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Rail Interruption Alert on Feb. 22, 23

Rider Alert sign

Attention, late-night rail customers: The Red Line will be operating on a single track next Wednesday night., Feb. 22, and next Thursday night, Feb. 23.

Red Line northbound and southbound service will run from the northbound platforms for the following stations:

* Ensemble/HCC

* McGowen

Midtown development is requiring sewer renovations – and that’s affecting our late-night service both nights. Single-track service starts at 10:30 p.m. each night until normal service resumes the next morning.

Thanks for your patience, and thanks for riding METRO.

Weekend Fun with METRO: Feb. 17-19

Montage of events 

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

It’s time to log off of that computer, put down that pencil, and get out and about for another Houston weekend.  I’ve selected something for you without the kids, something for the kids, and then something that will make everyone in the family feel like a kid (did someone say monster trucks?).  Vainly reaching for a weekend theme, let’s go with “fluff.” 

There’s a monster truck competitor named Fluffy, and Fluffy is also the nickname of Gabriel Iglesias, the comedian whose show is featured below – and the recommended children’s symphony production also features animals.  We deserve extra points for creative thinking.

You can get creative, too, in what you want to do and where you want to go by using public transportation.  There are lots of places that are hard to drive to/park near, and METRO can get you there without the traffic headaches and parking fees. 

We have the ever-ready Trip Planner to help you find your routes and schedules, then all you have to do is go – and you’ll be glad you did.

Event:  Gabriel Iglesias FluffyMania World Tour.  Gabriel Iglesias brings us his FluffyMania tour this weekend, celebrating his 20th year as a stand-up comic.  He’s one of America’s most successful stand-up comedians, and has sold out both Madison Square Garden and The Microsoft Theater (it’s pretty tough to follow that).  He has also performed in movies and on TV, and it’s just hard to ignore something with the word “fluffy” in it (oh, how cute…).  Tickets are available online – but no one under age 7 can attend.

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

Where: NRG Arena, 1 NRG Park

Getting there*:

Bus – 60 Cambridge, 83 Buffalo Speedway

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

Event:  Houston Symphony: Mardi Gras Menagerie!  How about some pre-Mardi Gras fun for the kids?  The Symphony is inviting children to dress as their favorite animal for this performance of Saint-Saens’ “Carnival of the Animals” and music from “Happy Feet.”  The performance also features poetry written by second graders at an HISD school.  Tickets can be purchased online.

When: Saturday at 10 and 11:30 a.m.

Where: Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana 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:  Monster Jam.  Like trucks?  How about an event showcasing trucks crushing each other?  It’s not for the faint of heart; you’ll see trucks that can race up to 100 miles per hour and jump up to 35 feet in the air.  In addition to the main event, there’s a “Party in the Pit” from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. before the show where you can get the drivers’ autographs and see the trucks while their paint jobs are still intact.  Visit the website for tickets.

When:  Saturday at 7 p.m.

Where: NRG Stadium, 1 NRG Park

Getting there*:

Bus – 60 Cambridge, 83 Buffalo Speedway

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

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

Safe Walking with Smartphones

 Lightstrip in sidewalk in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, there’s a novel way to try to keep pedestrians with smartphones safer.

LED strips have been embedded in sidewalks at a busy intersection in the western Netherlands in the city of Bodegraven, reports The Verge. The strips light up red to let pedestrians know not to cross and green when it’s safe to walk. The strips, called “Plus Lightlines,” were placed so they would be in the line of sight of people who are using their smartphones.

The pilot project chose an intersection near schools. The strips, which are synced with traffic lights, are visible both day and night.

“People are increasingly distracted by the smartphone,” said Kees Oskam, town council member. “The attraction of social media, games, WhatsApp and music is great, and comes at the expense of attention to traffic. As a government, we cannot easily reverse this trend, but we can anticipate it.”

The light strips were installed by HIG Traffic Systems. If the pilot is successful, HIG said it plans to offer “Plus Lightlines” to other cities.

Here in Houston, pedestrian safety is paramount, especially around our whisper-soft light-rail lines. Don’t get distracted when you’re walking anywhere, especially near trains. Remember to put your phone down and then: Stop. Look. Listen.

Safety First

 

Wrapped train with red wrap that says: Stop. Think.METRORail is quieter than most buses and cars. So whether you’re walking, biking or driving near the rail, it’s important to stay alert and follow the rules of METRORail.

Stop. Don’t walk in front of, behind or between the trains. They can start quickly. Don’t drive, stop or park on the tracks.

Look. Always cross at designated pedestrian crossings. Look both ways – trains travel in both directions. Obey all warning devices – flashing lights, signals and crossing gates. You’ll risk getting a ticket if you violate these warnings.

Listen. Stay alert. Listen for train horns and signal bells. Stop texting and remove your ear buds.

Safety is METRO’s No. One priority. Let’s all practice safe habits on the street.

Valentine’s Dates on METRO

Valentine's hearts hanging on a clothesline

It’s a stormy Valentine’s Day replete with thunder, sheets of rain and tornado warnings. Kids are sheltering in place in schools across the city. But all this severe weather is expected to pass by in quick-moving storms – so don’t let that deter you from a little romance today.

Here are some ideas for transit-friendly Valentine’s dates. All these venues are easily accessible by METRORail. To get specific directions from your location, simply use our Trip Planner. Type in your starting point and destination, and you’re set to go.

·         Take your love to a museum. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (1001 Bissonnet) is featuring Two Centuries of American Still-Life Painting: The Frank and Michelle Hevrdejs Collection. This first-time public viewing displays an extraordinary range of styles – from impressionism to pop art. Museum hours today are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

·         Catch a matinee. Go see a late-afternoon movie, followed by dinner. Sundance Houston (510 Texas Ave.) in Bayou Place is showing 10 films, including four Academy Award-nominated movies – “Fences,” “Hidden Figures,” “La La Land” and “Moonlight.”

·         Go for a stroll through the Marriott Marquis, (1777 Walker St.) one of Houston’s newest hotels with a fabulous view of the skyline from its sixth-floor Texas-shaped lazy river pool. Snap an aerial shot of the pool from the top 17th floor hallway window. Then enjoy a drink at the High Dive bar and grill for refreshing drinks and light bites. Stroll over the sky bridge that connects to the George R. Brown Convention Center. Or walk across the street for a fun dinner at The Grotto (1001 Avenida de las Americas) for Italian-inspired food and craft beer.  

·         For a casual fun time, check out Little Woodrow’s (2019 Walker St.) in EaDo, a sports bar that’s featuring a hermit crab race at 8 p.m.  Yes, that’s a sport – or at least entertainment.

·         If the wet weather makes you want to stay home for a Netflix binge and chocolate, here’s a Valentine’s Day freebie to help you plan future dates. For today only, Houstonia magazine is offering a free, three-year subscription. This monthly magazine features art and culture around town, including H-town’s best restaurants - for future dates with your sweetheart.

And remember, wherever you go: Plan your trip @ RideMETRO.org. Happy Valentine’s Day!

ReelAbilities: Houston Film & Arts Festival

People in cinema watching film

A free city-wide film and arts festival celebrating the talents of people with disabilities will be conducted all around town – from museums to restaurants to a ballet studio and an airport.

ReelAbilities: Houston Film & Arts Festival features special speakers, art exhibits, performances and films dedicated to enriching Houston’s culture and inclusion efforts by spotlighting the lives, stories and talents of people with disabilities. METRO is a collaborating partner and is providing printing services for the event.

The films are heart-warming and poignant. “Gabe” features a 27-year-old man who born with muscular dystrophy and didn’t think he would live past the age of 25. Then he discovers he was misdiagnosed and might well live into his 50s. This presents a new challenge: He doesn’t have any long-term goals.

“Little Hero” tells the story of a six-year-old boy with autism as seen through the eyes of his twin sister. “Bumblebees” is the story of a child told he would never walk or speak. Vance overcomes all these challenges, but now has a new one: dating.

ReelTravelers, short film screenings, will be shown through Feb. 20 at Hobby Airport, at the base of escalators when you enter baggage claim area 1.

In addition to the films, there are lectures from thought leaders. On Feb. 16, you can experience an extraordinary evening with three speakers: Jane McGonigal, a world-famous game designer; Elise Roy, a deaf lawyer, artist, artisan and human rights advocate, and Henry Evans, who became a quadriplegic and mute at the age of 40 after a sudden stroke-like attack caused by a hidden birth defect.

All events are free, but space is limited and registration is required. Films play from Feb. 19 – 23, while ReelArt runs through March 31.

 

Weekend Fun with METRO: Feb. 10-12

 

Montage of events

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

Got that post-Super Bowl letdown?  Don’t fret; there’s still plenty of entertainment in Houston (and you know that there is – what have you been doing all along?).  So you can slowly withdraw from the game, why not visit the terrific Pro Football Hall of Fame traveling exhibit at Texas Southern University’s museum?

 In addition, I’m recommending acquainting yourself with the latest in theater at the Alley and taking the little ones out for exuberant fun with Sesame Street friends.  The goal is to put up your feet on Sunday evening and think, “Gosh, what a nice weekend we had.”

METRO’s goal is to contribute to your great weekend experience by taking the hassle out of getting around town.  Go to the Trip Planner to find your routes and schedules, and prepare to sit back while we get you to and from whatever the weekend brings.

 I know that Punxsutawney Phil said we’ll have six more weeks of winter, but the flowering plants I see tell me he’s made a slight error.  Now’s the time to get familiar with Houston’s bus and rail system because you’ll want an easy way to get out and enjoy spring, no matter how early it is.

Event:  Alley All New Festival 2017.  This is the second annual festival celebrating new work from some of the most exciting new playwrights writing today.  The weekend includes play readings, workshop performances, and the world premiere production of “Syncing Ink,” about a young man who wants to learn to rap.  The readings and workshop are free to the public (advance reservations are strongly recommended), and there’s special festival pricing for performances of “Syncing Ink.”  See the online calendar of performances to plan when you want to attend.

When: Friday 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m.-10 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:  Gridiron Glory – The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Here’s your chance to see the traveling exhibit from the Pro Football Hall of Fame that is displayed in every Super Bowl city.  It’s described as the most extensive and comprehensive professional football exhibition ever to go on tour and it includes visitor activities, audio and video from NFL Films, and more than 200 artifacts that help to tell the story of professional football from its beginnings in the late 19th century.  It also includes a “Hometown Tribute” section that spotlights our local team.

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

 Where: Texas Southern University Museum, 3100 Cleburne St.

Getting there*:

Bus – 4 Beechnut

METRORail – Purple Line (exit Robertson Stadium/UH/TSU Station)

Event:  Sesame Street Live: Elmo Makes Music!  With all of this football around lately, we haven’t featured much for the littlest tykes, so here’s a way to spend some time with Elmo and his buddies from Sesame Street.  How can you go wrong?  While the gang helps the new music teacher find the missing instruments, your children can learn that “everyone can make and enjoy beautiful music together.” Tickets are available online.

When: Friday at 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., Saturday at 10:30 a.m., 2 and 5:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 and 5:30 p.m.

Where: NRG Arena, 1 NRG Park

Getting there*:

Bus – 60 Cambridge, 83 Buffalo Speedway

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

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

 

 

New Grand Parkway Garage to Open



Here’s good news for all our Park & Ride customers at the Grand Parkway: Starting next Monday, Feb. 13, our new garage will be open for business. 


Here's how you get in. Tap your METRO Q® Fare Card once to get in the garage - and $2 will be charged to your fare card. Then when you board the bus, tap again, and $2.50 will be charged. 


You will never be charged more than $4.50, the standard fare for the 222 Grand Parkway route. This includes both customer parking and one-way travel. If you have a METRO discount card, such as a senior or student card, those fares still apply. 


You will no longer be allowed to park in the theater parking lot. Vehicles parked there will be towed. 


If you don’t have a METRO Q® Fare Card, no worries. We’ll have friendly staff at our Discover Bus at the Grand Parkway, where you’ll be able to pick up a Q Card and load money. 


The Discover Bus will be there tomorrow and next Monday through Wednesday, Feb. 13 - 15. Hours will be 5:30 - 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 - 7 p.m. 


So remember: Tap twice to take our 222 Grand Parkway route, and enjoy covered parking. 

Super Bowl LI Sets Ridership Record

Crowd on METRORail

Today in Boston, Patriots fans are flooding the streets with a city-wide parade, honoring their home team’s Super Bowl LI win – a game that will go down in history as the Pats made the greatest comeback in unprecedented overtime.

Here in Houston, as the Texas Rangers search for Tom Brady’s missing jersey, we at METRO are pleased we were the top transportation choice for fans in the nine days leading up to Super Bowl Sunday. More than 700,000 boardings were recorded on METRORail and METRO’s special shuttle buses in the nine-day pre-Super Bowl LI festivities.

We reached four of the five highest single-day ridership totals in our METRORail history from Feb. 1 through Feb. 4. On Feb. 4, the 109,500 Saturday boardings set a new one-day rail record.

“The feedback we have received has been tremendous,” said METRO Chair Carrin Patman. “So many have called and messaged about their positive experiences using METRO over these past several days.”

METRO’s Green and Purple lines experienced three consecutive days of highest single-day ridership.

“This effort was more than two years in the planning, and to see the community embrace and rely on our services in such a big way is extremely rewarding,” said METRO President & CEO Tom Lambert. “Our expanded transportation network has grown rapidly in the last three years, and METRO’s dedicated staff proved we can deliver when it’s time for a world-class event and every day.”

Special METRO shuttles tallied about 26,700 boardings, carrying people to the largest Super Bowl events. That figure, combined with 680,100 boardings on METRORail, totals 706,800 on METRO’s Super Bowl Connection service.

 

Service Changes Coming: Feb. 12, 2017

"Service Change" and bus in background 

METRO is tweaking its schedules and routes to bring better service to you.

We’ll be implementing these changes next Sunday, Feb. 12. They’re designed to reduce overcrowding and improve our on-time performance.

Some of the changes include:

·         6 Jensen/Greens – adding a 4:45 p.m. northbound trip.

·         7 West Airport – adding a 7:05 eastbound trip.

·         47 Hillcroft – rescheduling the 3:45 p.m. southbound trip to start at 2:45 p.m.

·         228 Addicks Park & Ride – adjusting the 6:45, 7:00 and 7:46 p.m. outbound and 4:01, 5:00 and 5:30 p.m. inbound trips to serve the Shell Woodcreek Facility.

Read more details of all the routes affected.

Weekend Happenings with METRO Feb. 3-5, 2017

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

Super Bowl weekend is upon us.  There’s been a lot of preparation leading up to this (you’ll be only too aware of that if you’ve been downtown lately), and we’ve got the events to prove that everyone has gone all out to welcome and entertain our visitors.  I’ve chosen just three of the biggest events, one that costs and two for free.

 There’s much more going on this weekend – two good football-related exhibits at Texas Southern University and the Heritage Society, among many other offerings.  There’s even a Soberbowl event on Sunday at White Oak Music Hall.

 Just check around and decide what you’d like best.  You really should experience something Super Bowl-ish this weekend even if you aren’t a football fan.  Relax and allow yourself to be swept up in the celebration.

This is a great weekend to try riding METRO.  Public transit is going to be particularly important because of the traffic and crowds that you’ll experience almost everywhere you want to go.  It’s a good time to check out our online Trip Planner to find your routes and schedules, and then find out how easy it is to travel by bus or rail.  See you out there in the crowd.

Event:  NFL Experience Driven by Genesis.  Described as an “interactive theme park,” this event includes games, free player autograph sessions, a virtual reality activity and photo ops with the Lombardi trophy.  You’ll also find youth football clinics and merchandise from the NFL Shop.  You can compete with NFL players in running and jumping on LED screens, and see a display of Super Bowl rings.  On Saturday, there’s an auction of some pretty spectacular football memorabilia, too.  A Fan Mobile Pass can be downloaded from NFL.com/SBApp, and tickets can be purchased online, by phone, or at the box office two hours prior to doors opening.

When: Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenue De Las Americas

Getting there*:

Bus – 6 Jensen/Greens, 11 Almeda/Lyons, 51 Hardy-Kelley, 52 Hardy-Ley (exit San Jacinto & Dallas), 40 Telephone/Heights, 41 Kirby/Polk (exit Polk & Hamilton)

METRORail – Green Line or Purple Line, exit Convention District Station

Event:  Super Bowl LIVE.  Here’s a free family Super Bowl experience for you, outdoors at Discovery Green.  There will be lots of musical acts (ZZ Top and The Suffers among those for this weekend) and 24 DJs on two stages.  I could go on and on – more than 20 food trucks, nightly water projection shows, four fireworks displays, Future Flight (a virtual reality journey to Mars with a 90-foot drop tower), and Houston LIVE, an exhibit telling the story of our town.  I’d have a hard time turning down all of this at no cost, even for ZZ Top alone.  Houston sure knows how to throw a party.

When:  Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 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)

Event:  Mid Main SuperFest.  The Mid Main neighborhood is hosting four days of free music, art and food in celebration of the big game.  Some of the Gulf Coast’s top musical and artistic talent will create a series of concerts, pop-up shops, and culinary demonstrations.  The block of Winbern between Travis and Main will be closed to traffic, and an outdoor stage and food, beverage and local craft vendors will take over the streets.  The headline act is The Polyphonic Spree, whose 16 years of touring have seen them perform at most major music festivals as well as on TV.  There will be an in-street brunch on Sunday, and 5% of drink sales for the whole event will benefit the non-profit Bike Houston group.

When: Friday 5 to 10 p.m., Saturday from noon to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Entrance at Winbern St. & Main St. (for Uber use 3700 Main St.)

Getting there*:

Bus – 9 Gulfton/Holman

METRORail – Red Line (exit Ensemble/HCC Station)

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

Getting Around During Super Bowl LI

Montage of train and Super Bowl LI events


METRO makes it easy for you to get around to all the Super Bowl LI events, including the Super Bowl LIVE,  NFL Experience  and Game City Showcase’s events tonight.

If you’re driving into downtown, the first thing to do is read the “Know Before You Go” guide that gives all the transit options. METRO is running three free shuttles and offering extended train hours. There’s a $2 shuttle, ferrying folks from the Galleria to downtown.

Riding the train or local bus is only $1.25 each way. You can download the RIdeMETRO app to plan your trip, and use the METRO Q Mobile Ticketing to buy your tickets on your smartphone.

Once you drive into town, where do you park? Try METRO’s Fannin South Parking lot at 1604 West Bellfort. The parking lot is right off our Red Line and one station away from Stadium Park/Astrodome Station where you can walk to the NRG Stadium. You can also stay on the Red Line and exit at Bell Station, then walk a few blocks to Polk and Caroline where you can access the Super Bowl LIVE at Discovery Green Park.

Pre-Super Bowl LI event parking at Fannin South is $5, plus $3 for a rail pass. You can reserve your spot and pre-pay but that must be done at least 24 hours in advance.

You can also check out the many parking lots operated by Laz. Go here, and scroll all the way down the page. You’ll see a parking lot map with little dots on it. The dots represent the downtown parking lots, and only the ones with available space will show up. Each day, availability may change.

So be adventurous, and come on downtown to catch some of the Super Bowl LI excitement. METRO will be with you all the way, connecting you seamlessly to all the fun.

Take METRO to the Super Bowl EaDo Party



Super Bowl LI fever is starting to rise…and if you want to get into the spirit of the game, venture downtown where you’ll find lots of top-tier musical acts, entertainment and fun - all free. 


First, hop on METRORail to get there. All rides on all three light-rail lines are free to the end of service at midnight tonight. This is a great opportunity to try out our trains if you’ve never ridden before. 


If you’re in a suburb, you can park in our Fannin South parking lot at 1604 West Bellfort for only $5, then board the Red Line for free . You can get off at Bell Station, walk a couple of blocks to Polk and Caroline for a fun time at the free Super Bowl Live experience at Discovery Green. 

 

METRO is the Super Bowl LI community transportation provider. We’re offering extended train hours and free shuttles to make it easy for you to get around. 


Once you’re downtown, there are lots of fun activities. Check out the Super Bowl party Game City Showcase is producing tonight in lively EaDo, reachable on the Green Line. Wander through the spacious beer garden at the 8th Wonder Brewery’s WonderWorld, where you’ll find live music, food vendors and a marketplace of locally made goods.


Or see and be seen at the Sustainable HTX up-cycled fashion and art presentation at Magpies & Peacocks. Complimentary drinks and light bites will be served. If you like what you see in the fashion show, buy it. 


Go rock out at the playhouse and and re-live the 1980s at EaDo Playhouse with free beer and wine. Or attend a pep rally with marching bands - complete with streets lined with Astroturf - at the EaDo End-Zone at Lucky’s Pub till 2 a.m. Wear your team’s colors, bring your flags and show some team spirit while you sample tasty bites. And you’ll have a chance to win a pair of tickets to the Big Game. 


So come on out tonight, and party with METRO. We’ll get you there safely and efficiently. 

Super Bowl Fun and Free Rides

Tom Brady of the Patriots and Matt Ryan of the Falcons

Excitement is building as Super Bowl activities ramp up five days before the big game.

Step inside the lobby of the Marriott Marquis, newly opened in December across from the GRB Convention Center, and you’ll get to take selfies with Tom Brady and Matt Ryan – life-sized cut-outs of the two competing quarterbacks in action.

Over at Discovery Green, check out the 22 food trucks offering tasty bites from Creole Cajun to Churrascos. Experience Houston LIVE, a first-of-its-kind exhibit at the Super Bowl, sharing the history and the story of our city. In the evening, enjoy live music. Tonight, there’s Bright Light Social Hour, Sam Lao and a unicorn, dragon and lion dance team from Teo Chew Association.

Game City Showcase is in the midst of a four-day event, featuring four distinct neighborhoods with free events, entertainment, food and drink. Tonight, the focus is on the Theater District. Find live music, food and drink samples, movies and ticket giveaways at the Hard Rock Café at Bayou Place. Step into the T-Mobile Tech Lounge set up inside the Hard Rock Café and experience the virtual reality world.

You can get to all these activities on METRORail – and rides on all trains are free today and tomorrow, courtesy of Reliant Energy.  Learn about our transportation services, offering extended hours on the trains and free shuttles. All the Super Bowl activities are within walking distance of our light-rail lines.

Driving in to park downtown? Don’t just jump in your car and head downtown.  Reserve your spot 24 hours in advance and pre-pay. Be sure to check out the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee’s official guide, “Know Before You Go.”

Have fun, and enjoy these pre-game events with METRO.

Free Train Rides for Super Bowl LI

Red train warpped with "Reliant" on it 

As you enjoy the pre-Super Bowl festivities next week, here’s good news: You’ll be able to enjoy unlimited free rides on all three METRORail lines from today through Wednesday, Feb. 1.

The free rides are courtesy of Reliant Energy, an NRG company.

“This offers an excellent opportunity for folks in our region to experience the many attractions this world-class event brings to Houston while enjoying the convenience and access our transportation network offers,” said METRO President & CEO Tom Lambert.

There are plenty of Super Bowl events within walking distance of METRORail, including Super Bowl Live, NFL Experience and Game City Showcase. We’re expecting thousands of visitors each day, so one of the easiest ways to get around is by public transit. METRO is offering extended hours and free shuttles.

“At Reliant and NRG, we are excited to welcome the world to Houston and host the big game at ‘our house,’ NRG Stadium. As part of our mission to power, protect and simplify life, we’re ready to partner with METRO to energize and transport fans to all the fun across town,” said Elizabeth Killinger, president of Reliant and NRG Retail.

Be sure to read “Know Before You Go,” an official Super Bowl LI guide to all the ways to get around, and download the RideMETRO app before leaving home in order to map your trips. You can also use the Super Bowl LI apps to check out official Super Bowl LI events.

 

 
Weekend Happenings Jan. 27-29

Montage of events

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

It’s the weekend already – hooray!  It’s another chance for an outing to enjoy art, culture or music in our town.  This week I’m recommending some things that may be new to you - acquainting yourself with one of our newest theater groups, celebrating the Lunar New Year, and seeing the latest great museum exhibit.  No, I haven’t forgotten the Super Bowl…there will be plenty of time for Super Bowl fun next weekend.

When you’ve got the outing planned, METRO’s got the way to get you there.  You don’t have to worry if you want to go somewhere you’ve never gone before.  Our online Trip Planner can fill you in on the bus or rail routes you’ll need - just type in your starting and ending points.  Give it a try and see for yourself.  Weekends are more fun without traffic hassles.  Now away you go…

Event:  Spring Awakening.” One of Houston’s newest performing arts venues, EaDo Playhouse promises to bring Houston audiences new works and reinvented existing works, what I’d call “not-your-parents’ theater.”  “Spring Awakening” is a rock musical based on an 1891 play by Frank Wedekind, the story of late 19th-century adolescents striving with the problems of coming of age in a very conservative society.  Language and situations involved make it unsuitable for children.  Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the box office.

When: Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 5 p.m.

Where: EaDo Playhouse, 2619 McKinney St.

Getting there*:

Bus – 40 Telephone/Heights, 41 Polk/Kirby (exit Polk & Live Oak)

Event:  Family Day: Lunar New Year Celebration.  Asia Society Texas invites you to bring the family to this free celebration of the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Rooster.  You’ll explore the customs and cultures of East Asia through performances, art activities, games, storytelling, and a look at the new exhibition, “Modern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art.”  The kids will have a great time.  The day includes a ticketed performance by the Huaxing Arts Group that costs $5 for visitors who are not Society members (please RSVP for this performance through the Society’s website).

When:  Saturday from 1-4 p.m.

Where: Asia Society Texas, 1370 Southmore Blvd.

Getting there*:

Bus – 5 Southmore (exit Main & Southmore), 11 Almeda/Lyons (exit Almeda & Southmore)

Event:  Two Centuries of American Still-Life Painting.”  One reason that this exhibit is interesting is the local connection.  The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is giving us a peek at the still-life paintings collected over the past 30 years by Houstonians Michelle and Frank Hevrdejs.  There’s something relaxing about this type of painting, and the details are usually fascinating.  The works cover 200 years and 60 artists, and most of these have never been seen by the public.  Visit and enhance your knowledge of art history - I love the idea of spending a Sunday afternoon with this.

When: Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday from 12:15 to 7 p.m.

Where: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet St.

Getting there*:

Bus – 5 Southmore, 56 Airline/Montrose, 65 Bissonnet

METRORail – Red Line (exit Museum District Station)

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

Stay Safe Along the Rail

Drawing of figure looking at RR crossing

Starting tomorrow, Super Bowl LI festivities begin, and thousands of visitors are expected to descend downtown.

To stay safe in and around our rail lines, remember: Always stop, look and listen.

Look before entering the crosswalk. Listen for the train before crossing. Light-rail trains are quiet, and it’s easy to not hear them approach, especially if you’re plugged in with earbuds.

Never walk on or along the railroad tracks. Trains come in both directions. Never try to beat a train across the tracks. Trains can’t stop quickly.

Stand back from moving vehicles. Trains are wider than the tracks, and buses are wider than their wheels. They have doors, side mirrors and ramps. So be safe, and stand back.  If you see a train or bus pulling out, don’t chase after it.

Train doors close automatically. Don’t try to hold them open when they are trying to close.

Stay safe, and enjoy the Super Bowl activities. Remember to check out the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee’s guide, “Know Before You Go” where you’ll find out where to park, and as well as how to reserve and pre-pay for a parking spot.

METRO will be offering additional trains and buses with extended hours of operation and free shuttles.



 

Young Ballerina Takes METRO


Catherine dancing


Her name is Catherine, and she’s in high school. Her passion is ballet, but she wouldn’t be able to get to her lessons unless she took public transportation.

Her mom, a single working mom, just couldn’t drive her daughter to lessons and work full-time, too. 


Catherine began riding METRO. And now, with METRO to get her there, Catherine practices hard every day to achieve her dream. She’s already ridden METRO 600 times.


Meet Catherine and watch her dance in this 30-second spot here. 


Riding METRO is convenient. Load a METRO Q®  Fare Card with money, or buy a Q mobile ticket on your smart phone. Discover how easy it is to ride - just like Catherine did. 


Game City Showcase

Skyline

Start celebrating Super Bowl LI in your favorite Houston neighborhoods with Game City Showcase, four nights of fun in four neighborhoods – all free.

Game City Showcase is a four-day event leading up to the Big Game in four distinctive neighborhoods: Midtown on Monday, Jan. 30; Theater District on Tuesday, Jan. 31; EaDo District on Wednesday, Feb. 1, and Museum District on Thursday, Feb 2.

METRO is partnering with Game City – a natural fit as all these neighborhoods are within walking distance of our rail lines: the Red Line, Purple Line and Green Line.

There will be live music, interactive art, tasty bites, specialty drinks, giveaways, activities and special appearances.  For example, explore Houston and collect impressive prizes in the Game City Love Scavenger Hunt, presented by T-Mobile and Houstonia Magazine. The hunt will involve photo challenges, solving puzzles and riding METRORail.

For those of you who are entrepreneurs wanting to do business with sports teams, you can attend a Business Diversity in Professional Sports panel at the MATCH on Jan. 30. It’s limited to the first 250 who RSVP.

So pick your nights, choose your ‘hood and have some fun – and let METRO take you there.

METRO Blog Celebrates 10 Years

Cake with "Write On, METRO" celebrating 10th year anniversary

Happy anniversary to our “Write On METRO” blog – the first blog by a transit agency.

This month marks the 10th anniversary of our blog, started at a time when corporations were dipping their toes into the social media world and government agencies were avoiding that world. Back then, only eight percent of Fortune 500 companies – 40 firms – had blogs as of October 2006.

It was so unusual that the Houston Chronicle wrote an article about our not-yet-published blog on the front page of its City/State section. Our blog debuted on Jan. 8, 2007.

The blog was designed as another forum where we could freely share information and give you a chance to comment, criticize, praise and ask questions of your own.

Today, we are very active socializing via the Web – sending service alerts via Twitter, posting on Facebook and continuing the blog.

Last week, a former summer intern, who’s an Aggie majoring in urban planning, dropped by the office with a delicious cake to celebrate our 10th anniversary. Thank you for remembering, Barrett Ochoa! You may recall we featured the young Barrett as a seventh grader whose hobby was riding every one of METRO’s routes.

Please continue to join the conversation on the blog, friend us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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