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Weekend Fun with METRO: April 21-April 23

Montage of events

 

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

 

Another Houston weekend – hooray!  Since you’ve just spent all your money on Easter candy (good chocolate is expensive), I’ve put together some free events for your enjoyment.  These are all outdoor events, too, so you’ll get some fresh air.  There’s the Earth Day celebration at Discovery Green with an amazing music-powered sculpture – wait until you see it!  There’s a dance performance right on our very own Red Line, and I’m also recommending a music festival in a beautiful location.  After all, it’s Earth Day weekend, so go outside and take advantage of Houston’s wonderful green spaces.

 

Something else you can do to honor Earth Day is use public transportation.  Help us decrease use of fossil fuels and promote clean air by leaving your car in the garage and taking the bus or train – and not only this weekend.  Make it a regular habit to go to RideMETRO.org and plan your trip with our Trip Planner.  It’s easy, and your outing will be more fun if you haven’t stressed out in traffic on your way there.

 

Event:  METROdances.  We have our own event this weekend – Frame Dance will be adding something wonderful to our Red Line by performing near the platforms and on the trains.  You can catch them on Saturday and Sunday at 5 p.m. at our Dryden/TMC, Memorial Hermann Hospital/Houston Zoo, Hermann Park/Rice U and Museum District stations.  They’ll perform, and then board the train for more performing en route to a picnic at Market Square Park. 

http://www.framedance.org/frame/metrodances/banner/index.html

 

When: Saturday and Sunday at 5 p.m.

 

Where: METRORail Red Line - Dryden/TMC, Memorial Hermann Hospital/Houston Zoo, Hermann Park/Rice U and Museum District stations

 

Getting there*:

METRORail - Red Line (exit Dryden/TMC, Memorial Hermann Hospital/Houston Zoo, Hermann Park/Rice U or Museum District stations)

 

Event:  Earth Day on the Avenida.  This Earth Day celebration will feature live performances of Squonk’s Pneumatica, a music-powered inflatable, kinetic 40-foot tall sculpture.  These are scheduled for 5, 7 and 9 p.m. with a workshop following the 5 p.m. performance.  You’ll also find strolling musicians, moving statues and more.  In addition, the monthly Flea by Night artisan eco-friendly market will be open from 6 to 10 p.m., with vintage, recycled and repurposed items and collectibles, along with entertainment and food.

http://www.discoverygreen.com/1362078

 

When: Saturday, 5 to 10 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:  Willow Waterhole MusicFEST 2017.  The Willow Waterhole Greenway is 290 acres of natural beauty and worth enjoying just for that reason.  However, combine that beauty with twenty hours of free music from sixteen professional and seven student/school bands, and you have a winning combination.  This year an Art Village has been added, with forty artists offering their works for sale and performing live exhibitions.  You’ll also find food trucks to cater to your food and refreshment needs.  There’s a performance schedule on the website.

http://www.willowwaterhole.org/music-fest-2017/

 

When: Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 

Where: Willow Waterhole Conservation Reserve, 5300 Dryad Dr.

Getting there*: 

Bus - 7 W. Airport, 49 Chimney Rock

MetroRail - Red Line (exit Hermann Park/Rice U or Memorial Hermann Hospital/Houston Zoo Station) 

 

 

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

 

 

 

A Ticket to Ride – Free!

Dynamo team members kicking ball

Soccer fans who are planning to see the Dynamo play against the San Jose Earthquakes this Saturday, we’ve got a free ride for you on METRORail.

All Dynamo ticket-holders with a valid game ticket can ride METRORail free to the game. Simply hop on the Green Line to EaDo/Stadium Station. The BBVA Compass Stadium is within steps of the station.

As part of our partnership with the Dynamo/Dash teams, we also have a chance for you to win free tickets to the game. Check out our Facebook page. We’ll be posting a very easy trivia question about METRO. The two people who are the first to answer correctly will each win a four-pack of tickets.

Ride the rail and avoid the parking lot crush. METRO’s giving free rides to every Dynamo and Dash home game.

Do You Feel Safe?

MPD badge, surrounded by arrows and areas where MPD works



How safe do you feel on METRO? We want to provide the most professional police services to you - and we need  your help. 
 
Please take this brief survey. You'll be giving us useful information about how we perform our jobs and what more we can do to meet your expectations. 
 

Thank you as we all work together to make your public transportation system a safer one.  

Easy Way to Attend the OTC

Mural of OTC with oil rigs

METRO has an easy way for you to attend the annual Offshore Technology Conference at NRG Park.

The conference attracts more than 2,300 exhibitors and attendees from 100 countries, making it the biggest oil and gas event in the world. As you network with energy professionals to exchange ideas and opinions, be sure to use METRO to get you to the conference and back – easily and conveniently.

You can get rolling to the big event with the METRO OTC Convention pass, a unique paper pass that gives you unlimited local bus and light-rail service from May 1 through May 4. Simply present your pass to the driver upon request.

You can buy your pass online now, and it will be mailed to you. Or, you can purchase your METRO OTC pass at various locations, as well as onsite at the METRO booth located at the OTC in the main hallway of NRG Center.

The pass is only $3 per day. You can buy a one-day pass for $3 or a four-day pass for $12.

Need parking for the OTC? METRO’s Fannin South parking lot is just one train stop from the NRG. Pay only $10 per vehicle and includes a free METRORail ride for all your passengers. Cash only to attendants from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Be Prepared to Stop

18-wheelers in traffic on freeway

Many of us do all our shopping online. Imagine for a moment how inconvenient it would be to not receive your packages in two days. But not getting goods is more serious than a mere inconvenience.

A newly released documentary charts the frightening scenarios of what would happen to life in America if the trucking industry were to shut down for five days. There would be a shortage of drinking water, food, medicine and fuel. Trash would pile up, airports would close and public transit would end.

This grim reality is portrayed in
“Be Prepared to Stop,” a film about our failing U.S. highway system and our love and dependence on it.  It was produced by Los Angeles-based Delaware Park Productions Inc. The film points out that those 18-wheelers deliver almost everything we use day-to-day, and they’ve become such a part of our lives, we don’t even notice. But roads and bridges are crumbling and safety concerns rising.

Consider these facts:

·         32 percent of America’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition.

·         25 percent of bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

·         42 percent of our major urban highways are congested, costing the economy $101 billion in wasted time and money.

·         All goods carried by ship, airplane or train reach their final destination by truck. More than 80 percent of American communities rely exclusively on trucking for delivery of goods and commodities.

Watch the trailer. The documentary is available on Amazon and iTunes.

Weekend Fun with METRO: April 14-April 16

Montage of events

 

 

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

 

Welcome to Easter weekend in our town – I hope you receive all the chocolate bunnies that your heart desires.  When you’re tired of the kids throwing hardboiled eggs at each other (and don’t tell me you never did this), whisk them away for some activities outside the house. 

 

There are egg-related activities at the zoo on Friday and they can go with you to the gospel Brunch on Sunday and tire themselves out dancing.  I’m also recommending a quiet theater experience for one evening.

 

On this holiday weekend or any other weekend, turn to METRO to be your partner in getting around town.  Plan your trip with our Trip Planner, then sit back and look at the scenery or text while our operators do the driving.  You have no excuses for staying at home – now hop to it!

 

Event:  Animal Egg Hunt.  The animals at the Houston Zoo are having their very own egg hunt, and we’re all invited.  The kids can participate in an egg-themed scavenger hunt throughout the zoo, so don’t forget to pick up instructions in the front plaza when you arrive.  There will be papier mache eggs hidden in many of the animal habitats.  While the kids are hunting for these, they can watch the animals hunting, eating and playing with eggs of all sizes.  Admission can be purchased online or at the gate.

 

When: Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

Where: Houston Zoo, 6200 Hermann Park Dr.

 

Getting there*:

METRORail – Red Line (exit Hermann Park/Rice U or Memorial Hermann Hospital/Houston Zoo Station)

 

Event: The Nacirema Society.”  It’s the last weekend to see the Ensemble Theatre’s production of this work, voted on by patrons to make a return visit for the 40th anniversary season.  The story is a romantic comedy about a 100-year tradition of introducing debutants to the high society of Montgomery, Ala.  And we all know that young love can sometimes complicate even the best-laid plans…  Tickets can be purchased online.

http://www.ensemblehouston.com/

 

When: Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m.

 

Where: Ensemble Theatre, 3535 Main St.

 

Getting there*:

Bus - 9 Gulfton/Holman (exit Holman & Main)

METRORail -
Red Line (exit Ensemble/HCC Station)

 

Event:  World Famous Gospel Brunch.  Here’s a little different take on the traditional Easter Sunday brunch.  This monthly event lets you enjoy local talent performing traditional and contemporary gospel songs while you eat your way through the House of Blues’ outstanding buffet.  A portion of the proceeds is donated to the House of Blues Music Forward Foundation, which provides underserved youth with arts and music support.  As the website says, “Praise the Lord, and pass the biscuits.”  You can buy tickets online.

http://www.houseofblues.com/houston/EventDetail?tmeventid=3A00517DEBD962F5&offerid=0

 

When: Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

 

Where: House of Blues, 1204 Caroline St.

 

Getting there*:

Bus – 6 Jensen/Greens, 11 Almeda/Lyons, 51 Hardy-Kelley, 52 Hardy-Ley, 137 Northshore Express (exit San Jacinto & Dallas)

 

METRORail – Red Line (exit Bell or Main Street Square Station), Green Line or Purple Line (exit Central Station)

 

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

 

 

 

 

Social Media : One Year Later

Avatars of social media team 

This is a guest post by Alicia Lynch. a METRO social media specialist who works out of TranStar.

When METRO ushered in its New Bus Network on August 15, 2015, it became clear that a solid presence was needed on its existing social media accounts due to the influx and nature of queries received. With an estimated 77 percent of Americans now owning a smartphone, and with consumers expecting companies to respond real-time on social media, a decision was made to add social customer care to METRO’s existing communications strategy.

Enter METRO’s three social media specialists:  Ramonica Jones, Alicia Lynch, and Brent Taylor. We introduced you to them a few weeks ago here and they have been in place at Houston TranStar since April 1, 2016.

Two weeks after breaking in their keyboards and desk chairs, one of the worst floods in Houston’s history happened. On April 18, 2016, Houston recorded 16 inches of rain in less than 12 hours. Within  two hours after the rain started to fall, streets were impassible, and routes were canceled as a result.

A few hours later, the entire transportation system was affected and halted. The social media specialists’ ability to respond quickly and accurately to riders’ concerns and queries, namely on Facebook and Twitter, was well received by riders and the general media. Riders quickly took note and appreciated the additional channel for seeking and obtaining information on METRO’s services, and continue to do so.  

Now, 100 percent of our riders’ queries are answered within 15 minutes or less. The ability to respond quickly is also partly due the IT department’s creation of the Houston METRO Service Alerts software that allows the social media specialists to post simultaneously to Facebook, Twitter, email, SMS, the RideMETRO.org website, the METRO TRIP App and Google.  

Since taking on METRO’s social media accounts, the followers on those accounts have increased by 48 percent from the previous year. The team has also sent more than 6,500 service alerts, 12,000 tweets, and 7,000 posts.  We stay abreast of pop culture and social media updates, and re-adjust our social media strategy as needed as a result.

The social media specialists and Press Office colleagues are always looking for good stories, pictures and videos to post to our pages. METRO fam, if you are low-key stans and have a lit idea, we won’t be salty or savage. Nothing too extra or basic now, obvi as we don’t want an “L.” We’re looking for hundo p stuff only. If you have no idea what you just read, welcome to the social media specialists’ world. Here’s the translation:

METRO colleagues, if you like what we’re doing and have a great idea, we won’t be rude or snub you. Please, nothing explicit or anything that our riders won’t find interesting, as that won’t be good for us.  We’re looking for great (hundo p = hundred percent) content only.

We have enjoyed our first year so far, and look forward to continuing to assist METRO’s riders while upholding METRO’s standards online.

Guaranteed Ride Home

Red seal saying "Guarantee" 

Some of you may be reluctant to ride METRO because you wonder how you would get home if an emergency arises.

METRO’s got you covered. We have a solution called the Emergency/Guaranteed Ride Home program. This free service offers you a way home if you have a mid-day emergency. It’s available to all STAR vanpool riders, as well as customers whose route does not offer mid-day service.

So what’s an emergency? It includes a personal illness, illness of a family member, or a death in the family. If you are in a vanpool, unscheduled overtime required by your employer also counts as an emergency.

An emergency is not: personal errands, scheduled medical appointments, scheduled overtime or natural disasters when the workforce is dismissed.

You must register to be eligible. You can use this service up to three times in a calendar year.

So no more fears about riding METRO into work and being called to an emergency. We’ll be right there for you – at no charge.

Weekend Fun with METRO: April 7-April 9

 

 

 Montage of events

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

April in Paris…well, not quite, but we’ll take April in Houston.  Like all Houston weekends, this weekend there are nine million activities from which to choose.  I’m leaning toward the surreal this weekend with recommendations for the Anime Matsuri Convention and the Art Car Parade, both annual events that are pretty spectacular.  Also in the surreal vein is a very imaginative version of the “Snow White” story.  Be prepared for some eye-opening experiences this weekend.

 

No matter where you choose to go, METRO can help you get there.  Our Trip Planner can provide information on how to travel based upon your starting point and destination, and you can sit back and enjoy the ride.  See you around town!

 

Event:  Anime Matsuri Convention.  Anime Matsuri is an annual anime, Japanese culture and related arts convention that has been coming to Houston since 2007.  The event offers the latest and greatest from Japan’s animation studios, catwalks and concert stages – cosplay, music, fashion, anime, art, collectibles, panels, workshops and more.  In addition, you can see the first production outside of Asia of “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: The Musical.”  Tickets can be purchased online. 

 

When: Friday from 11:30 to 4 a.m., Saturday from 9:30 to 4 a.m., and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Where: George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida 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: Snow White.”  The Catastrophic Theatre production of “Snow White” is based on the 1966 novel by Donald Barthelme, and is a truly different take on the childhood fairytale.  Our heroine is “tired of being just a housewife” to the seven dwarves, who are involved in commercial real estate and baby food manufacture.  She’s getting impatient with waiting for the prince.  Come and see how this plays out.  Tickets can be purchased online. 

https://matchouston.org/events/snow-white

 

When: Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

 

Where: MATCH, 3400 Main St.

 

Getting there*:

Bus – 9 Gulfton/Holman, 82 Westheimer

 

METRORail – Red Line (exit Ensemble Station)

 

Event: 30th Annual Houston Art Car Parade.  If you’ve never experienced the Art Car Parade, you’re in for a treat.  You’ll see about 250 wildly decorated vehicles vying for prizes in thirteen categories, so there’s something for everyone.  You’ll also see Cheech Marin (of “Cheech and Chong” fame) leading off the spectacle as Grand Marshal.  Food and drink vendors will be stationed along the parade route.  Viewing the parade is free, but you can purchase tickets online for reserved seating areas.  The route opens at 11 a.m., so you can meet the artists.

 

When: Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m.

 

Where: Parade route along Smith from Pease to Walker, then on Walker to Bagby to end at Lamar

 

Getting there*:

Bus – 44 Acres Homes, 82 Westheimer, 85 Antoine/Washington, 160 Memorial City Express, 161 Wilcrest Express, 162 Memorial Express

 

METRORail – Red Line (exit Main Street Square Station)

 

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

 

 

Take Me Out to the Ballgame - with METRO

Astors pitcher

Take me out to the ballgame - and watch the Astros in its opening season as it hosts games with the Seattle Mariners and the Kansas City Royals.

There’s a game tonight and every night through Sunday at Minute Maid Park and an easy, convenient way to get there and avoid traffic snarls is to go with METRO. Simply take the Green Line or Purple Line and exit at Convention District Station. You can also drive downtown and park in a lot near METRORail.


Or take any of these bus lines: 6 Jensen/Greens, 11 Almeda/Lyons, or 137 Northshore Express. On all these buses, exit at Franklin and Chenevert. If you don’t mind a slightly longer walk, take the 51 Hardy-Kelly or 52 Hardy-Ley. Then exit at San Jacinto and Preston. You can plan your trip from your starting point by using our Google-powered Trip Planner.


Once inside the stadium, look for messages from METRO on the giant electronic screen. METRO and the Astros: It’s a winning team. 


Mario with a Message

 

 Mario-like character in safety video

Check out our latest safety video, a light-hearted approach to a serious message.  A Mario type character rushes around town, ignoring safety as he hurries down the sidewalk and encounters obstacles. 

As the viewer sees what not to do, we hope the message sinks in on what the animated character – and the rest of us - should do.

In real life, when you’re out walking on the streets, please be aware that our trains are whisper-quiet. Whether you’re driving, walking or biking, remember: Stop. Look. Listen.

Safety is not a game. You have one life. Don’t lose it.

Portion of 290 HOV to be Closed

US 290 closure graphic 

If you’re one of the thousands of commuters along U.S. 290, listen up.

Starting Monday, April 10, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will temporarily close the U.S. 290 HOV lane at Hempstead.

This temporary closure is part of TxDOT’s continuing corridor expansion project. It will affect the following METRO commuter routes along U.S. 290:

·         214 Northwest Station

·         216 West Little York

·         217 Cypress

·         219 Midday/Late evening

If you ride these routes, please expect delays. We’ll dispatch more buses on these routes to help with any construction-related issues.

To see maps of the exact portions that will be closed and how access to lanes will be changed, click here.

The HOV closure is scheduled to begin at 5 a.m. on Monday, April 10, and completed with all lanes back to normal on Friday, April 14, at 8 p.m.

Thanks for your patience.

Weekend Fun with METRO March 31-April 2

Montage of events

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

Let’s celebrate April Fools’ Day weekend by enjoying some fun and games around Houston.  It’s no joke that you’ll find lots to do.  What are my suggestions for this weekend?  Why of course, I have a few - thanks for asking.  Below you’ll find a free evening of rocking music and dancing, a cool and quiet underground art installation, and a lots-of-fun festival for the kids.  Even though it’s not the weekend, don’t forget that next Tuesday is the first Tuesday of the month, and that’s always Free Tuesday at the Houston Zoo.  Admission is free from noon until closing.  What a deal!

You’re fooling yourself if you think you need car transportation to enjoy events like these.  Count on me to tell you about events you can reach without spending gas and parking money.  METRO can take you to these places, and lots more.  Visit our Trip Planner and enter your starting and ending points to plan your trip, then go out and catch that bus or train.  Have a great weekend!

Event: “Footloose The Musical”.  Here’s a good opportunity for some exercise – dancing in the aisles to the exuberant music of “Footloose” at the Miller Outdoor Theatre.  How could you sit still?  You remember the story: Big city kid moves to a small town and overcomes the ban on dancing instituted by the local preacher.  The score was nominated for Oscar and Tony awards, and they’ve added new songs for this production.  Free tickets are available for the covered seating area, and there’s always open seating on the hill.  Rock on.

When: Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Where: Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6501 Memorial Dr. (at S. Picnic Lane)

Getting there*:

METRORail – Red Line(exit Museum District Station)

Event:  Rain: Magdalena Fernandez”.  The rediscovered and rehabbed cistern at Buffalo Bayou Park is hosting its inaugural art exhibit in cooperation with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.  This is really special.  It’s a video and audio installation that uses light, sound and movement to mimic a rain-soaked night, and it’s perfect for this venue.  You can reserve your tickets online. 

When: Friday from 3:30 to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 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)

Event: 29th Annual McDonald’s Houston Children’s Festival in Downtown.Here’s a two-day event of games, circus acts, rides, food, beverages and entertainment that’s fun for all ages.  It’s centered in the downtown area surrounding City Hall, Hermann Square, Tranquility Park and Sam Houston Park. 

The admission fee benefits Child Advocates, and tickets can be purchased online, at Fiesta Mart, or at the gate.  There is a small extra charge for some games and rides, as well as for food and beverages.  There’s a schedule of all the events and times on the website.

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

Where: Downtown Houston around City Hall, GPS addresses 901 Bagby St.

Getting there*:

 44 Acres Homes, 85 Antoine/Washington, 160 Memorial City, 161 Wilcrest Express, 162 Memorial Express


METRORail – Red Line (exit Main Street Square Station), Green Line and Purple Line (exit Theater District Station)

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

HOV Speed Tool Saves Travelers Time

Traffic on HOV lanes vs main lanes 

This is a guest post by Brent Taylor, a METRO social media specialist who works out of TranStar.

The METRO HOV system is a great way to beat the rush-hour, gridlock traffic, and thanks to a new tool, commuters can see just how great the time savings can be. The “Common Route Travel Times” section of the Houston Transtar website provides very detailed information on highway speeds from major points of interest.

 

On this page, travelers can compare the speeds of highway sections to those of the HOV lanes in that area. It makes it abundantly clear just how much time you can save by finding a travel buddy and hopping in the HOV lane.

 

The tool also gives a “Worst case arrival time if you leave now” option, so drivers are empowered with information before they hit the door. In the example above, traveling in the HOV lane would shave about 12 minutes off the commute.

 

The new tool, along with the rest of the Houston TranStar website, is a great resource for anyone who is hitting the highways in the Houston area. In fact, it’s where many of the local traffic reporters gather their information for their reports.

 

METRO’s HOV lane direction varies based on traffic patterns- towards downtown during the a.m. commute, and away from downtown in the afternoon. The HOT lanes allow single-passenger vehicles during certain hours. You can learn more about the HOV/HOT lanes on ridemetro.org.

 

So what’s the best way to get in these fast-moving HOV lanes? Commuters can find a Park and Ride near their home. Or, if a vanpool is better suited, METRO will help commuters join an existing pool, or if need be, form one for their community. Reach out to METRO STAR vanpool and carpool today!

Free Rides to Dynamo and Dash Home Games

Dynamo team

Here’s some great news for soccer fans: You can ride METRORail free if you are a ticket-holder to any Dynamo or Dash home game.

METRO is partnering with the Houston Dynamo and Dash to provide free round-trip METRORail rides to and from every home game in the 2017 season. This Saturday, the Houston Dynamo will play the New York Red Bulls at 7:30 p.m. at BBVA Compass Stadium.

So hop on the Green or Purple Line and exit at EaDo/Stadium. You’ll avoid traffic gridlock and be within steps of the stadium.

To find parking near METRORail, use this interactive map at Downtownhouston.org. You can also park at the Fannin South Transit Center at 1604 Bellfort Ave, take the Red Line and transfer at Central Stations, where you board either the Green or Purple lines to EaDo/Stadium.

Stay tuned for more exciting news. We’re planning a ticket giveaway and will announce details soon.

Take METRO to Anime Matsuri

Anime Matsuri Convention 2017

The 2017 Anime Matsuri Convention is coming to town, and METRO has the perfect way to power your adventure there.

Anime Matsuri is an annual anime convention, celebrating Japanese culture and related arts. Hosted at the George R. Brown Convention Center, the convention will feature panels, workshops, celebrities, vendors and exhibitors, artists, live concerts and a Japanese fashion show.

Let METRO take you there with a METRO Anime Matsuri convention pass – then all you do is tap and go on the train or bus.

Buy a convention pass and enjoy unlimited local bus and light-rail adventures from April 7 to 9, including travel to destinations across the city.

Passes are only $3 per day. You can purchase one online here.  To receive your pass in the mail on time, you must place your order by April 3.

If you miss the deadline, you can buy a ticket from your smartphone using METRO Q Mobile Ticketing. It’s $1.25 one way.

Weekend Fun with METRO: March 24-26

Montage of events 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting there*:

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

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

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

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

Getting there*:

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

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

When:  Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Hermann Park, 6001 Fannin St.

Getting there*:

Bus – 56 Airline/Montrose

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

Getting there*:

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

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

When:  Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Hermann Park, 6001 Fannin St.

Getting there*:

Bus – 56 Airline/Montrose

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Texting While Driving Hikes Insurance Rates




Person driving and texting

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


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


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


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

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


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

Public Hearing on Service Changes on March 30

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

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

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

Here are some proposed changes:

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

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

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

Learn more about all of our proposed changes here.

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

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