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Your Community
 

The New Bus Network is all about you and your community. We've designed routes based on your feedback and your needs.

Take, for example, our most frequent red network. You'll find buses that are scheduled to arrive every 15 minutes or less, seven day a week. We have more than 20 routes that are on the red network, including popular thoroughfares such as Washington Avenue, Gessner, Long Point, Westheimer, Richmond, Bellaire, Scott, Shepherd, Broadway and Antoine.

We've conducted months of research with staff, industry experts and input from our stakeholders and customers, making adjustments where possible. For example, METRO staff is currently investigating a request from one of our customers for an earlier morning trip on the new 6 Jensen. We are checking to determine if it's operationally feasible and justified based on the number of current riders.

The New Bus Network is coming on Aug. 16. That week, from Aug. 16 to 22, we are offering free local bus and train rides to give you and your friends a chance to test drive METRO. #NewBusNetwork

Weekend Happenings with METRO July 24 - 26
 

 

Montage of events

 

While the National Weather Service is issuing warnings about extreme heat this weekend, there are still ways to keep cool and have fun - from viewing an exhibit featuring emerging artists to enjoying stand-up paddle boarding with the city skyline as background.  

Consider taking METRO to get there. We'll keep you cool in our air-conditioned buses (the AC works really well), and save you money on gas and parking. Check out the Google Trip Planner to find the exact bus for your destination.

Event: "Wide Angle: The World through My Eyes."  Photographer Sam Gainer's passion for travel and photography has taken him to more than 146 countries, where he captured the essence of his subjects.  Experience his magical point of view.

When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday - 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Free on Thursdays, 3 to 6 p.m.)

Where: Houston Museum of Natural Science, 555 Hermann Park Dr.

Getting there:

Bus: 1 Hospital, 8 S. Main, 34 Montrose (Friday only), 65 Bissonnet

METRORail: Red Line, exit Museum District Station

Event: Stand-Up Paddleboarding. Bring $10 and show up - no appointment needed - to try out this water sport. Leisurely paddle around shallow Kinder Lake and enjoy the fish swimming beneath the surface. Provided by Bayou City Adventures and Stand Up and Paddle! Houston.

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

Where: Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney St.

Getting there: 

Bus: 1 Hospital, 5 Southmore/Kashmere, 9 N. Main/Gulfton, 11 Almeda/Nance, 18 Kirby (Friday and Saturday), 30 Cullen/Clinton, 37 El Sol, 48 Navigation, 50 Heights/Harrisburg, 52 Hirsch/Scott, 53 Westheimer, 66 Yale/Airline, 77 Liberty/MLK, 80 Lyons/Dowling, 81 Westheimer, 82 Westheimer,  412 Greenlink (Friday)

METRORail: Red Line, exit Main Street Square. Purple or Green Lines, exit Convention District

Event: Seventh Annual Juried Exhibition. This exhibit benefits Young Audiences of Houston and features a select group of talented artists with 39 works by 36 artists out of 104 works submitted by105 artists. You'll see everything from sculpture to painting - all with a fresh perspective.

When: Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.

Where: Archway Gallery, 2305 Dunlavy St.

Getting there: 

Bus: 81 Westheimer, 82 Westheimer

#NewBusNetwork

 

 

Your Ride Includes Free Transfers
 

Paper transfers

The New Bus Network is bringing you more service and better service.

One of the new things we're trying out in a pilot program is free paper transfers for patrons who pay their fares in cash. Right now, free transfers are only available to METRO Day Pass or METRO Q® Fare Card users. Under this pilot program, effective until Sept. 30, patrons who pay cash will be issued a paper transfer by the bus driver.

Transfers issued from the start of service until 11:59 a.m. are good until 3 p.m. on the same day. Paper transfers used after 12 noon are good through the end of service the same day. Paper transfers issued on METRO buses may only be used once.

Rail riders may transfer using their rail ticket, valid up to three hours from the time of purchase. They may transfer to another rail line or a bus.

All rides are free the first week the New Bus Network rolls out - from Aug. 16 to 22. Tell your friends and neighbors this is a great week to take METRO for a "test drive" and experience the benefits of leaving the driving to us. #NewBusNetwork

Your Ride is More Reliable
 

Hybrid bus on the roadThe New Bus Network is designed to make your ride more reliable - so reliable, in fact, that you if you are standing at a bus stop on our frequent, red network, you'll know that a bus is scheduled to arrive every 15 minutes or less.

But if you walk up to a bus stop, and want to know exactly when the next bus will arrive, no worries. Look for the unique bus stop identification number on the infoposts strapped to the bus stop pole - the rectangular sign - and you'll see a bus stop ID number.

Text that number to this short code: 697 433. You'll receive a text back with the next two bus arrivals in real time. There's no app to download.

The New Bus Network is bringing more reliable rides to you. When you have an appointment to make you'll know exactly when the next bus is coming to your stop. #NewBusNetwork

Your Ride is Faster

Bus shelter with figures waitingOn our New Bus Network, we are making the ride faster for you - every day of the week.

On our frequent, red network, buses are scheduled to come every 15 minutes or less - seven days a week. That's a huge improvement over current weekend service. The red network includes at least 22 popular thoroughfares, such as Washington Avenue, Westheimer, Richmond, Bellaire, Shepherd, Scott, Broadway, Gessner and Long Point.

When you hop on the Red Line, you know that a train will come every six minutes on weekdays. Now with our buses on the New Bus Network, you'll know that our buses are scheduled to arrive every 15 minutes or better.

On the blue network, service frequency is scheduled every 16 to 30 minute - seven days a week for 18 to 20 hours a day. On the green coverage network, buses are scheduled every 31 to 60 minutes for about 14 hours a day - seven days a week.

The New Bus Network is coming Aug. 16 - hop on board and expect faster rides. The first week from Aug. 16 to 22 is on us. All local bus rides and train rides are free of charge, so tell your friend to give us a try. #NewBusNetwork

Your Ride
 

NABI prototype bus 

We have a well-maintained fleet to carry you around on our New Bus Network. We have 1,245 fixed-routes buses. New NABI 40-foot buses were recently added at Kashmere Bus Operating Facility. This fall, 50 new CNG-fueled, 40-foot buses will be entering service from our Fallbrook Facility.

Later this year, we expect to bid on 100 new local buses - 80 40-foot buses and 20 articulated buses (the ones that look like an accordion in the middle). If all goes well, we should be getting these buses by September 2016.

These stylish and sleek buses include the latest amenities that enhance customers' comfort. For example, substantial window areas offer panoramic views and excellent light. A high ceiling gives a spacious an open feel and look to the interior.

We also run our buses through a bus wash every night and clean the interiors, so you can ride in style in  a clean vehicle. #NewBusNetwork

Weekend Happenings with METRO July 17-19
Montage of events 

This weekend in the city, there's a rich offering of fun activities - from sampling good eats at a food truck festival to enjoying golden oldies rock tunes. Check out the interactive exhibit that lets you tell your story and become part of the exhibit.

Be sure to take METRO to get there. You'll stay cool with our air-conditioned buses, and you'll save money on fuel and parking. Sit back, relax and text. You'll be there in no time. To find your exact bus to your destination, please see the Google Trip Planner.

Event: "Smokey Joe's Café" This closed-captioned performance is a Grammy Award-winning tribute to legendary songwriters Lieber and Stroller. More than 40 rock ‘n' roll's greatest hits, including "Hound Dog," "Stand by Me," Jailhouse Rock," Love Potion #9" and "Fools Fall in Love" will be performed.

When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 8:15 p.m.

Where: Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Dr.

Getting there:

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

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

Event: "The Best Damn Food Truck Festival Ever." The movie "Chef" featured a celebrity chef who abandoned the monotonous menu of favorites at a fancy restaurant and followed his dream by creating Cuban sandwiches out of a food truck. Now here's your chance to eat original dishes at dozens of food trucks at NRG Park, Enjoy live music while noshing. Tickets include samples from each food truck. Kids age five and under are free. Drinks are not included.

When: Saturday, 4 to 9 p.m.

Where: NRG Park Parking Lot - Purple Lot

Getting there:

Bus: 14 Hiram Clarke, 10 Willow Bend, 18 Kirby (until 8:43 p.m.)

METRORail: Red Line, exit Reliant Park Station

Event: "Whispering Bayou." This immersive, multi-media installation consists of the sounds, voices and images of Houstonians and their city. Share your story by submitting short videos, still photos of your family, friends or favorite places and become part of the exhibit.  Free.

When: Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.

Where: Contemporary Arts Museum, 5216 Montrose Blvd.

Getting there:

Bus: 1 Hospital, 8 S. Main, 34 Montrose (Friday only), 65 Bissonnet
 
METRORail: Red Line, exit Museum District Station

#NewBusNetwork

Your Route: More Convenient, Faster
 

Hybrid bus on Houston streetThe New Bus Network is bringing you more service and better service. On the frequent red network, you can expect to see buses scheduled to arrive every 15 minutes on more than 20 popular routes - seven days a week.

We are increasing service, giving you 37 percent more service on Saturday and 93 percent more service on Sunday. About two-thirds of our passenger trips will be faster. Seventy-five percent of our riders will experience more frequent service on the red network, compared to 25 percent of riders on the current system.

On the New Bus Network, we've changed the routes to reduce freight railroad crossings by 30 percent. This has been a major source of transit vehicle delays.

The New Bus Network...making your route more convenient and faster on Aug. 16. #NewBusNetwork

Side-by-Side Comparison
 

Dual Trip Planner 

The New Bus Network is designed to make our service better and more convenient for you. Before it debuts on Aug. 16, you can get a preview of exactly how your new route will be changed.

Simply go to the Dual Trip Planner. Type in your starting and ending addresses. There are three ways to enter addresses. Once you have your new itinerary, you can send it to your email or phone by clicking the "Send This Itinerary" button that appears after its description.  

When experimenting with the Dual Trip Planner, please note that the planner is extremely sensitive to the exact locations typed in. Just changing your destination by one block can result in a very different itinerary. For example, "Hobby Airport" will give you a different trip plan than "Airport & Broadway" which gives you a different option than "Broadway & Morley."

If you're going to the Galleria, the address "Westheimer and Post Oak" will give you a different result than "Westheimer & Sage."

The Dual Trip Planner works on a PC, Mac and tablet. #NewBusNetwork

Your Route with Technology
 

Person texting while seated at bus stop 

Your route just got easier.

When the New Bus Network rolls out on Aug. 16, you'll be able to find out when the next two buses on your route will arrive - in real time. Simply text the bus stop ID number to a short code, and you'll receive a text telling you the times.

The bus stop ID number can be found on the sturdy, plastic sign strapped on the bus stop pole. Every one of our hundreds of bus stops has a unique identification number. Text that number to this short code: 697 433 .There's no app you need to download.

On our red network of frequent buses, a bus is scheduled to arrive every 15 minutes or better - seven days a week. But if you want to know the exact time when the next bus is arriving, send a text.

The New Bus Network and a new tech tool...coming on Aug. 16. #NewBusNetwork

Your Route: Minor Changes to Numbers and Names
 

82 Westheimer infopost

The New Bus Network has overhauled all our local routes to give you more service. But this extreme makeover was done in a way to make the transition easy for you.  We made only minor changes to the route numbers and names.

So some of you will go to same bus stop you always go to, see the same route number - or the same route name. What's different? If you're on our frequent red network, a bus will be scheduled to pull up at your stop every 15 minutes or better - even on weekends.

The New Bus Network starts on Aug. 16. Get ready for a better experience that brings you to your destination faster. #NewBusNetwork

Weekend Happenings with METRO July 10-12
 

 

Montage of events

Don't let the dog days of summer slow you down. Houston has plenty of enriching activities to offer the whole family - many of them free of cost.

From a day-long festival featuring  all genres of music from Tejano to classical to a circus built to amaze, choose a fun event and take METRO to get there. Be sure to check out the Google Trip Planner to find your specific bus from your destination. Then stay cool on our air-conditioned buses, relax and text to your heart's content as METRO does the driving. 

Event: "Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents Legends." Bring the whole family to an old-fashioned circus and get ready to be amazed with clowns and death-defying tightrope acts. There's something for everyone.  

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 11:30  a.m., 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.

Where: NRG Center, 8400 Kirby

Getting there: 

Bus: 14 Hiram Clarke, 10 Willow Bend, 18 Kirby (until 8:14 p.m. on Friday and 8:43 p.m. on Saturday). Sunday - 14 Hiram Clarke, 10 Willowbend

METRORail: Red Line, exit Reliant Park Station

Event: "Summer Chills 2015: The Foreigner." What happens when a person at a remote fishing village pretends he's a foreigner who can't speak English? People around him begin speaking freely, and soon the foreigner is privy to intriguing and dangerous secrets. 

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

Where: Alley Theatre at UH, 4116 Elgin

Getting there: 

Bus: Friday and Saturday - 29 TSU-UH, 30 Cullen, 42 Holman (Friday only), 52 Scott, 68 Brays Bayou/Eastwood .TC., 88 Hobby Airport. Sunday - 30 Cullen, 52 Scott, 68 Brays Bayou/Eastwood T.C.

METRORail: Purple Line, exit Elgin Third Ward Station

Event: "Day of Music 2015." This third annual music day showcases more than 20 performances on five stages, featuring jazz, Indian, classical, Tejano and choral music. New artists this year include Yvonne Washington, a jazz vocalist who closed Stevie Wonder's European tour in 1970; La Fiebre, a Grammy-nominated group whose albums have reached gold and platinum levels; the award-winning drummers Baby Sonic Boom; and the Indian Music Society of Houston. Food trucks will be selling good eats - from burgers to crepes - across the street at Jones Plaza. 

Concerts will be 30, 45 or 60 minutes long. Learn salsa dancing, "pet" an instrument, learn to play the harmonica or get your kid's face painted. Free event. 

When: Sunday, noon to 9 p.m. 

Where: Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St.

Getting there: 

Bus: 3 Langley/W. Gray, 6 Jensen, 44 Acres Homes, 50 Heights/Harrisburg, 56 Airline, 66 Yale/Airline, 78 Irvington (last bus at 7:30 p.m.), 85 Antoine, 102 Bush IAH, 137 Northshore, 163 Fondren.

METRORail: Green Line or Purple Line, exit Theatre District Capitol.

#NewBusNetwork

 

 

A Smile, a Card and New Info
 

Jeffrey Hong helping a customer learn about the New Bus Network

If you're riding METRO, you may have seen folks in navy or red polo shirts and navy METRO hats or visors, walking up to you with a smile and handing you an index-sized card.

Meet our new "street team," representatives whose mission is to spread the word about our New Bus Network and make sure you know that big changes are coming. Our temporary summer hires are here to let you know that we're changing our local network of routes, making them simpler and straighter.

On the frequent, red network, buses will come every 15 minutes or less - seven days a week. Every bus stop will also have a unique bus stop ID number you can text to receive a text back with the arrival time of the next two buses - in real time.

The back of the card tells you all the ways to connect to METRO and find out the latest of what's happening with the New Bus Network on Facebook, Twitter, on this blog and on our website. There's also our Customer Care Center you can call at 713-635-4000.

Our street team will be reaching out at transit centers and community centers. Look for them on select buses and trains, too. In the photo posted above, Jeffrey Hong explains the New Bus Network to a customer.

Then get ready for a better experience on METRO starting Aug. 16 when the New Bus Network rolls out. You'll get to take METRO for a "test drive" that first week. All local buses and trains will be free of charge from Aug. 16 to 22. #NewBusNetwork

 

Your Help Keeps Us Safer

The New Bus Network is your network. And that means to keep it safe for all our customers, we need your eyes and ears. If you see something, say something.

METRO’s coverage spans some 1,300 square miles. When residents and business owners work with us, we can achieve a highly effective first line of defense against unsafe and illegal activity. Your efforts go a long way to enhance the safety of our transit centers and bus shelters.

How can you detect a potential threat? Look at a person’s appearance. Is he wearing clothes unsuitable for this time of year? Is something protruding underneath his or her clothing? Look for suspicious items, such as wires sticking out of a handbag, unattended backpacks or boxes or unexplained smoke or odd odors. Contact the police at 911 or dial #MPD (#673) on your cell phone.

The New Bus Network is coming on Aug. 16. Test it out for free the first week, and experience first-hand simpler, straighter routes that get you to your destination faster than our current system. #NewBusNetwork

MPD Checks for Safety

The METRO Police Department is touring the hundreds of bus shelters across the region, going down a detailed checklist to ensure the shelters meet our safety standards.

METRO’s New Bus Network, a massive redesign of our local bus routes, starts on Aug. 16. And we want to make sure your experience on our faster, more efficient network of buses is a safe one. Bus stops are being evaluated from a public safety perspective.

For example, MPD is checking to see if sidewalks exist, if there’s proper lighting, if there are ditches or other hazards, is foliage being maintained. It is evaluating potentially dangerous road conditions and negative environmental concerns such as bars or adult businesses.

We want to ensure you are safe as you navigate our simpler, faster and more convenient New Bus Network, coming on Aug. 16. There will be no fares charged on our local buses and trains that week – so try us out and get to your destination safely. #NewBusNetwork

Your safety

METRO’s New Bus Network wants to transport you around town safely. That means we are busy training our bus drivers to learn the new routes. We are videotaping every route so our drivers can easily refresh their memories on the new routes.

Buses will arrive every 15 minutes or less on our frequent red network, which includes more than 20 major, popular thoroughfares. You’ll have less time to wait for the next bus, but when you do wait, we are making sure the shelters have sufficient solar lighting.

The New Bus Network is coming Aug. 16. Check it out and tell your friends to experience a new way to ride our local buses. The first week from Aug. 16 to 22, all local bus and train rides will be free of charge. So you have nothing to lose as you take the New Bus Network for a test drive. #NewBusNetwork

Weekend Holiday Happenings July 3-5

Montage of events 

Many of us have a long, three-day weekend since the Fourth of July falls on a Saturday this year. And there are lots of activities around town to help you celebrate the birth of our nation – from a free concert with the Houston Symphony to fireworks and city-wide celebration, Freedom Over Texas.

Be sure to take METRO and avoid the traffic gridlock and parking woes. You can also party hard and lave the driving safely to us. Check out the Google Trip Planner to find the exact bus to take to your destination. Have a fun Fourth and stay safe!

Event: Summer of Epic Adventure. Get our gear on and look like a super hero at the Children’s Museum of Houston. Learn what it takes to be both physically and mentally trained to be super.

When: Friday & Saturday, 10 to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.

Getting there:

Bus: 1 Hospital, 8 S. Main, 60 S. MacGregor, 65 Bissonnet

METRORail: Red Line, exit Museum District Station.

Event: ExxonMobile Summer Symphony Nights: A Star-Spangled Salute. Get in the patriotic spirit as you enjoy the Houston Symphony with POPS Conductor Designate Steven Reineke present Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” followed by spectacular fireworks.

When: Saturday, 8:30 p.m.

Where: Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Dr.

Getting there:

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

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

Event: Freedom Over Texas. Celebrate Independence Day with country, Latin pop, blues, zydeco, soul, funk and Texas blues at this city-wide party. Singer-songwriter Clint Black and songwriter Josh Turner will headline the event that culminates in dazzling fireworks.

When: Saturday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Where: Eleanor Tinsley Park on Buffalo Bayou, along Allen Parkway.

Getting there:

Bus: 18 Kirby (The 18 Downtown is at Dallas & Gillette on the south side of the park; 50 Heights (The 50 Harrisburg is on the north side of the park).

More Frequent Buses to Your Home Base
 

On METRO's New Bus Network, we're hoping there will be less impatient foot-tapping, wondering when the next bus is coming.

We are bringing more frequent buses to your home base. If you are on the frequent, red network, buses are scheduled to arrive every 15 minutes or better - seven days a week. If you are on the blue network, buses are scheduled to run every 16 to 30 minutes, 18 more hours a day.  On the green network, where ridership is light, we are offering broad coverage with local buses coming every 31 to 60 minutes -  at least 14 hours a day, seven days a week.

The New Bus Network has overhauled the local routes and is designed to make trips 10 minutes faster for 58 percent of trips between 30 key destinations. You can do a lot with 10 extra minutes in your life - or 20 minutes extra if you take a round-trip bus ride. Finish reading that novel, Snapchat your buddies, study for that exam, or catch a cat nap.

Look for our more efficient and reliable New Bus Network on Aug. 16. Try it and experience a new METRO.

A Network to More Activity Centers
 

In our current system, many routes require you to first come downtown as a hub, and then transfer out again to the activity center you want to go to.

But on the New Bus Network, we've built in routes that will go directly from your home base to a major activity center. There will be no more need to travel first to downtown, and then outbound again.

METRO's New Bus Network is designed to connect one million people to one million jobs. Every local route will operate seven days a week. About two-thirds of all trips are designed to be faster than the current system.

Check out the New Bus Network on Aug. 16 and give yourself a whole new way to ride.  

Your Home Base
 

METRO's New Bus Network offers you a home base from which you can more quickly and easily get to your final destination.

We've reconfigured our local routes to give you a more reliable and dependable network - a travel choice you can depend on.

Every bus stop will have an informational poster strapped to the bus stop pole. These infoposts are chockfull of useful facts to get you where you need to go. They will include a bus identification number you can text for real-time bus arrivals, a final destination on the sign, connecting information and a mini-map on some of them.

If your home base is on the frequent, red network, buses are scheduled to arrive every 15 minutes or less, seven days a week. More than 20 well-traveled routes are on the red network.

The new home base in the New Bus Network is coming on Aug. 16.

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