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Weekend Happenings with METRO May 27-30

Montage of events

It’s Memorial Day weekend already!  There’s a lot to do, and we have a few suggestions to keep you busy.  Whether you spend your time visiting prehistoric beasts, settling back for an evening of music and dance, or honoring those who give the meaning to Memorial Day – or anything else, for that matter - let METRO be your travel partner.  You’ll save money on gas and parking – and you can text or phone while you travel.  Visit our Google-powered Trip Planner to locate your exact bus or train.

 Event: Houston Zoo DINOSAURS. Saturday marks the opening of this special exhibit which runs through the summer.  Get an up-close look at giant animatronic dinosaurs while you wander the path through a prehistoric landscape – and enjoy the rest of our wonderful zoo while you’re there!  Tickets are available online.

When: Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: The Houston Zoo, 6200 Hermann Park Drive

Getting there:

METRORail: Red Line, exit Memorial Hermann/Houston Zoo Station

Event: Performing Asia: South of Gold Mountain.  On the last weekend of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, treat yourself to the regional premiere of this dance and music performance by H. T. Chen & Dancers.  Traditional Chinese music and Deep South Blues provide the score for a tribute to Chinese settlers in the south prior to WWII.


When: Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Asia Society Texas Center, 1370 Southmore Blvd.

Getting there:

Bus: 65 Bissonnet (exit Main/Southmore, 5 Southmore (exit Fannin/Southmore)

METRORail: Red Line, exit Museum District Station

Event: Memorial Day Ceremony.  Experience the true spirit of the holiday by attending the ceremony honoring deceased U. S. military service men and women at the Houston National Cemetery.  Military and school organizations will provide a patriotic tribute to those who served, including taps, cannon and rifle salutes, and a parade of remembrance.  The event is free and the public is welcome.

When: Monday, 9:30 a.m.

Where: Houston National Cemetery, 10410 Veterans Memorial Dr.

Getting there:

Bus: 96 Veterans Memorial (exit Veterans Memorial/Woodsdale)

The 96 Veterans Memorial bus route will provide hourly service to the Houston National Cemetery from 5:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. on Memorial Day.




From the First to the Last Mile

Bumper-to-bumper traffic on a freeway

Spend any time on Houston’s freeways, and you’ll notice 18-wheelers are a part of the landscape.

The efficiency of freight movement is important, affecting the bottom line.

The Department of Transportation’s blog, Fast Lane, says businesses are re-thinking ways to keep freight moving. From off-peak deliveries to night-time deliveries, traditional approaches are changing.

“The last mile can really make a difference in in people’s lives by getting goods and products to when they need them – in stores, restaurants, hotels and even hospitals,” says Fast Lane. Read more here.

METROLift Travel Training
Montage of travel training

If you’re disabled and depend on METROLift to take you to the doctor or school or grocery store, we’d like to introduce you to a free program that shows you how to ride METRO local buses and rail to give you more travel choices. 

All our buses are “kneeling” buses that can lower to street level for easier access. Our buses also are equipped with ramps.  We have designated spaces with seat belts and shoulder belts to secure wheelchairs. On our train platforms, there is a white strip with bumps - intended to let sight-impaired riders know when they are reaching the edge of the platform. Inside the train, designated “handicapped” seats flip up to make room for a wheelchair. 

The METROLift Travel Training program offers both group training and individual sessions. We’ll go out with you and board the bus and the train together.

Learning to ride our local buses and METRORail will give you even more freedom to get around our region. To schedule a training session, call 713-750-4234 or email

Memorial Day Holiday Schedule 2016


This weekend in observance of Memorial Day, METRO will be operating on a holiday schedule.

On Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, the following will occur:

Our Customer Care Center will be open on Memorial Day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Call 713-635-4000.

If you are planning to observe Memorial Day at the Houston Veterans National Cemetery, METRO is offering the 96 Veterans Memorial bus route with hourly service from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.


Goooo to Copa America!

Soccer players in a game

Copa America is the oldest international, continental football competition – or soccer as we call it in the U.S. – and it’s coming to Houston.

Houston is one of 10 cities hosting the 32 matches, and METRO has made it easy for you to get to the NRG Stadium where three games will be played. We are offering a Convention Pass that gives you unlimited local bus and light-rail service to NRG Park or anywhere else in Houston.

Buy a pass for any of these days: June 11, 13 or 21. It’s only $3 per pass. You can buy online or go to our RideStore at 1900 Main St. or 1001 Travis St. You can also purchase one at the METRO Fannin South Parking Services at 1604 West Bellfort St.

So buy a pass and make it easy on yourself as you ride METRO to cheer on your favorite team.



Weekend Happenings May 20-22

Montage of events

At this point it looks like a rain-free weekend, so let’s get out and enjoy it!  Here are a few ideas…from classic opera to cutting-edge comedy to vintage automobiles.  Whatever your weekend destination in our service area, METRO can take you there.  You’ll save money on gas and parking – and you can text or phone while you travel.  Visit our Google-powered Trip Planner to locate your exact bus or train.

Event: Tosca. Here’s a great opportunity to experience some high-level culture at a low-level (free!) price.  Houston Grand Opera is bringing this classic Puccini work – full of love, intrigue and death - to an outdoor venue for a two-night engagement.  Tuxedo not required.

When: Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.

Where: Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Drive

Getting there:

Bus: 56 Airline (exit Main/Remington), 5 Southmore (exit Binz/Crawford)

METRORail: Red Line, exit Hermann Park/Rice Station

Event: D. L. Hughley.  The comedian/author/radio host/TV actor appears in five shows this weekend, offering his view of “this political circus happening right now, and the world through my eyes as I see it.”  His stated goal is to make people laugh until they hurt themselves. 

When: Friday, 8 and 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, 7 and 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Improv, 7620 Katy Freeway, Space 455

Getting there:

Bus: From Northwest TC - 72 Westview (exit Katy Fwy./Silber, 49 Chimney Rock (exit Katy Fwy./Silber)  From downtown to Northwest TC – 160 Memorial, 161 Wilcrest, 162 Memorial Express, 85 Antoine

Event: Sculpted in Steel: Art Deco Automobiles and Motorcycles, 1929-1940.  There’s only this weekend and next left to view this exhibit of breathtaking vintage vehicles, so don’t hesitate.  Manufactured during one of the most creative periods for international design, these streamlined metal beauties will make you wish for a time machine to go back and buy one for yourself.  Tickets can be purchased online and at the museum.

When: Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 12:15 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet Street

Getting there:

Bus:  5 Southmore (exit Binz/San Jacinto), 65 Bissonnet (exit Montrose/Bissonnet)

METRORail: Red Line, exit Museum District Station, from Wheeler Station








Bike to Work Day 2016

Bicyclists on a previous Bike to Work Day

Tomorrow, METRO celebrates National Bike to Work Day, and we invite you to join METRO employees and the city in a fun celebratory ride around downtown.

Mayor Turner, the METRO Cycling Club, and biking enthusiasts will explore bikeways, including the city’s famous off-street trail network and Houston’s first two-way, separated, protected bike lane known as “the green mile.”

Festivities start at 6:45 a.m. in front of City Hall at Hermann Square, 901 Bagby St., with registration, vendors, music and small bites. You’ll get route info, safety tips and free on-the-spot bike tune-ups. Don’t have a bike? Rent one by the hour from any B-cycle bike station located near City Hall.

Pre-register here so the city will know how many volunteers are needed. The event is free and open to the public.

METRO will host a booth with information about our local bus routes – so come out and join us for a fun Friday morning.

The photo posted is from a previous Bike to Work Day event.

Celebrate National Police Week

Police badge

In 1962, President Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day.

Today the week in which that date falls is recognized as Police Week. Thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world come to Washington to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Here at METRO, we salute all our men and women in blue. The METRO Police Department is a full-service police agency of more than 191 sworn Texas Peace Officers and 44 civilian staff members. They are committed to providing the best possible police services to our community.

MPD has achieved “Recognized” status from the Texas Police Chiefs Association Foundation for compliance with its Recognition Program – and that means policies, equipment, facilities and operations have been carefully reviewed.

This special week, we salute all the police officers who put their lives on the line every day to make our community stronger and safer.

Weekend Happenings with METRO May 13-15

Montage of events 


There’s always a lot to do in Houston on the weekend!  Indoors, outdoors, daytime, evening – here are just a few things that look intriguing.  You can be awed by giant sculptures, float away on a paddleboard, or dance in your seat to the syncopations of jazz. 


Wherever your weekend takes you, remember that METRO would like to be your way to get there.  We’ll help you save money on gas and parking – and you can text or phone on your way without distraction.  Be sure to see our Google-powered Trip Planner to locate your exact bus or train.


Event: True Sound Rhythm Festival. This “first annual” event showcases a collaboration between the world’s premier tap dancers and some of Houston’s best jazz musicians for an evening of innovative music and dance.  It’s billed as celebrating the legacy of tap dancing, so should be exciting to see and hear.  Dancers include Astaire and Emmy award winners.


When: Saturday, 8 p.m.


Where: Matchbox 4, 3400 Main


Getting there:

*Bus: 9 Gulfton/Holman, 82 Westheimer

METRORail: Red Line, exit Ensemble/HCC Station


Event: Amanda Parer’s “Intrude.”  Giant, lighted, white bunnies – you’ve got my attention!  Part of a national tour, seven large inflated nylon sculptures up to two stories high, by Australian artist Amanda Parer, can be experienced in this outdoors art installation in downtown Houston.  The event is free.


When: Monday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.


Where: 1600 Smith


Getting there:

*Bus: 32 Renwick/San Felipe, 44 Acres Homes, 82 Westheimer, 85 Antoine/Washington, 102 Bush IAH Express, 137 Northshore Express, 161 Wilcrest Express, 412 Greenlink Circulator


METRORail: Red Line, exit Bell Station



Event: Kayak Rides and Standup Paddleboarding.  Want to enjoy water sports?  It’s time to learn something new at Discovery Green.  Kayaking is suitable for all ages and abilities, while standup paddleboarding is for the more adventurous among us.  Try out these activities with an instructor to get you started - before it gets too hot.


When: Saturdays and Sundays through June 26, 11:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Where: Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney


Getting there:

*Bus: 6 Jensen/Greens, 11 Almeda/Lyons, 20 Canal/Memorial, 40 Telephone/Heights, 41 Kirby/Polk, 51 Hardy-Kelley, 52 Hardy-Ley, 137 Northshore Express, 412 Greenlink Circulator, 413 Greenlink Orange


METRORail: Red Line, exit Main Street Square Station; Green Line, exit Convention District; Purple Line, exit Convention District


*All buses are within a 5-block radius.



METRO’s New Chair in the News

METRO Chair Carrin Patman in interviews 

METRO Chair Carrin Patman is reaching out to the media, as she spells out her vision for METRO and her focus on a regional transit plan. 

Last Thursday, KUHF aired a segment with Patman being interviewed on the train by transportation reporter Gail Delaughter. Patman discussed METRO's New Bus Network and access to transit. She also discussed the Super Bowl coming to Houston next February and how METRO is preparing for that. 

Click here to listen to the story. 

On May 9, the Houston Chronicle published its interview with Chair Patman, who described how she wants to expand public transit. Read the story here. 

And this Sunday, be sure to tune in to Channel 13 and watch “Viva Houston” with Erik Barajas, who interviews both Patman and Tom Lambert, METRO’s president & CEO. The show will air on May 15 at 12:30 p.m.

Grant Money for Transit Projects

Giant clock with the word "deadline"

If you’ve got a transit-oriented project which needs federal funding, you must submit your electronic proposal by next Monday, May 16.

Email submissions to:, Attention Mary B. Fay, Grant Programs. Late submissions will not be accepted.

METRO is the designated recipient in the Houston Urbanized Area. That means we have been tasked with managing and distributing several grants administered through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Funds are used for public transportation capital and planning, as well as operating expenses.

Click here to read more about the FTA’s Urbanized Area Formula Grants, the allocation process and the conditions that must be met to be eligible to receive funds.

Weekend Happenings with METRO May 6-8

Montage of events 


What a fabulous weekend ahead with promises of sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-80s – perfect for celebrating Mother’s Day. May is the month not only to honor our moms but to recognize the achievements of Asians and Asian-Americans as we celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. Choose from an outdoor free festival that features everything from calligraphy to ribbon dancing or an outdoors Disney movie of “Mulan.” Or step into a fantasy world and check out the Star Wars Festival.

However you choose to spend your weekend, consider riding METRO. We’ll help you save fuel and parking fees – and you can text enroute without distraction. Be sure to see our Google-powered Trip Planner to locate your exact bus or train.

Have a wonderful weekend – and Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

Event: AsiaFest2016. This free festival is a great introduction to Asian culture and a wonderful way to celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. You’ll be able to nosh on fusion cuisine, enjoy tai chi demonstrations, or dance to Viet Wave music. Try your hand at folding paper cranes or wrapping a sari.

When: Saturday, 10 to 6 p.m.

Where: Asia Society, 1370 Southmore.

Getting there:

Bus: 5 Southmore, 65 Bissonnet

METRORail: Red Line, exit Museum District Station

Event: Bank of America Screen on the Green: Mulan. Inspired by the ancient Chinese poem, “Ballad of Mulan,” a young woman secretly joins the army to save her father from death.  Catch a free flick under the stars.

When: Saturday, 8:30 to 10 p.m.

Where: Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney

Getting there:

Bus: 6 Jensen/Greens, 11 Almeda/Lyons, 20 Canal/Memorial, 40 Telephone/Heights, 41 Kirby/Polk, 51 Hardy-Kelley, 52 Hardy-Ley, 137 Northshore Express, 412 Greenlink Circulator, 413 Greenlink Orange Circulator

METRORail: Red Line, exit Main Street Square Station; Green Line or Purple Line, exit Convention District Station
5th Annual Star Wars Arts Festival. Dust off your lightsabers and don the costumes – including Princess Leia’s hair buns, if you’re a girl, and join this two-day festival with more than 100 artists with a Star Wars theme, along with 50 vendors. Be prepared to see little Leias and Yodas running around – this is a family-friendly event.

When: Saturday and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.

Where: 5300 Harrisburg

Getting there:

Bus: 80 MLK/Lockwood

METRORail: Green Line, exit Altic Howard Hughes Station


Making Games Safer at the BBVA

Pictures of ags allowed and bags not allowed

 If you’re a soccer fan who enjoys cheering on the Dynamo or Dash teams, listen up. The BBVA Compass Stadium is implementing new security measures, beginning this Saturday.

Just as airlines have size restrictions on your carry-on bags, the stadium is restricting certain types of bags. The only bags allowed to go in must be no larger than 14 inches x 14 inches x 6 inches.

So a medium-sized handbag, small clutch bag, or cinch bag are all fine. Childcare supplies and medical supplies are good to go.

Non-approved bags include large purses, backpacks, briefcases, luggage, computer bags, camera bags or coolers. See photos here of what items are approved and what items are not.  

In addition to non-approved bags that aren’t allowed in the stadium, BBVA Compass has a list of prohibited items  - ranging from aerosol cans to helium balloons.

Be sure to take METRORail when you go to the games. Take either the Green Line or the Purple Line and exit at Eado/Stadium Station. Stay safe and make sure you have the right-sized bags with you.

Pop-up Q Card Fun

BalloonsMETRO’s doing a pop-up event tomorrow, and if you’re near the Wheeler Station Transit Center, come on by. 

We’ll have music and lots of friendly faces, greeting you and tell you all about the benefits of having a METRO Q® Q Fare Card. 

This electronic fare card acts like a “digital wallet.” Just add money to it like a debit card, then tap and go to board any of our buses or trains. You get free transfers in any direction up to three hours. Plus, for every 50 paid trips, you get five free trips. 

"This event is important because we want to be available for our riders and thank them for their continued use of the METRO system. It will literally be an outdoor party. We want to it to festive. We're looking forward to engaging with our riders and new riders," said Antoine Bryant, Public Affairs representative who's managing the event.  

So come on out, and learn about why everyone needs a METRO Q® Fare Card.

We’ll see you at the Wheeler Station Transit Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 5. Dancing shoes optional. 

Chair Carrin Patman Appears on “Houston Matters”

Chair Carrin Patman being interviewed by Gail Delaughter of Houston Pubilc Media

METRO Board Chair Carrin Patman has only been on the job three weeks – and she’s already answering Houstonians’ questions about the agency’s service.

Houston Public Media’s “Houston Matters” talked with Patman yesterday about our bus and rail system and future plans, including a solution to regional transit.  She fielded questions from callers, whose questions ranged from specific routes to special services, such as free rides for disabled vets.

Listen to the interview here.

Patman was chosen by Mayor Sylvester Turner to be METRO’s new chair, becoming the first chairwoman in the agency’s history. Patman served on the METRO board earlier, from April 2010 until December 2013 when she resigned to accept a fellowship at Harvard.

She is a partner and trial lawyer in commercial litigation at Bracewell.

In the photo posted above, Patman is being interviewed on the train by Houston Public Media’s Gail Delaughter – a story that is expected to air later this week.

MPD Officers to Wear Body Cams

Police officer wearing a body cameraIn about six months, you’ll see METRO police officers with a new accessory to their uniform: body cameras.

The METRO Board of Directors last Thursday unanimously approved issuing body cameras to MPD officers as part of their regular uniforms.

“We are pleased to take this step,” said Carrin Patman, METRO board chair. “We expect this program to enhance our police department from an investigative and training perspective, as well as strengthen community trust in law enforcement with increased transparency and accountability.”

The board approved a contract of $184,125 with Watch Guard which includes the purchase and implementation of 195 cameras. Each camera costs $699 and will offer new surveillance capability to increase security. All officers, including sergeants, will wear a body cam.

Camera data will be stored on MPD’s video management system for 90 days unless the video is classified as evidence.

“Our officers are excited about this. We see this as an enhancement not only for our officers but for our employees and patrons,” said MPD Police Chief Vera Bumpers.

Weekend Happenings with METRO April 29-May 1

Montage of events

There’s no reason to stay home and Netflix binge this weekend with all the fun activities around town. Whether you enjoy viewing art while noshing small bites from food trucks at the Bayou City Art Festival or you’re in the mood for some belly laughs at the Houston Improv Festival, there’s something for everyone.

Get there with METRO. We’ll save you parking fees and fuel – plus, you’ll feel good knowing you’ve reduced your carbon footprint. Check out the Google-powered Trip Planner to find your specific bus or train.

Event: Houston Improv Festival. Launched in 2011 this festival showcases Houston’s improv acting and comedic talent in a highly entertaining and engaging setting. You can also sign up for workshops if you’re an aspiring actor. A PG-rated, family-friendly show runs on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

When: Friday, 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.; Saturday, 7 p.m., 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Where: The MATCH, 3400 Main

Getting there:

Bus: 9 Gulfton/Fondren, 82 Westheimer

METRORail: Red Line, exit Ensemble/HCC Station

Event: Bayou City Art Festival. Now in its 45th year, this Houston tradition brings high-quality art to the public to support non-profits. The festival features updates this year: fewer artists in order to have wider pedestrian pathways, more food trucks, more frequent buses and shorter lines at the entrance. View works by more than 350 artists, run through giant bubbles and dance to some music.

When: Friday, 11 a.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m.

Where: Memorial Park, 6501 Memorial Dr.

Getting there:

Bus: 20 Canal/Memorial

Event: Mark Flood: Gratest Hits. This 30-year retrospective of Flood’s work includes a huge range of work from the intense “Eat Human Flesh” paintings of the 1980s to his highly valued lace paintings. This museum prides itself on being “always fresh, always free.”

When: Friday, 6:30 p.m. – opening reception. Regular weekend viewing hours: Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.

Where: Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 5216 Montrose

Getting there:

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

METRORail: Red Line, exit Museum District Station




METRO Celebrates Earth Day 2016

Montage of Earth Day festival

METRO recently celebrated Earth Day with thousands of festival-goers learning about how we’re practicing sustainability and helping to keep the air clean.

Now in its 11th year, Earth Day Houston was held at Sam Houston Park on April 16 and offered exhibits and booths to inspire and motivate attendees to take care of our Earth. METRO participated with two volunteer Ambassadors and a street team, who shared how we recycle and promote sustainability, said Margaret Dunlap, senior Public Affairs representative.

“We proudly showed METRO’s green programs. We talked about CNG buses – compressed natural gas – and how they emit fewer pollutants. We talked about the CNG fueling station near Fallbrook Bus Operating Facility. Our lighting is LED, we recycle our paper in-house,” said Dunlap.

One of the key attractions was a “spin-the-wheel” game where kids could spin a huge wheel, then try to answer a question. This game was a fun way for participants to learn about METRO’s services.

“Everyone came away a winner – they got the knowledge, we educated,” said Dunlap.

Children received puzzles that were wildflower seed packets in the shape of a bus or train, along with small cups with potting soil.

Your Smartphone's a Ticket to Ride

Want to hop on a local bus or train but you don't have a ticket yet? 

No worries. With our new mobile ticketing app, all you need is your smartphone. Just download our app and enter a credit card, debit card or PayPal. 

Android users, go here. iPhone users, go here. 

You can buy full-fare tickets for now or for later use - and you can purchase either a Single Ride ticket or a METRO Day Pass. The Single Ride ticket is valid for three hours in all directions from activation, while the Day Pass gives you unlimited rides in any direction for the day. 

You also get unlimited transfers for the duration of your ticket. 

 So if you’re planning to take the kids to the museum or zoo and you want to ride the Red Line, buy tickets for the whole family right on your smartphone. Once you’re ready to ride, simply activate your tickets by tapping “My Ticket.” 

Show this screen to any METRO police officer, bus operator or fare inspector who asks to see a ticket. 

Save time, and never worry about losing a ticket. 

No Surprise: Traffic is No. One Complaint

Traffic with METRO bus in HOV lane

When asked on the Rice University’s Kinder Houston Area Survey what is the biggest problem facing Houstonians, survey respondents cited traffic congestion.

Now in its 35th year of surveying attitudes of Houstonians, this year’s survey indicated that 29 percent consider traffic snarls our city’s No. One problem. That’s up from 20 percent in 2013 and 15 percent in 2014.

“In this rapidly growing, automobile-dependent metropolitan region, concerns about traffic are likely to be the “new normal’ for many years to come,” according to the report.

In addition, the survey said all three counties - Fort Bend, Montgomery and Harris) support alternatives to the automobile. "The proportions ranged from 48 percent (in Fort Bend County) to 37 percent (in Montgomery County) who were calling for 'spending more taxpayer money to improve rail and buses' rather than spending more 'to expand existing highways.' Between 53 and 62 percent said that the development of a much-improved mass transit system was 'very important for the future success of the Houston area.'"

METRO is one way to help you deal with gridlock. By riding METRO, you can not only reduce your carbon footprint and save on gas and maintenance on your vehicle, you can sit back and relax and let us do the stressful driving. Go ahead, take a cat nap to or from work in our comfortable Park & Ride coach buses. Read a book. Or text your friends and catch up on email.

Pick up a METRO Fare Card and load money on it – then just tap and go. Or use our new METRO Q Mobile Ticketing. Use your smartphone to buy a fare on local buses and METRORail.


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