickets at the RideStore at 1900 Main or these HEB grocery stores (limit four per person). Or go to the BBVA Compass Stadium website and download tickets.

 

Popular 2 Bellaire Route is Getting Faster
 

Route 2 Bellaire icon 

METRO's New Bus Network is giving you better routes.

Take, for example, the heavily traveled Route 2 Bellaire. For the past five years, this has been one of the top five routes for our customers - weekdays and weekends. The 2 Bellaire now has two branches: the Westchase branch and the Alief branch.

The New Bus Network has redesigned the 2 Bellaire and pared it down to only one branch.

In addition, the complex routing west of the Mission Bend facility has disappeared in the new network. In the New Bus Network, the 2 Bellaire will terminate at the Mission Bend facility.

This streamlined route will get you to all the places you want to go along the 2 Bellaire, whether it's shopping at the PlazAmericas Shopping Mall or eating dim sum in Chinatown.  As part of the frequent, red network, the 2 Bellaire will arrive at a bus stop on its route every 15 minutes or better, including on weekends.  Take a look at our interactive map and click here to see how our current system map will compare to our New Bus Network system map.

The New Bus Network is bringing you better routes starting in August.

Straighter, Simpler Routes
 

Better Routes icon

A straight line from Point A to Point B gets you there faster than a curved line.

Now METRO's New Bus Network has been redesigned to give you routes that are straighter with fewer branches, making it easier to get you to the places you need without relying on a schedule.

This new, grid-like pattern offers a much better match to where you work, play and live. The seven-day-a-week service will connect more people to more places with faster trips, now that the routes have been streamlined.  This strong grid of well-spaced frequent routes allows easier connections.

We have reimagined our local bus routes because you asked for it. You wanted improved, more reliable service. Now the New Bus Network delivers that. Look for it starting in mid-August, then start riding straighter routes to get you from Point A to Point B. We think you'll like our New Bus Network so much we expect it to grow by 20 percent in two years.

Check out our current map compared to our New Bus Network system map.

Weekend Happenings with METRO: May 8 to 10
 

Montage of weekend events

It's the weekend, and there are plenty of fun events for you and your family to enjoy. Whatever you choose to do, consider taking METRO. You can text the entire time, save money on parking and arrive home safely after partying. And to all the moms - Happy Mother's Day!

Check out our Trip Planner to find the specific bus or train you need to take from your starting point. Here are some highlights for the weekend:

Event: "Sons de L'ame (Sounds of the Soul)." Houston Ballet's Stanton Welch created elegant and dazzling ballet, collaborating with famed pianist Lang Lang of China to create Sons de L'ame. The ballet integrates 12 Chopin pieces and is danced by 16 of the Houston Ballet's best dancers. Filmed in Paris, view it free now under the stars.

When: Friday, 8:30 p.m.

Where: Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Dr.

Getting there:

METRORail: Red Line, exit Hermann Park/Rice University Station

Bus: 1 Hospital, 8 S. Main, 65 Bissonnet

Event: Houston Palestine Film Festival. The festival opens with two films that portray Palestinian lives around the world. In "The Wanted 18," a small Palestinian town seeks independence by secretly buying a herd of cows. In "Villa Touma," three spinster sisters groom their orphaned niece into becoming a fine young lady.

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston - Brown Auditorium Theater, 1001 Bissonnet

Getting there:

METRORail: Red Line, exit Museum District Station

Bus: 1 Hospital, 8 S. Main, 65 Bissonnet

Event: "Two Old Guys Sitting Around Talking." If you like Seinfeld, you'll probably enjoy this comedy of two old black guys, competing for the affections of a woman in a decades-old rivalry. They meet daily on a park bench and argue - and portray life, love and friendship.

Where: Ensemble Theatre, 3535 Main St.

When: Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m. Through May 31.

Getting there:

METRORail: Red Line, exit Ensemble/HCC Station

Bus: 1 Hospital, 9 N. Main, 11 Almeda, 42 Holman, 60 S. MacGregor, 78 Alabama (Friday only)

 

Working on Weekends
 

Sign that says: I love Sunday 

Weekends just got better with the New Bus Network. So if you are thinking of working a part-time weekend job, or you want to tell your boss you're available on the weekend, go ahead.

On weekends, our red network will bring buses every 15 minutes or less - just like on weekdays. Currently, our Saturday service provides significantly less service than on weekdays.  And on Sundays? Even less service than on Saturdays.

No more. Get to your weekend work on time - and return home to enjoy a movie and eat with your family. The New Bus Network is making your weekends better.

New improved weekends start in August. And we expect that so many of you will like this New Bus Network that our ridership will increase by 20 percent in two years.

 

 

 

 

What Day is It?
 

Couple sitting on bench at bus stop

You might even forget it's a Saturday when you ride our New Bus Network.

Starting in August, the New Bus Network is bringing you weekend service that matches our weekday service.
On our red and blue networks - and 73 percent of our current riders will be using these two networks - buses will arrive every 15 minutes or better on the red network, and every 16 to 30 minutes on the blue network.

With the New Bus Network, weekend service will match non-peak, weekday service. No longer will weekends be distinguished by slow service.

No matter what day of the week, expect a bus every 15 minutes or less if you’re on our frequent, red network. Weekends just got better.

Dance the Night Away
 

Silhouette of people dancing 

Ok, you've never really made weekend dates, depending on a bus to get you there and back because our weekend service was so much slower than our weekday service.

Now you can relax.

Our frequent, red network offers a bus every 15 minutes or better. Our blue network brings a bus every 16 to 30 minutes. And our green network brings buses every 60 minutes or less.  

This reimagined weekend service will improve your life. If you're dating someone, you can go out to more restaurants, clubs and events, knowing with confidence that METRO will show up at the bus stop within minutes.

The New Bus Network. It will give you the courage to get on match.com, knowing you can take the bus and impress a new date by getting there on time. It starts in August.

Weekends Just Got Better
 

Street sign reading: "Weekend" with arrow pointing to right

If you're a regular weekend rider, you know that before you leave home, you need to grab a magazine and a fully-charged phone. That's because you know that on weekends you'll be waiting at a bus stop. And waiting. And waiting.

That's changing this August. The New Bus Network has just made weekends a whole lot better. If you're catching a bus on our frequent, red network - no need to consult a schedule. Just run out to your bus stop because a bus will come every 15 minutes or less. Even on Sunday.

The New Bus Network is giving you simpler, seven-days-a-week service, connecting more people to more places - and doing it faster.

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