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New Midday & Evening Service


Bus with Houston skyline behind itThe 269 West Bellfort/Westwood route has a new midday bus service in the Southwest Freeway corridor, and a new evening service.

That means you can now enjoy both midday and evening Park & Ride service between downtown, Hillcroft Park & Ride and West Bellfort Park & Ride.

Midday service runs weekdays from 8:30 am. to 3 p.m., while evening service runs from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Click here to see a map of the route.

Weekend Happenings with METRO August 26-28, 2016


 Montage of events

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

 

With the kids back in school, you really have to take advantage of weekend activities now.  For this weekend, we’ve chosen an outdoor evening event and two indoor events to avoid those projected afternoon showers.  And these are all events that the whole family can enjoy together.  So come on out, and spend the weekend experiencing treasures – prehistoric treasures at the zoo, natural treasures at the movies, and cultural treasures in an afternoon with Houston’s theaters.  Before you head out, though, visit our Google-powered Trip Planner to find the routes to deliver you to your weekend destinations.  You’ll be glad that you skipped the traffic and parking problems by riding METRO.

 

Event:  Dinos at Dusk.  There’s just one week remaining to see the animatronic dinosaur exhibit that has been at the zoo this summer, and this is a fitting way to say goodbye.  Enjoy an evening of learning and activities – and take home your own dinosaur fossil as a souvenir.  The evening begins with hors d’oeuvres, dinosaur activities and a photo opp with Charlie the Dinosaur, progresses through an educational presentation, a walk through the dinosaurs at dusk, then more activities and refreshments.  Tickets are available online, and your admission gets you into the zoo all day before the event starts, so you could go after school and stay for the evening.

 

When: Friday, 7 to 9 p.m.

 

Where: Houston Zoo, 6200 Hermann Park Dr.

 

Getting there*:

Bus – 28 OST-Wayside

 

METRORail – Red Line, exit Hermann Park/Rice University or Memorial Hermann Hospital/Houston Zoo Station

 

Event:  National Parks Adventure 3D.  You may have heard that this year marks the 100th anniversary of our national park system.  What better way to enhance your appreciation of these treasures than to see this 3D movie on the giant screen at the Houston Museum of Natural Science?  It’s a chance to see natural wonders that you may never be able to experience in person.  It will make you want to plan your next vacation.  Tickets are available online.

 

When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday showings at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

 

Where: Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5665 Hermann Park Dr.

 

Getting there*:

Bus – 5 Southmore, 56 Airline/Montrose, 65 Bissonnet (exit Binz & Main)

 

METRORail – Red Line, exit Museum District Station

 

Event:  Theater District Open House.  This annual event provides your family with a wonderful opportunity to visit the downtown theaters with no admission charge, no tickets or reservations needed.  You can see performances on stage at all four of the Theater District’s venues and tour backstage.  You’ll be able to dig into the costume trunk and learn about musical instruments at the instrument petting zoo.  The day ends with a free Houston Symphony concert at 4 p.m. at Jones Hall.  What a deal!

 

When: Sunday, 12 p.m.

 

Where: Wortham Theater Center, 550 Prairie St.

 

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.

 

 

 

Bullet-proofing Our K9s

METRO's K9s in their new protective vests

Four-footed police officers need protection, too, and the METRO Police Department’s seven K9 officers recently received bullet and stab-protective vests. 

The protective vests, valued at $1,050 each, were donated to METRO by Vested Interest in K9s Inc., a non-profit organization in East Taunton, Mass. The vests are sponsored by the late Otto W. Vollenweider of Bolingbrook, Ill., and are embroidered with his quote, “May you always stay safe.”

Vested Interest in K9s was established in 2009 to help law enforcement agencies by providing their K9 officers with this potentially lifesaving body armor. So far, it has provided more than 2,000 protective vests - costing more than $1.7 million - to agencies in 50 states.

“The K9 unit is important to METRO Police because it serves a valuable role in protecting our patrons and employees. It is comforting to know our K9 partners now have vest protection,” said MPD Chief Vera Bumpers.

Each vest is custom-made and weighs four to five pounds. Actively employed dogs with law enforcement agencies are eligible to participate in the Vested Interest program. The dogs must be at least 20 months old.

 

METRO to Build More Bus Shelters

Bus shelter

If you’ve hopped on the bus recently to get around town, you know that the humidity, heat and afternoon thunderstorms can make it uncomfortable to wait for an air-conditioned bus to roll up. 

Bus shelters offer the needed comfort and respite from the elements - and for fiscal year 2017 which starts Oct. 1, 2016, METRO has big plans for new bus shelters. METRO plans to install 125 shelters at new locations and bring another 200 to 300 bus stops into full compliance with the American with Disabilities Act. 

“We are going through the process that includes looking at off-the-shelf models from national vendors, modifying our existing design, and working with consultants in the design of an entirely new model,” said Rocky Marrero, vice president of Facilities Maintenance. “The process is on-going, but we hope to have a final package for the METRO board to consider sometime in the first quarter of FY17.”

The current model of shelter METRO uses costs about $4,500 to purchase and install and is built by a Houston company.

So how does METRO decide where to install a shelter? We have a Bus Shelter Guideline that clearly outlines the parameters, including ridership, number of transfer points, and proximity to major activity centers. 

It takes about 10 to 12 weeks to install a shelter, depending on the size of right-of-way and the type and condition of existing infrastructure. Our goal is to have 125 new bus shelters in place by September 2017, said Marrero. 




 

Enjoying the Texans with METRO

Fans at NRG Stadium at Texans game

This Sunday, the Houston Texans play against the Arizona Cardinals in a pre-season exhibition game at NRG Stadium, and METRO has a great way for you to get there and back.

Park in our lot at the Fannin South Transit Center at 1604 West Bellfort. Special event parking is only $15   and includes a round-trip fare on the train for you and all passengers in your vehicle. NRG Stadium is only one short stop away – a three-minute ride - on the Red Line. The train runs every 12 minutes on Sundays going inbound to NRG. Returning outbound to Fannin South, the train runs every eight minutes.

If you need to find other downtown parking near METRORail, please learn more at SP + Parking or DowntownHouston.org.

Enjoy the game, and avoid the traffic gridlock.

(Photo by Gabe Arevalo.)

 

Back-to-school Hours for RideStore

Students at laptops


If you’re a student, or if you have a student in the family, take advantage of one of the best bargains in town:  the Student METRO Fare Card.

This card allows students to tap and board our local buses and trains at half price – that’s 60-cents a ride.

For your convenience, we’re offering back-to-school extended hours at our RideStore at 1900 Main St. This week, Monday through Friday, we’re open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Saturday, Aug. 27, we’re open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To get your discounted Q Card, you’ll need a current school ID, a class schedule, and an enrollment form or report card on school letterhead. Find more details here.

Even if you don’t take METRO to get to school, you can still save a bundle by traveling half-price to other destinations on our routes – including the zoo, museums, theaters, clubs and restaurants.

 

Weekend Happenings with METRO August 19-21, 2016


 Montage of events

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

 

We might see some rain this weekend, so let’s plan on indoor activities (and one outdoor one that has a covered-seating option).  You can rock out to the music of David Bowie, take a journey to a galaxy far, far away, or learn about theater history in our own city – and that just scratches the surface of the many things to do here this weekend.

 

METRO wants to help you in your pursuit of entertainment, so visit our Google-powered Trip Planner to find the routes to your weekend destinations.  School starts on Monday for many area students, so enjoy the last weekend before homework.  Remember, too, that METRO can transport the kids safely to school, and you can obtain a Student Q® Fare Card for discounted fares.  Students travel everywhere on METRO – for school and weekend fun – at half price.

 

Event:  Classic Albums Live presents The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.  It’s an interesting premise – recreating a classic album live on stage with musicians chosen according to their ability to replicate a “sound” and fit into a specific musical niche.  This 1972 David Bowie album is known as one of his greatest, and includes favorites like “Starman” and “Rock ‘n Roll Suicide.”  Admission is free, but you’ll need tickets to sit in covered seating.

 

When: Friday, 8:15 p.m.

 

Where: Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Dr.

 

Getting there*:

Bus – 5 Southmore, 28 OST-Wayside (exit Ben Taub), 56 Airline/Montrose (exit Main & Sunset)

 

METRORail – Red Line, exit Memorial Hermann Hospital/Houston Zoo Station

 

Event:  Star Wars Marathon.  It’s hard to believe that Star Wars first appeared 39 years ago.  This event features digital screenings of the special edition versions of “A New Hope,” “The Empire Strikes back,” and “The Return of the Jedi.”  Costumes are encouraged, so grab your lightsaber and come prepared to win the costume contest.  The Force will be strong.  Tickets are available online.

 

When: Saturday, 4 p.m. (doors open at 3 p.m.)

 

Where: Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St.

 

Getting there*:

Bus – 30 Clinton/Ella, 44 Acres Homes, 85 Antoine/Washington, 160 Memorial City Express, 161 Wilcrest Express, 162 Memorial Express (exit Smith & Capitol)

 

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

 

Event:  Stages of Struggle and Celebration: Black Theatre in Texas.  Of particular interest to history and theatre buffs, this free exhibit explores the history of black theatre and its cultural impact in Texas.  Featuring costumes, posters, and photographs of set designs and productions beginning in the 1800’s,  it showcases research for a book of the same title, and prominently features black theatre in Houston as well as Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin.      

 

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

 

Where: Houston Public Library, Julia Ideson Building, 500 McKinney St.

 

Getting there*:

Bus – 30 Clinton/Ella, 44 Acres Homes, 85 Antoine/Washington, 160 Memorial City Express, 161 Wilcrest Express, 162 Memorial Express (exit Smith & McKinney)

 

METRORail – Red Line (exit Main Street Square 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.

 

 

 

Service Changes Coincide with First Day of School

 

Buses parked at facility with "Back to School" montage 

On Monday, METRO starts service changes – and that’s also the first day of school for thousands of students.

Some bus operators are driving new routes, and students are figuring out ways to get to new schools with new schedules. So to all of our customers: Please be patient. You’ll find more cars on the road as parents rush home early from work to be home when their child returns home from his or her first day of school.

And you may find buses more crowded than usual on Monday afternoon.

“More bus riders leave earlier than normal in the afternoon on the first day of school, creating overloads on trips which haven’t had overloads for the rest of the year,” points out Jim Archer, METRO director of Service Planning, Scheduling and Evaluation Planning.

Some of our service changes include the addition of mid-day service on Route 269 Southwest Freeway and adjusting running times on Route 49 Chimney Rock/S. Post Oak and Route 96 Veterans Memorial.  Click here to see all the service changes.

So next Monday, breathe in and breathe out. We’ll make it to work, school and home again with a little patience and understanding. It will get better.

 

Houston Dash Fan? Ride Free

Houston Dash fans who are planning on cheering on their home soccer team tomorrow night can hop on METRORail and ride for free - simply show your Dash game ticket to any METRO fare inspector who may check your fare. 

All those who hold valid tickets to a Dynamo or Dash soccer game get to ride METRORail for free to and from BBVA Compass Stadium on game day. Tomorrow, the Dash play against the Washington Spirit at 7 p.m. - and now you can get there without slogging through bumper-to-bumper traffic. 

Simply park your car downtown and hop on the Red Line. You can find parking lots at downtownhouston.org. Or you can park at the Fannin South Transit Center lot at 1604 West Bellfort. Board the Red Line going north, then transfer to the Green or Purple lines and stop right at the stadium. 

Come out and support Houston’s professional women’s soccer team - and get there on a complementary convenient ride on the rail. 





Why She Loves Her Route


Sister Josephine on Route 85As METRO celebrates its one-year anniversary of the New Bus Network, let’s meet one rider who says she loves her route.

Sister Josephine Vasquez takes the 85 Antoine/Washington regularly.

It’s on one of METRO’s high-frequency routes – which means this bus comes every 10 minutes during peak hours. Sister Josephine just shows up at the bus stop and, in no time at all, steps aboard and is on her way.

Take a listen.

Celebrating One Year on the New Bus Network

Montage of event

METRO celebrated today the one-year anniversary of its New Bus Network, a massive overhaul of its local bus system which created grid-like routes with service every 15 minutes on popular routes.

At a news conference in its lobby at 1900 Main St., officials praised the network, citing stats of increased ridership, easier access to METRO’s system and worldwide attention to how METRO revamped its system.

METRO Board Chair Carrin Patman commended the work of the METRO staff and promised more improvements as the remainder of the five-year New Bus Network plan rolls out, including better bus stops and improved bus access. She pointed to an easier-to-read bus sign on display with pertinent information customers want.  

“We will approve a budget next month that will focus on improvements to the system,” said Patman.

Board member Christof Spieler, acknowledged as a key architect of the New Bus Network, said it took every department at METRO to pull off the New Bus Network a year ago. And METRO has been noticed by transit agencies from Auckland, New Zealand, to Anchorage, Alaska, to Baltimore, Maryland.

“You don’t have to look at a schedule. You simply show up” to catch a bus every 10 or 15 minutes, said Spieler, adding, “That plan is working exactly the way we intended. We put the best service where the most people are using it.”

Since the New Bus Network was launched, ridership has increased by 4.5 million boardings, said Tom Lambert, METRO’s president & CEO. Other highlights of ridership growth:

  • 6.8 percent growth on local bus and rail

  • Largest 11-month ridership growth in a decade

  • 16.6 percent ridership gain on the Red Line

  • 1.2 percent ridership growth on the local bus network.

     

“It’s more than just the New Bus Network. We have a rail corridor that can move people more efficiently. We have 22 high-efficiency routes, but there’s more to come. This has been the way public projects should work,” said Lambert.

Other improvements cited during the first year of the New Bus Network include next-bus texting, in which patrons can text their specific bus stop number to a code and receive a text message of when the next bus is arriving.

A University of Houston student who works full-time and is the single mother of a young son said she loves the New Bus Network and is now a regular rider. “It’s less wear and tear on my vehicle. I bring my laptop on the bus and catch up on my email and homework,” said Caroline Vazquez at the news conference. “With the New Bus Network, I have a bus stop right across from my house. This combination of the New Bus Network, plus the rail, allows my son and me to get to the zoo…and even catch Pokémon.”

 

 

Weekend Happenings with METRO Aug 12-14, 2016

 

Montage of events 

 

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

 

There’s a lot to do again this weekend, but we’ve chosen a few out-of-the-ordinary selections – umbrellas up in the air, beauty down under the ground and, in between, the rather unusual denizens of Transylvania.  How can you resist?  But no matter what you get into, you can always rely on METRO to provide dependable service to take you there and bring you home again.  Just visit our Google-powered Trip Planner to find the routes you need – and have a great weekend.

 

Event: Umbrellas Over the Esplanade.  This is a special evening edition of the East End Street Market, featuring musical guests Nick Gaitan & The Umbrella Man.  The free event includes the chance to view the installation of the Navigation Esplanade’s first-ever public art project, as well as enjoy the market’s vendors.  For $20, you can even paint an umbrella that will be part of the display (and keep it after the installation comes down on September 13).  All proceeds directly benefit the projects and initiatives of the East End Foundation/East End Cultural District.

 

When: Friday, 6 to 10 p.m.

 

Where: East End Street Market, 2800 Navigation Blvd.

 

Getting there*:

Bus – 6 Jensen/Greens, 20 Canal/Memorial (exit Canal & Delano), 30 Clinton/Ella, 48 Market (exit Jensen & Navigation), 412 Greenlink Circulator (exit Edo/Stadium Station)

 

Event: The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  The Landmark River Oaks Theatre shows Midnight Movie Classics every weekend, but this Saturday’s feature is special – it’s the return of the longest-running midnight movie of all time.  We know the story…we know the cast…we know that this film was the first interactive movie experience…but it never gets tired because “interactive” means that every performance is different.  It’s a delightful spoof of Hollywood horror movies, so come along and shout out your warnings to Brad and Janet.

 

When: Saturday, 11:59 p.m.

 

Where: Landmark River Oaks Theatre, 2009 W. Gray St.

 

Getting there*:

Bus – 27 Shepherd (exit Shepherd & Gray), 32 Renwick/San Felipe (exit Gray & McDuffie), 41 Kirby/Polk (exit Dallas & Shepherd)

 

Event: Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern Tours.  The Buffalo Bayou Partnership website shows cistern tours available this weekend, but you must reserve online (tickets are $2.00).  Picture a historic former underground drinking water reservoir – a renovated architectural relic – larger than a football field, with 221 concrete columns.  Built in 1926, it’s a pretty unique sight, and I’ll bet you didn’t know it was down there.  Beautiful…and a little spooky.

 

When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

 

Where: Buffalo Bayou Cistern, 105 Sabine St.

 

Getting there*:

Bus – 40 Telephone/Heights and 41 Kirby/Polk (exit Dallas & Crosby); 44 Acres Homes, 85 Antoine/Washington, 160 Memorial City Express, 161 Wilcrest Express, 162 Memorial (exit Smith & Dallas)

 

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

 

 

 

Federal Money for Enhanced Mobility

Colorful animation-type figures in a semi-circle


You have a great idea related to enhanced mobility for seniors and people with disabilities – but you need funding. Come to a workshop at METRO where our experts will explain how to apply for federal money.

Organizations that operate public transportation and are also eligible to receive money from the Federal Transit Administration are welcome to attend a pre-application workshop on Monday, Aug. 15, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at METRO’s headquarters at 1900 Main on the second floor.

This workshop will go over details of applying and answer any questions. It’s free and open to the public, and you don’t need to pre-register.

METRO is the administrator of certain FTA funds and their distribution for transit purposes and is issuing a “call for projects” for the 5310 Grant Program.  This program was established in 2015 when President Obama signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.

Download an application here.

Important deadlines to remember:

Aug 17: Deadline for all written questions to be submitted. Send to: grantapplications@ridemetro.org.

Aug. 24: Deadline for all written responses to be published.

Sept. 9: Deadline to submit electronic applications to METRO, no later than 4 p.m. CST. Email to: grantapplications@ridemetro.org.

Nov. 15: Project Evaluation Team finalizes project funding recommendations.

December – January: Project funding recommendations presented to the METRO Board of Directors for approval.

 

Back-to-school RideStore Hours

 

Woman student with headsets around neck and books

The RideStore is helping students get ready for school by extending its hours in a special back-to-school schedule. 


Starting next Monday, Aug. 15, the RideStore will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Those hours will continue the following week from Aug. 22-27.


On Saturdays, Aug. 20 and Aug. 7, the RideStore will open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

Students get to ride our local buses and trains for 50 percent off the regular price - only 60 cents every time they ride. Get your Student METRO Q® Card to take advantage of these half-price fares. 


To obtain a Student METRO Q® Fare Card, you must have these documents: current school ID, class schedule, and an enrollment form or report card on school letterhead. 


So come on down to the RideStore. The first 100 students who add $25 to their Q Card get a free back-to-school kit. 


Read more here. 


Discounted HOT Lanes to Qualified Vets

News conference on discounted HOT lanes for vets

All qualified veterans will now be able to drive on METRO’s HOV/HOT express lanes at a 100 percent discount.

The news was announced at a press conference in which Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, an advocate for veterans in the community, said it was important for veterans to have easy access to transportation.Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee at news conference

“Veterans have jobs. They are individuals in business. They have meetings, appointments at hospitals. This is a 100 percent discount because our veterans give 100 percent when they serve this nation,” said Jackson Lee. 

METRO officials and board members also appeared, including Jim Robinson, first vice-chair, Troi Taylor, Sanjay Ramabhadran and Don Elder.

METRO already offers free unlimited rides on all our local buses, Park & Ride buses and rail to disabled or decorated veterans who qualify for the Qualified Veterans Pass (MVP), a six-month pilot program launched last April. Click here to see qualifications for an MVP.

To use the High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes, veterans must register with METRO and display a qualifying license plate while driving. Qualified vets operating a passenger vehicle displaying a valid Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Disabled Veteran, Medal of Honor, Legion of Valor or Purple Heart license plate are eligible to receive discount tolls. They may use the HOT Lanes only during toll hours when driving as a single occupant.

You can download the application here and register your vehicle.

“I think it’s terrific. It really will help me out. I live up by The Woodlands,” said Tom Mitchell, executive director of U.S. Vets Inc., a disabled vet who served in Vietnam. “We have an employment program, and it will help vets get to their jobs.”

Robinson, a former major general with the Texas State Guard, said this program gives back to veterans who have given so much to their country. “This is a way of saying thanks for your service,” said Robinson.

 

 

 

Cooling Centers Open Due to Extreme Heat

Thermometer

This afternoon, heat indices are expected to reach 105 to 110 degrees from 1 to 7 p.m., and the city of Houston has activated its heat emergency plan due to this extreme heat.

Cooling centers throughout the city have opened in neighborhood libraries and multi-service centers.

METRO is offering free transportation to these centers. If you need a ride to an air-conditioned center, please call 311 or 713-837-0311.

Please take these precautions to guard against extreme heat:

  • Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing if you are outdoors.

  • Drink lots of water. Avoid caffeine and alcohol which can dehydrate you.

  • Do lawn work in the early morning or evening when it’s cooler.

  • NEVER leave children, seniors or pets unattended in vehicles.

  • Wear sunscreen and wide-brimmed hats to help prevent sunburn and heat-related illness.

  • If your home is not air-conditioned, go to libraries, malls, movie theatres or multi-service centers.

  • Be aware of changing conditions. A heat index of 108 is a potential health threat for everyone, and particularly for high-risk groups. A heat index is a computation of temperature and humidity.

     

    Click here for warning signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses.

Weekend Happenings with METRO August 5-7

Montage

 

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

 

No rain is forecast for this weekend, so enjoy some outdoor events; we’ve chosen one for day and one for evening.  If you’d rather stay indoors, we have a different kind of theatre experience for you, too.  No matter where you go, first go to our Google-powered Trip Planner to find out how easily METRO can get you there.  Just take advantage of summer in Houston while you can – school starts in a couple of weeks!

 

Event: Cool Nights at the Houston Zoo - Zoolympics.  This is the last Cool Nights event of the summer, so bring the family out to enjoy it.  The kids can test their Olympic prowess in racing, strength and balance, as well as football-throwing, soccer-kicking and basketball-dunking skills.  There will be a scavenger hunt, three Meet the Keeper Talks, and a showing of “Kung Fu Panda 3” on the giant outdoor screen.  If you arrive after 4 p.m., you can get discounted admission (purchase online only).

 

When: Friday, 5 to 8 p.m., movie showing at 8:30 p.m.

 

Where: Houston Zoo, 6200 Hermann Park Dr.

 

Getting there*:

Bus – 28 OST-Wayside (exit Ben Taub Hospital), 56 Airline/Montrose

 

METRORail – Red Line (exit Memorial Hermann/Houston Zoo Station)

 

Event: First Saturday Market.  The Houston Bicycle Museum, Houston’s newest museum, is launching its free First Saturday Market in the parking lot surrounding the museum.  Vendors will offer handmade goods, the museum will sell bikes and other items, and you’ll find art, food, potted plants, produce, clothing, and who knows what else for sale.  The event will help support museum operations, and museum admission is half price on market Saturdays.

 

When: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

Where: Houston Bicycle Museum, 1313 Binz St.

 

Getting there*:

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

 

METRORail – Red Line (exit Museum District Station)

 

Event: 19th Annual Festival of Originals.  This is the last weekend for Theatre Southwest’s “19th Annual Festival of Originals,” where you can experience five original one-act plays by five different playwrights with five different casts on stage in one evening.  Each play runs about twenty minutes, and these were chosen by the artistic director from roughly 700 scripts submitted for consideration.  Sounds like a novel idea and a chance to broaden your theatre horizons.  Tickets can be purchased online. 

 

When: Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.

 

Where: Theatre Southwest, 8944-A Clarkcrest

 

Getting there*:

 Bus – 82 Westheimer, 25 Richmond, 63 Fondren

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Guns N’ Roses Concert Parking


Guns N' Roses in concertIf you’re planning on attending the Guns N’ Roses concert tomorrow night, we’ve got a great place for you to park.

We’re offering special event parking for only $10 at our Fannin South Transit Center lot. That price includes a free, round-trip ride for you and your passengers on the rail to NRG Stadium, only one stop away on the Red Line.

So enjoy rockin’ to the tunes of this multi-platinum group – and avoid traffic gridlock with our special event parking.

HCC Offers Student Q Card on Campus
HCC mascot dressed as a student

Students at Houston Community College are learning how to ride smart as they get their discounted METRO Fare Card right on campus.

Processing Q Cards on campus is just one more step in METRO’s continued partnership with the community college.  On July 12, HCC Coleman campus became the first campus to issue student discount cards.

“This makes it a lot easier for students to access the card,” said Karen Marshall, director of Client Services. “They don’t have to bring documents to METRO to prove they are enrolled at this school. It’s a time-saver and a more efficient way of doing it.”

Once students get the discounted Q Card with the HCC logo imprinted on it, they can load any amount of money on the card, then just tap and go. They must carry a student ID with them when they use the student Q Card as their name is no longer required on the Q Card. Students can load money on their card online, at ticket vending machines on the rail platform, or at retailers such as Randalls or Valero.

“HCC sees transportation as an essential tool. A lot of students are at multiple campuses. You may have students take their core classes at Central, but there may be a course they need offered at the Southeast campus. There’s a lot of cross-campus commuting going on. This saves them money,” said Marshall.

Students pay only 60 cents each way to ride the bus or train – a 50 percent discount. All Q Card holders also get five free rides for every 50 paid trips.

The next HCC campus scheduled to offer Q Cards is HCC Central, and eventually 15 of the 23 campuses will offer this transit perk to enrollees.

“At the end of the day, we want ridership to increase. We want students who may not have been aware of the discounted student Q Card to have an alternative. It just makes sense,” said Marshall.

Commute Solutions Ease Traffic Gridlock

Star van with traffic behind it

If you drive to work, you’re familiar with the rhythm of Houston’s commute: stop-go-stop-go on the freeways.

Every day, Houstonians drive approximately 173 million miles and endure about 203 million hours of traffic delays annually, according to a report by the Texas A & M Transportation Institute. Now METRO STAR and the Houston Galveston Area Council (HGAC) are partnering to celebrate vanpool during August, Commute Solutions Month.

METRO STAR is a vanpool service where riders share the cost of the vehicle, fuel, parking and tolls. STAR offers hundreds of scheduled routes serving eight counties. It’s simple to get started – STAR’s placement team will help you find the route that’s right for you.

This month, you can benefit from giveaways and promotions, including:

  • New vanpool groups starting in August receive their second month free.

  • Interested vanpoolers in selected areas can “Try STAR” free for one week.

  • Vanpoolers can earn a $25 STARward gift card for every new rider they refer.

  • Riders who share their story of why vanpool works for them could win a catered lunch for their entire group.

     

Vanpooling is also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. More than 6,300 commuters vanpool with STAR to and from work daily, eliminating about 53 million tons of pollution each year.

“The vanpool program, now entering its 20th year, has had a significant impact on mobility and air quality in the eight-county region,” said David McMaster, METRO’s director of Commuter Services. “STAR is thrilled to work with hundreds of Houston-area employers to help their employees find a better, safer way to commute to work.”

If you’re downtown this Thursday, join us at a community-wide festival at the City Hall Reflection Pond in Hermann Square to celebrate the launch of “Road Warriors,” a new regional campaign to link commuters and employers to alternative transit options. The festival will follow a news conference with Mayor Turner, who will unveil the campaign.

METRO STAR will be at the festival to answer any questions and help you get started. You can also call 713-224-RIDE or email star@ridemetro.org.

 

 

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