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Weekend Fun with METRO: March 24-26

Montage of events 

This is a guest post by Darla Bell, manager of Strategic Analysis in Communications & Marketing. 

Since this is the first weekend of spring, let’s go outside for our weekend entertainment.  I’m recommending three events in parks – and there’s something to appeal to every member of your family.  We have kite flying for all the kids, skateboarding for the older kids (and braver young-at-heart adults), and an art festival that will entertain all of you.  The temperatures are forecast to be in the high 70s to low 80s, so the weather is on your side.

If you like these ideas or have any other plans for fun, METRO has the transportation to get you there.  Just go to RideMETRO.org and plan your trip with our Trip Planner.  You’ll be on your way before you know it – and with a lot less stress than if you drive.  Enjoy these moderate temps – spring has sprung!

Event:  Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark.  The Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark was the first world-class, in-ground skatepark in our region.  After being closed nearly a year for renovations, this 30,000 square-foot facility has re-opened to welcome skaters of all skill levels.  You’ll find many skating platforms, rails and pits that challenge even the most experienced skater.  The park is open seven days a week, and admission is free.  Don’t forget your helmet – it’s required.

When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Where: Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark in Buffalo Bayou Park, 103 Sabine St.

Getting there*:

Bus – 30 Clinton/Ella, 40 Telephone/Heights, 41 Kirby/Polk, 44 Acres Homes, 85 Antoine/Washington

Event:  Bayou City Art Festival.  What a nice idea – spending the day in the park, viewing the works of more than 300 artists in 19 different disciplines.  And if you feel like a little spring redecorating, you can buy some new art to incorporate into your home.  You’ll also enjoy music, local food vendors, beverages, entertainment, gigantic bubbles, a Children’s Creative Zone and more.  A portion of festival proceeds goes to local non-profit organizations (this year – A Cause to Give us Paws, ESCAPE Family Resource Center, Fresh Arts, Lawndale Art Center, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The Arc of Greater Houston). Tickets are available online and at the gate.

When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Memorial Park, 6501 Memorial Dr. (at S. Picnic Lane)

Getting there*:

Bus – 20 Canal/Memorial (exit Memorial & Picnic Ln.)

Event:  4th Annual Hermann Park Conservancy Kite Festival.  Remember the rhyme, “March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers”?  We’re hoping March breezes will lift our kites high into the sky at this annual festival celebrating kite flying.  Kites of all shapes and sizes will float over Miller Hill and the Jones Reflection Pool at the free family event featuring interactive activities and entertainment - kite making, face painting, food trucks, wandering entertainment and a whole lot more.

When:  Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Hermann Park, 6001 Fannin St.

Getting there*:

Bus – 56 Airline/Montrose

METRORail – Red Line (exit Hermann Park/Rice U Station)

*Suggested connections as provided by our Customer Care Center; more convenient routes may vary per individual needs.

 

 

 

Bus – 30 Clinton/Ella, 40 Telephone/Heights, 41 Kirby/Polk, 44 Acres Homes, 85 Antoine/Washington

Event:  Bayou City Art Festival.  What a nice idea – spending the day in the park, viewing the works of more than 300 artists in 19 different disciplines.  And if you feel like a little spring redecorating, you can buy some new art to incorporate into your home.  You’ll also enjoy music, local food vendors, beverages, entertainment, gigantic bubbles, a Children’s Creative Zone and more.  A portion of festival proceeds goes to local non-profit organizations (this year – A Cause to Give us Paws, ESCAPE Family Resource Center, Fresh Arts, Lawndale Art Center, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The Arc of Greater Houston). Tickets are available online and at the gate.

When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Memorial Park, 6501 Memorial Dr. (at S. Picnic Lane)

Getting there*:

Bus – 20 Canal/Memorial (exit Memorial & Picnic Ln.)

Event:  4th Annual Hermann Park Conservancy Kite Festival.  Remember the rhyme, “March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers”?  We’re hoping March breezes will lift our kites high into the sky at this annual festival celebrating kite flying.  Kites of all shapes and sizes will float over Miller Hill and the Jones Reflection Pool at the free family event featuring interactive activities and entertainment - kite making, face painting, food trucks, wandering entertainment and a whole lot more.

When:  Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Hermann Park, 6001 Fannin St.

Getting there*:

Bus – 56 Airline/Montrose

METRORail – Red Line (exit Hermann Park/Rice U Station)

*Suggested connections as provided by our Customer Care Center; more convenient routes may vary per individual needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Sons of Late MPD Officer Rescue Senior Neighbor
Phillip and Joseph Suarez, son of late MPD officer Phillip

 

Joseph and Phillip Suarez grew up in a household where helping strangers was routine. Their dad was the late MPD Officer Phillip Suarez and their mom, Marcy, works in HR at METRO.

On Feb. 23, the boys heard a cry for help while they were on the way to school in Kingwood. Their 92-year-old neighbor had fallen and was alone for 20 minutes until the boys arrived.

“We heard her yelling, and I turned around because I had a bad feeling about it,” Phillip told ABC-13 news.

Added Joseph, “She said she just kind of blacked out for a second, and she fell.”

Today, the boys will be honored with a certificate from the METRO Board of Directors, who will recognize the 12 and 14-year olds for their brave act. To them, it was something their dad would have done. The brothers say they want to be police officers when they grow up.

“We have to do the right thing,” said Phillip.

Thank you, Phillip and Joseph, for your good and courageous deed.

Texting While Driving Hikes Insurance Rates




Person driving and texting

We all know that texting while driving is a dangerous distraction. But many of us can’t help sneaking a peek at our phones, telling ourselves we are simply reading a message or a map, but not trying to write while our vehicle is hurling along at 55 miles per hour.


Now Money magazine reports that texting is also hurting our pocketbooks. More people are crashing due to texting - and insurers are now raising premiums. While cars are becoming safer due to more technology, drivers are using their smartphones more while driving - and more people are dying on the road.


Last year, 40,200 people died in traffic accidents, an increase of 14 percent over 2014. More accidents mean more costs for insurance companies - and insurers are passing on the costs to consumers. In Massachusetts, auto premiums are jumping 3 to 6 percent, coming on the heels of a 2016 rate hike ranging from 6 to 9 percent. In North Carolina, insurers are asking for rate hikes averaging 13.8 percent. 


Experts say the increased use of smartphones while driving is contributing to the rate hikes. 

May we offer an alternative? Ride METRO. The Park & Ride buses are a convenient way to get to work from the suburbs. As you zip along an HOV/HOT lane, you can text and catch up on email on your commute. 


I’ve recently started riding a Park & Ride bus. Almost every rider is on his or her phone - or sleeping. Longer public transit rides are perfect for using smartphones. 

Public Hearing on Service Changes on March 30

Bus with arrow pointing right and "Service Changes" written on it.

Here’s your chance to tell us what you think about our bus routes and schedules that we plan to tweak  with service changes on June 27.

METRO is scheduled to conduct a public hearing on Thursday, March 30, at 12 noon at 1900 Main.

Here are some proposed changes:

On the 11 Almeda/Lyons, the 29 Cullen/Hirsch and the 30 Clinton/Ella, we are adjusting running times between timepoints to make the schedule more reliable.

On the 68 Braeswood, we are extending trips that end at Elmsworth to Beechnut via S. Course, Spice, Wilcrest and Beechnut.

On the 228 Addicks Park & Ride, we are adding a 9 a.m. inbound trip to relieve overcrowding. For those who report to work early, we are modifying 5 a.m. outbound and 5 p.m. inbound trips to serve the Shell Woodcreek facility.

Learn more about all of our proposed changes here.

If you have questions or comments, you can call us at 713-639-4000 or email us here.

Rodeo Round-up with METRO

Florida Georgia Line musical group

Whether you’re into upbeat country tunes with a pop sound or classic rock ‘n roll, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has plenty of first-class entertainment in its final week  - and METRO has just the way to get you there.

Tonight, you can hear Florida Georgia Line, a country  music group who has captured 17 industry awards and rocked the charts with “Cruise.” Tomorrow, you can catch ZZ Top, a legendary rock group from the 1970s, who mix Texas blues with rock instrumentation.

METRO has a convenient and easy way to get to the rodeo. Simply climb aboard one of our shuttles, which will take you right to NRG Park from the West Loop Transit Center, or any of these Park & Ride lots: Maxey Road, Monroe, or North Shepherd.

Round-trip shuttle prices are only $4 from any of the pick-up points, except for North Shepherd Park & Ride which is $6.50.

Inbound shuttles to NRG Park run from 5 to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends.
Worried about partying late and catching a shuttle back to your car? The last outbound shuttle from NRG Park departs at 1 a.m. on weekdays and at 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

You can also catch METRORail. If you park at Fannin South Transit Center, just park and pay $20 cash. Then board the Red Line, and every passenger in your vehicle receives one free, round-trip ticket.  NRG Park is only one station away.

Find other parking options along METRORail here.

So enjoy the rodeo, party hard – and then sit back and relax on METRO as we take you to and from your car.

Weekend Fun with METRO: March 17-19

Montage of events

This is a guest post by Darla Bell, manager of Strategic Analysis in Communications & Marketing. 

Time passes so quickly – suddenly, it’s the last weekend of spring break.  Hopefully everyone enjoyed the week, and you’re emerging unscathed.  Let’s spend these last days on a few more outings.  I’m recommending free Irish music and dancing on St. Patrick’s Day, a little peek into homes of the Victorian era, and a theater production just for the kids. 

 There’s something for everyone.  Don’t forget to cook up some corned beef and cabbage for Friday supper in honor of all those Irish ancestors. (If you don’t have them on your family tree, just pretend).

Wherever you choose to go this weekend, give METRO a chance to show you how useful buses and trains can be.  I love the “sit back and relax” mood provided by public transit.  There’s nothing like knowing that I won’t have to drive around looking for parking.  Plan your trip with our Trip Planner on RideMETRO.org – just enter your starting and ending points, and you’ll get the info you need to ride.  Have a great weekend! 

Event:  Michael Londra’s Celtic Fire.”  This is the opening performance of Miller Outdoor Theatre’s 2017 season, and what a perfect event for St. Patrick’s Day.  You’ll enjoy Irish music and exciting dancing with original choreography for the show.  Free tickets are available at the box office the day of the performance between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., then the box office opens an hour before show time to distribute any remaining tickets – but there’s always open seating on the hill.  The whole family will enjoy this one, and the kids might try a little dancing themselves. 

When: Friday at 8 p.m.

Where: Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Dr.

Getting there*:

METRORail – Red Line (exit Museum District Station)

Event:  Decorative Arts in the Age of Victoria.  PBS recently showed the Season One finale of Masterpiece Theater’s “Victoria” series, so while you’re waiting impatiently for Season Two, you can visit the Museum of Fine Arts Houston’s Rienzi to view the types of home accessories and furniture that people were living with during Victoria’s reign.  Docent-led tours are scheduled throughout the day all weekend.  The exhibition is free with your admission to Rienzi.  The house is one of the stops on the Azalea Tour also, so the gardens should be glorious.

When: Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

Where: Rienzi, 1406 Kirby Dr.

Getting there*:

Bus – 41 Kirby/Polk

Event:  Ramona Quimby.” As a last treat before spring break ends, take the kids to a theater performance just for them.  Main Street Theater is putting on “Ramona Quimby,” based on Beverly Cleary’s beloved books about the hilarious antics of Ramona, her sister, and their friends.  The play is recommended for children of kindergarten age and older, but note that children younger than 3 are not permitted in the theater.  Tickets are available online.

When:  Friday at 10:30 a.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Where: Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston (MATCH), 3400 Main St.

Getting there*:

Bus – 9 Gulfton/Holman, 82 Westheimer

METRORail – Red Line (exit Ensemble Station)

*Suggested connections as provided by our Customer Care Center; more convenient routes may vary per individual needs.

 

When:  Friday at 10:30 a.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Where: Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston (MATCH), 3400 Main St.

Getting there*:

Bus – 9 Gulfton/Holman, 82 Westheimer

METRORail – Red Line (exit Ensemble Station)

*Suggested connections as provided by our Customer Care Center; more convenient routes may vary per individual needs.

 

 

 
We're Hiring: Police, Urban Planner and More

Faces of employees with missing puzzle piece

If you’re in transition, or wanting to make a move to a stable company with rich benefits, consider METRO.

Interested in law enforcement? METRO has its own police force and has two openings now – a police officer and a police dispatcher. Starting pay for the police officer is $44,865 and for the police dispatcher, $36.603.

Maybe your background is in real estate. We’ve got a position open for a real estate asset management specialist.

We need a senior IT project manager. And if you’re a transit planner, we need one who can focus on both short and long-range planning. The project manager will conduct research, compile information and coordinate with METRO departments and area agencies to implement our plans and programs.

And we’re also looking for an urban designer who oversees and participates in the development of site design forms from all perspectives of transit-oriented access and pedestrian convenience.

Find more job openings here and apply online.

Things to Do Along the Rail

METRORail and passengers on platform

It’s spring break, and if your kids are whining about nothing to do in Houston, take them downtown and board the Red Line.

You can explore our urban landscape on METRORail. The Red Line runs 13 miles from Fannin South Station through downtown along Main Street. You’ll pass the Museum District, the Texas Medical Center, UHD and end up at the Northline Transit Center/HCC.

Hop on the Green Line for 3.3. miles and you’ll travel east along Harrisburg, while the Purple Line runs southeast for 6.6 miles, connecting downtown from UH-Central to TSU and Palm Center.

So where are some fun spots to check out? VisitHouston has listed some must-tries. Even if you’ve lived here for years, maybe you haven’t explored these restaurants and theatres yet. For example, GreenStreet is an entertainment and retail hub with more than 700,000 square feet of restaurants, clubs and shops. It’s half a block from 1201 Main St. Or along the Red Line, there’s MATCH, a new Midtown venue of four theaters that’s home to a broad spectrum of Houston’s art organizations.

Discovery Green is a 12-acre park offering activities such as paddle-boarding, an outdoor skating rink and arts programming. There are new eateries that opened in time for Super Bowl around the George R. Brown Convention Center. And you’ll find a fun Texas-shaped lazy river at the newly opened Marriott Marquis that makes for great snapshots. The pool is on the sixth floor, and the best aerial view is from the elevator bank on the 11th floor.

Tickets for the rail and local bus are only $1.25 one-way. Students are half price with a discounted student METRO Fare Card. You can buy tickets from your smartphone using our METRO Q Mobile Ticketing. Kids ages five and under ride free.

So no excuses. Be brave and explore another part of Houston that is full of delightful surprises.

Kick Up Your Heels at Rodeo Houston

Cowboy falling off horse as he tries to rope calf

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is in full swing – and METRO has made it easy for you to get to the world’s largest rodeo.

With spring break this week, more visitors are expected downtown – but no worries. Simply #KnowBeforeYouGo. For the rodeo, climb aboard METRORail or enjoy our shuttle service to NRG Park from these four locations: Maxey Road Park & Ride, Monroe Park & Ride, North Shepherd Park & Ride or the West Loop Transit Center.

Find prices and locations here. And you can party to the wee hours – the last outbound shuttle from NRG Park leaves at 1 a.m., Sunday through Thursday; and 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

If you take METRORail, we’ve got late hours, also, for your convenience. If you park at the Fannin South Transit Center, every passenger in your vehicle receives one round-trip rail ticket. Simply hop on the Red Line, and NRG is at the next station.  

METRORail and local bus service is only $1.25 one way. Kids five and under ride free. You can buy a ticket from your smartphone using Q Mobile Ticketing.

So come on down and enjoy the sights and sounds of Houston Rodeo – and let METRO get you there stress-free.

Weekend Fun with METRO: March 10-12

Montage of events

This is a guest post by Darla Bell, manager of Strategic Analysis in Communications & Marketing. 

It’s the first weekend of spring break.  The children are jumping for joy, and the parents are…well, I’m not sure how or if they’re celebrating.  However, here are a few things that can get all of you out of the house.  We have the St. Patrick’s Day Parade (yes, I know it’s not the 17th), we have a night hike for the young adults, and there’s a production of “Cinderella” by the Houston Ballet that should be more interesting than the usual staging (girl power!).  In addition to the events noted below, on Monday take the kids to Bayou Bend for activities and stories - the gardens should be especially beautiful now at azalea time.

As usual, there are way too many things you can do in Houston this weekend and throughout spring break week.  Make the kids put down the electronic devices and enjoy some outings.  Remember when taking the bus or train was an outing in itself and you knelt on the seat to look out the window?  Take METRO and give your children that same memory.  Enjoy the view along with the kids, and don’t spend your time and energy dealing with Houston traffic.  Plan your trip with our Trip Planner on RideMETRO.org – and you’ll all get to your destination more relaxed.  After all, that’s why they call it a “break.”  Take one.

Event:  58th Annual Houston St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  As they say, everyone is Irish when it comes to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, and Houston has an annual St. Patrick’s Day parade that starts from the clock tower at Minute Maid Park.  It’s two hours of floats, marching groups and music and is one of

the largest parades in the country, with more than 100 entries.  How’s that for a fun, family-friendly and free kick-off to spring break week?

When: Saturday at noon

Where: Starting point - Minute Maid Park, 1800 Texas Ave.

Getting there*:

Bus – 6 Jensen/Greens, 11 Almeda/Lyons, 20 Canal/Memorial, 30 Clinton/Ella, 48 Market

METRORail – Green Line or Purple Line (exit Convention District Station)

Event:  HTXO Almost Full Moon Hike.  Have you heard the expression, “take a hike?”  Well, this time it’s a serious suggestion.  The full moon is Sunday morning, so the HTXoutdoors group will meet in the Eleanor Tinsley Park parking lot at 6:15 p.m. on Saturday for a hike to view it.  Wear sturdy shoes and bring a flashlight and water.  This is a group of active, outdoor people in their 20s and 30s and they have interesting events periodically.  There’s no fee, but RSVP at https://htxoutdoors.com/events/full-snow-moon-hike so they can get a headcount.

When: Saturday from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Eleanor Tinsley Park, 500 Allen Pkwy.

Getting there*:

Bus – 40 Telephone/Heights, 41 Kirby/Polk

Event:  Cinderella.” Here’s the Houston Ballet’s production of the classic fairytale ballet – but with a slightly different take (for starters, the wicked stepsisters are male dancers, and there’s a twist to the happily-ever-after ending).  To quote the Ballet, “This is not your childhood Cinderella.”  Go see it for yourself.  Sunday is the final production and tickets are available online.

When:  Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Where: Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas Ave.

Getting there*:

Bus – 30 Clinton/Ella, 32 Renwick/San Felipe, 44 Acres Homes, 82 Westheimer, 85 Antoine/Washington, 160 Memorial City Express, 161 Wilcrest Express, 162 Memorial Express

METRORail – Red Line (exit Preston Station), Green and Purple lines (exit Theater District Station)

*Suggested connections as provided by our Customer Care Center; more convenient routes may vary per individual needs.

 

 
Public Transit Affects Economy


If you ride METRO, you are part of the engine that drives America’s economy.

A new demographic study by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) reveals that 87 percent of public transit trips directly impact the economy, either connecting people to employers needing workers, or connecting people to retail and entertainment spots.

“The data are clear: Public transit riders’ impact on the economy has grown tremendously over the last 10 years, “ said Richard White, APTA’s acting president and CEO. “In addition to the work commute, Americans are taking transit to shop, dine and attend entertainment venues more than ever before.  As the new Congress and Administration look to boost the economy, investing in America’s public transportation infrastructure should be a key element of that plan.”

For example, 21 percent of riders use public transit for shopping - more than doubled the 8.5 percent who used it for shopping in 2007.

Since 1995, public transit ridership has increased by 37 percent - a higher growth rate than the 20 percent increase in the U.S. population.

The study “Who Rides Public Transportation,” showed that 63 percent of riders use public transit at least five days a week, and 13 percent use it six or seven days a week. The bulk of the riders were in the most economically active  period of their lives, ranging from ages 20 to 64.

So if you're riding METRO, you can feel good about being part of that engine that is driving the economy. If you haven’t tried us, you’ll find out it’s easy and convenient. Use our Google-powered Trip Planner, and buy a ticket from your smartphone with METRO Q Mobile Ticketing.

#KnowBeforeYouGo Spring Break

Colorful tulips

Thousands of students will be celebrating spring break next week, and if you’re doing a staycation, there are lots of fun things to do right here in town.

Before you venture to Discovery Green, Hermann Park and the zoo or the Museum District, METRO wants you to #KnowBeforeYouGo in order to enjoy the sights and sounds of spring break. This year, we’ve made it easier than ever to connect to key activity centers with our bus network that links to our METRORail lines.

We’re partnering with the city of Houston to keep you moving safely and efficiently. To get to some of Houston’s top destinations, use our rider tools. The METRO Trip Planner, powered by Google, offers real-time directions from your location to your destination.

When is the next bus arriving? Use Next Bus Arrival Texting.

If you’re on the go, buy a bus or rail ticket 24/7 with our METRO Q Mobile Ticketing right from your smartphone.

If you’re attending the rodeo, be sure to check out our METRO rodeo shuttles to exhibits and concerts at NRG Park. Or drive to Fannin South Transit Center at 1604 W. Bellfort. You can then hop on the Red Line and ride one stop to NRG.

On weekends (March 11-12 and March 18-19), you can also park at the HCC Northline Garage at 8004 Fulton, then get on the Red Line. Find more parking spaces downtown on this interactive map. So plan your spring break – and #KnowBeforeYouGo to make it an easy visit to the many downtown attractions.

 

 

 

Connected Vehicles in the Future

Car with yellow concentric rings

Imagine driving a car that can alert you when a car is in your blind spot – or alert you when the roads have “black ice,” a condition that is hard to see but yields a slippery surface.

All this is possible with something called “connected cars” that use technology to “talk” to other cars by enabling wireless communication between vehicles, warning them of potential road hazards. Connected vehicles provide drivers with 360-degree awareness of similarly equipped vehicles within a range of about 300 meters, keeping personal information private. Cars are not tracked.

Drivers receive warnings of potential hazards through seat vibration, visual display or tones. The driver remains in control, although the technology allows the driver to cede partial control of the vehicle while it performs limited auto functions.

Warnings include telling drivers not to pass, or alerting them that a vehicle out of sight several cars ahead is braking. It can warn drivers when it is unsafe to enter an intersection.

Connected vehicles can communicate with smart roadside infrastructure, such as rail grade crossings, to alert drivers to an approaching train, even when the driver can’t see or hear the train.

Check out this video on You Tube from the Department of Transportation.

METRO Introduces Safety Initiatives

Options to make rail safer: painted crosswalk & railway, raised barriers

METRO said nothing is off the table in terms of considering safety measure that would make motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists safer around our trains.

Those remarks were made at a press conference on Friday, at which METRO asked the media to help promote the message of “Stop, Look, Listen,” and announced some safety measures the agency has started to implement.

“Safety remains a top priority – always has been, always will be,” said METRO Chair Carrin Patman. “Please use the crosswalk and obey the signals. Please help us get the word out. We all need to renew our vigilance to stop, look and listen. It’s a collaborative effort.”

Tom Lambert, METRO’s president & CEO, pointed out that people are using the system 370,000 times a day, and safety is paramount in everything METRO does.

Some new things already implemented: Rail operators are now honking as the trains approach platforms and intersections. Before, a quieter, gong-like sound was activated.

METRO trains now sport red and blue reflective tape in the front of the train around the cab, making the train more visible day and night.

During Super Bowl LI, 11 trains were wrapped in a bright-red wrap. Lambert said METRO will keep all the red wraps, as the red color will attract more attention. Some of the trains will carry a message: Stop, Look, Listen.

Lambert said the agency will study safety measures such as signal timing, painted crosswalk highlights, raised barriers along the rail line and painted railway highlights.

John Long of BikeHouston said it was important to examine the physical design of an environment and said two idyllic environments – Rice University and Hermann Park – are now divided by a busy traffic zone that includes 10 lanes of traffic and light rail.

“We need to think of ways to connect these two idyllic environments,” said Long. “How can we make our street crossings safer for all users? An inadvertent, absent-minded mistake should not lead to your death.”

Dian Nostikassari, a research fellow at Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, announced a “Travel Diary and Near-Miss Study” the institute is conducting from March 4 to 11. Participants are recording a travel dairy for a week, reporting near-miss incidents, and completing an online questionnaire.

The Kinder Institute will analyze the data to find ways to make our roads safer for all users, said Nostikassari.



Weekend Fun with METRO: March 3-5

 

This is a guest post by Darla Bell, manager of Strategic Analysis in Communications & Marketing. 

Springtime in Houston…the azaleas are beautiful right now.  It’s time to leave your TV set and enjoy the mild temperatures – quick, before it gets hot.  I’m recommending two outdoor activities this weekend, depending on how much actual “activity” you want – roller skating (yes!) or sitting outdoors at the barbeque competition, enjoying a beverage and some country music. 

 Now there’s a hard decision for you.  But if you aren’t the outdoor type, I’m also offering great musical theater and an art exhibit/sale.  We’re spoiled for choice in this town.

You have another choice – and this one shouldn’t be so hard to make.  You can try to travel around in your car, experiencing Houston’s traffic and parking woes, or you can take METRO to your destination.  That’s a no-brainer, isn’t it?  Plan your trip with our Trip Planner on RideMETRO.org – just type in your starting and ending points, and you’ll get the routes and schedules for your outing.  You’ve got plans; we’ve got the means to get you there.  Now get out there.

Event:  An American in Paris.”  Do you like Gershwin music?  This is the last weekend to get your fix with Theatre Under the Stars’ production of the Tony Award-winning musical.  Get swept away with the romance of an American sailor and a mysterious French girl – and the magic of Paris in the 1920s.  C’est magnifique!  Tickets can be purchased online. 

When: Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m.

Where: Hobby Center for the Performing Arts (Sarofim Hall), 800 Bagby St.

Getting there*:

Bus – 32 Renwick/San Felipe (exit Travis & Rusk), 44 Acres Homes (exit Louisiana & Walker), 82 Westheimer (exit Travis & Rusk), 102 Bush IAH Express (exit Travis or Milam & Rusk), 160 Memorial City Express/161 Wilcrest Express/162 Memorial Express (exit Smith & Rusk)

METRORail – Red Line (exit Central Station), Green Line and Purple Line (exit Theater District Station)

Event:  World’s Championship Bar-B-Q Contest.  If Gershwin’s not your thing, how about lots of country music and good food?  This is the kick-off to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.  There will be live music and djs, plus a carnival with rides and games.  Most of the team tents are by invitation only, but there are public areas where you can enjoy the music and your complimentary sliced-beef sandwich with chips and beans.  Come on down and get into a rodeo frame of mind.  Tickets are available online. 

When: Friday from noon to 11 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Where: NRG Park, 1 NRG Park

Getting there*:

Bus – 60 Cambridge, 84 Buffalo Speedway

METRORail – Red Line (exit Stadium Park/Astrodome Station)

Event:  France Pavilion.  This is a unique art exhibition on its first visit to Houston.  It showcases a selection of emerging and established contemporary French artists in all kinds of media – photography, painting, sculpture, design, jewelry, etc.  In addition to viewing and buying, you can experience guided tours, art talks, and performing arts.  Admission is free.

When:  Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Winter Street Studios, 2101 Winter St.

Getting there*:

Bus – 44 Acres Homes (exit Houston & Bingham), 85 Antoine/Washington (exit Washington @ Houston)

METRORail – Red Line (exit Burnett TC/Casa de Amigos or Quitman/Near Northside Station)

Event:  The Roller Rink at Discovery Green.  Houston’s first outdoor roller rink opens March 3 at Discovery Green – now that’s pretty exciting.  Friday’s opening night will feature favorite roller rink music from the 1950s through 1990s, and two ten-minute derby demo battles (6 and 8 p.m.).  You can buy tickets on-site for $12, online for $14.  Note that there’s a cheap skate night on Monday, March 6, when you can skate for $6.  Tickets include skate rental, but you can bring your own.

When:  Friday from 5 to 10 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: Discovery Green Conservancy, 1500 McKinney St.

Getting there*:

Bus – 6 Jensen/Greens, 11 Almeda/Lyons, 32 Renwick/San Felipe, 40 Telephone/Heights, 41 Kirby/Polk, 52 Hardy-Ley, 413 Greenlink Orange

METRORail – Green Line and Purple Line (exit Convention District Station)

*Suggested connections as provided by our Customer Care Center; more convenient routes may vary per individual needs.

Power Your Travels with METRO

Students at FIRST Robotics conference

Untie your crew, prepare your contraption…and get ready to take flight at the FIRST Robotics Competition.

Tens of thousands of student teams from around the world will descend upon Houston to attend the FIRST Robotics Competition this spring. This is the world’s largest and oldest robotics competition, and organizers expect 25,000 students from ages 6 to 18.

The FIRST competition and championship will take place at the George R. Brown Convention Center, the Toyota Center and Minute Maid Park.

METRO is making it easy for attendees by offering a FIRST Robotics convention pass. Conference-goers can explore the city using a pass that offers unlimited bus and light-rail service from April 16 to 23. A regular pass is only $3 per day. For students, a pass is $1.50 per day.

Buy your pass  online now, and we’ll mail it to you in time for the convention. Buy a pass for each day, or only the days you’ll be attending the convention.

So power up with METRO to take you to downtown destinations, as well as restaurants and museums.

Job fair this Saturday, March 4

 Silhouette in blue of peole at a job fair

 

If you’re looking for a career change, METRO is a great place to work.

This Saturday, March 4, we’ll be interviewing for bus drivers at a Workforce Solutions job fair at 5104 Harrisburg from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Workforce Solutions is a part of the Texas Workforce Commission that connects job seekers to potential employers.

If you love working with people and you don’t like sitting trapped in a cubicle, a position as a bus operator could be ideal for you. We’ll train you and help you get your commercial driver’s license. Our training includes time on a simulator so you can get the hang of driving a 40-foot bus.

We also have job openings in other departments, including such positions as a police dispatcher, a senior transit planner, a senior information technology project manager and an urban designer.

METRO offers rich benefits, including medical, dental life and retirement savings plans, as well as training and developmental resources. So check us out. We’re looking for qualified candidates to join our team of professionals.

Rope a Ride to Rodeo Houston

Close-up of horse and spurs with "Rodeo Houston" on spurs.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo kicks off on Thursday with the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, featuring more than 250 teams vying for prizes with secret recipes.

While the team tents are by invitation only, you can enjoy the Garden, Rockin’ Bar-B-Que Saloon and the Chuck Wagon. The carnival is also open to the public with wild rides and fun games.

The best way to get to the world’s largest rodeo? Ride METRORail or enjoy shuttle service to NRG Park. We’ll have shuttles running from these Park & Ride lots: Maxey Road, Monroe, North Shepherd and the West Loop Transit Center.

Round-trip shuttle price is $4 from all locations except North Shepherd where it’s $6.50.

Take METRORail or local bus service for only $1.25 one-way. Kids five and younger ride free. Students and seniors 65 and older ride for half price or free if they are 70 or older. Qualified U.S. military veterans ride free on our entire system.

Use your smartphone to use Q Mobile Ticketing, or load money on a METRO   Fare Card. You can also use a METRO Day Pass or cash.

Driving in from the suburbs? Park at Fannin South Transit Center and pay $20 cash. Everyone in your vehicle receives one round-trip rail ticket, letting you hop on the Red Line and ride one stop to NRG Park.

METRO Chair Among Most Influential Women
Chair Carrin Patman

METRO Chair Carrin Patman has been recognized as one of Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women of 2016.

The honor was given by Houston Women Magazine, which launched its  awards program “50 Women of Influence” in 2008. “Each in the class of 2016 is intelligent and interesting. Each spends her time and energy doing what she loves most,” says the magazine on its website. “Each is actively engaged in activities that move her forward in her career and in her life and, at the same time, allow her to make significant contributions to our community…others listen when they speak and follow when they lead.”

Since she accepted the appointment of chair from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner in 2016, Patman has overseen the completion of the Harrisburg Overpass on METRORail’s Green Line, the agency’s Super Bowl LI service that set ridership records, and initiated the development of a regional transit plan.

“It is truly an honor to be recognized among this group of outstanding women,” said Patman. “I look forward to the positive contributions we can make collectively.”

Patman is the first woman to serve as METRO’s chair, a volunteer position.

Weekend Fun with METRO: Feb. 24-26

Montage of events

 

This is a guest post by Darla Bell, manager of Strategic Analysis in Communications & Marketing. 

 

I hear sighs of relief coming from all over the city – Friday is here again.  It’s time for some relaxation and doing what you want to do.  As usual I have some suggestions, including things that the family can do together.  There’s a Mardi Gras parade, a theatre experience featuring teens and vampires, and a flea market shopping extravaganza, so you have the opportunity to be inside or outside, chilled to the bone or dancing in the street.  Well, that’s Houston – you never know what’s going to happen next.

 

However, you do know that you can depend on METRO to transport you to your weekend destinations.  You know that the Trip Planner will be waiting on the website to provide the routes and schedules that you need – weekend after weekend.  It’s nice to have some dependability in this crazy world.  Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Event:  Let the Right One In.”  Described as a vampire romance, the Alley’s new play will provide a chilling experience for “fearless 15-year-olds, mature teens and up.”  Two misfit teens become friends, and one of them has a terrible secret.  The writer and director also created “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”  Tickets are available online.  You can get discounted $10 tickets for the Sunday matinee if you bring a medium or large dog collar and leash (benefits The Lonestar Boxer Rescue), but you must pay with cash or check at the box office between 11 a.m. and curtain time.  These discounted seats are limited.

 

When: Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.

 

Where: Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Ave.

 

Getting there*:

Bus – 11 Almeda/Lyons, 20 Canal/Memorial, 30 Clinton/Ella, 32 Renwick/San Felipe, 41 Kirby/Polk, 44 Acres Homes, 51 Hardy-Kelley, 52 Hardy-Ley , 82 Westheimer, 85 Antoine/Washington, 102 Bush IAH Express, 137 Northshore Express, 160 Memorial City Express, 161 Wilcrest Express, 162 Memorial Express

 

METRORail – Green Line or Purple Line (exit Theater District Station)

 

Event: 4th Annual Houston Creole Heritage Festival & Mardi Gras Parade.  Everyone can’t be in New Orleans at Mardi Gras time, so here’s your chance to celebrate in downtown Houston.  This festival spotlights Houston’s Creole community with authentic music, dance and food, kids’ activities, vendors and a parade.  There’s a $10 admission fee to the festival, but kids 11 and younger get in free.

 

When: Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

 

Where: Discovery Green Consortium, 1500 McKinney St.

 

Getting there*:

Bus – 6 Jensen/Greens, 11 Almeda/Lyons, 32 Renwick/San Felipe, 40 Telephone/Heights, 41 Kirby/Polk, 52 Hardy-Ley, 413 Greenlink Orange

 

METRORail – Green Line and Purple Line (exit Convention District Station)

 

Event:  Vintique Flea Spring Market.  We all love flea markets, and Vintique is back again with our thrice-yearly chance to shop its eclectic offerings.  You’ll find vintage, collectible, industrial and antique items along with beer, wine and food trucks – and the list of vendors just grows and grows.  In honor of the event’s two-year anniversary, admission is $5 with no charge for kids 16 and younger.

 

When:  Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Where: Silver Street Studios, 2000 Edwards St.

 

Getting there*:

Bus – 44 Acres Homes

 

*Suggested connections as provided by our Customer Care Center; more convenient routes may vary per individual needs.

 

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