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We Got a Makeover!

Come check out our new design of the blog. It's a new look and feel. Explore, suggest topics and join the conversation. Please visit http://metroblog.ridemetro.org/default.aspx

 

 

Memorial Day Holiday Schedule 2017

Close-up of flag waving in breeze

 

With a three-day weekend coming up to observe Memorial Day, METRO’s operating schedule will change next Monday.

Buses and METRORail will run on a Sunday schedule throughout Memorial Day, Monday, May 29.

Park & Ride service will not operate that day.  The RideStores and Lost & Found will be closed.

METROLift’s Reservations and Customer Service offices will be closed, and all Monday subscription trips cancelled. To book a trip for Tuesday, May 30, please call the reservation line at 713-225-6716 on Friday, May 26, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Find more details here.

On Memorial Day, the 96 Veterans Memorial bus route will offer hourly service to the Houston V.A. National Cemetery from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

 

Join Us in a Summer of Fun

Summer of Fun graphic

As summer approaches, METRO has one of the best bargains in town to bring your kids to fun destinations. We’re offering a free Summer of Fun Pass to all students from K through 12th grade.

METRO’s Summer of Fun Pass allows free, unlimited travel on all local buses, Park & Ride buses and METRORail. The pass is good from June 1 through Sept. 1.

So want to take the kids to the zoo? Or a museum? Or about that concert in the park downtown? Take METRO and enjoy an outing without parking worries.

You can pick up a Summer of Fun Pass three ways: online, by mail and fill out this form, or apply in person at one of our RideStores.

When the summer’s over, we still have a deal for you. Keep the Summer of Fun Pass, and use it like a student METRO Fare Card. The card’s been programmed to give student discounts of 50 percent off the full fare. All you have to do is load money on it – and ride for half price – that’s 60 cents one-way on a train or local bus.

If you want to drive downtown, and then hop on METRORail to get to a fun downtown destination, go to the interactive map at downtownhouston.org/parking/ to find parking lots near the rail.

Get your free pass – and then get ready for a summer of fun with the whole family.

 

Another Perk to Riding Public Transit: Shedding Pounds

Montage of Bike-to-Work Day

Houston, we have a fat problem.

Americans are the most obese people in the world – with costly consequences. Which cities are the fattest? Jackson, Miss., ranks No. 1 – while Houston weighs in at No. 17, according to WalletHub which analyzes 100 of the most populated metro areas nationwide.

Now, a new study shows that a robust transit system can contribute to healthier communities with lower obesity rates. University of Illinois researchers concluded that higher mass transit use correlated with lower obesity rates in counties across the nation.

“Our research suggests that investing in convenient and affordable public transit systems may improve public health by reducing obesity, thereby providing more value than had been previously thought,” said Sheldon H. Jacobson, a professor of computer science at the University of Illinois.

Here in Houston, about 400 residents biked to work last Friday, celebrating “Bike-to-Work Day” with Mayor Sylvester Turner. The fun ride was designed to introduce Houstonians to bikeways, including the city’s off-street trail network. Bike riders wheeled along the city’s recent extension of its first two-way separated bike lane, known as the “green mile.”

The route started and ended at City Hall, weaving through Buffalo Bayou. About 15 METRO employees were among the crowd, as well as Harris County Comm. Rodney Ellis and METRO Board Member Sanjay Ramabhadran, who rode the light-rail first, then disembarked at Central Station to join the bicyclists.

Using multiple modes of transportation to get around can give people a workout that becomes part of their commute – and that’s good for the community and the environment.

The University of Illinois study, published in “Preventive Medicine,” showed that for each one percent increase in a county’s population who frequently ride public transportation, obesity rates declined 0.2 percent.

So dust off your bike and pedal. Or walk to the nearest bus stop and take METRO to your final destination. Not only will you be saving gas and reducing your carbon footprint, you’ll be whittling your waistline at the same time.

 

Weekend Fun with METRO: May 19-May 21

Montage of events

 

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

 

It’s beginning to look and feel a lot like summer, with free outdoor festivals sprouting up all over the place.  I’ve chosen just two of these for you: the annual Bayou Jamboree & Crawfish Boil downtown and Cigna Sunday Streets in Brays Oaks.  For those who prefer air-conditioned entertainment, you can enjoy a classic theater experience at the Alley Theatre.  I know we need rain, but this weekend is supposed to have great weather for outdoor activities, so let’s get out there.  Don’t forget the sunscreen.

 

Don’t forget your METRO Q® Fare Card, either.  After you’ve enjoyed all the fun in the sun this weekend, you’ll be happy to sit back in one of our vehicles, relax, and let METRO drive you home.  This and every weekend, choose your destinations and plan your trips with our Trip Planner.  Did you know that you can buy bus/rail fares from your smartphone, and just show the phone to the driver?  Check out the Q Mobile Ticketing app on our website – and have a great weekend.

 

Event:  A View from the Bridge.”  Sunday’s matinee is your last chance to see this production of Arthur Miller’s dark, intense 1955 play about desperation and self-destruction.  There’s a behind-the-scenes tour at 10 a.m. on Saturday and, after the Saturday matinee, Josie de Guzman and Gregory Boyd will discuss the play’s themes and relevance to today’s world (see the website for details).  Tickets are available online.

 

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

 

Where: Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Ave.

 

Getting there*:

Bus – 11 Almeda/Lyons, 20 Canal/Memorial, 30 Clinton/Ella, 32 Renwick/San Felipe, 41 Kirby/Polk, 44 Acres Homes, 51 Hardy-Kelley, 52 Hardy-Ley , 82 Westheimer, 85 Antoine/Washington, 102 Bush IAH Express, 137 Northshore Express, 160 Memorial City Express, 161 Wilcrest Express, 162 Memorial Express

 

METRORail – Green Line or Purple Line (exit Theater District Station)

 

Event:  4th Annual Bayou Jamboree & Crawfish Boil.  Save yourself a trip to New Orleans and come downtown on Saturday to enjoy the tastes and sounds of that city.  There will be music and dancing, crawfish, Cajun food, and a family fun zone for the little ones.  It sounds like a good time is going to be had by all.  Admission is free.

 

When: Saturday from 3 to 7 p.m.

 

Where: Market Square Park, 301 Milam St.

 

Getting there*:

Bus – 32 Renwick/San Felipe, 44 Acres Homes (exit Capitol & Smith), 85 Antoine/Washington (exit Louisiana & Texas), 102 Bush IAH Express (exit Travis & Texas), 160 Memorial City Express, 161 Wilcrest Express and 162 Memorial Express (exit Louisiana & Capitol) 

 

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

 

Event:  Cigna Sunday Streets – Brays Oaks.  Fondren Road will become a pedestrian promenade this Sunday afternoon to allow neighbors to enjoy walking, running, dancing, cycling and meeting each other.  It’s a great chance to explore the Brays Oaks community without the hassle of car traffic.  Stores and restaurants along Fondren will be open and awaiting your visit.  The Mayor’s Office of Special Events organizes these street closings to encourage residents to enjoy physical activity outdoors. 

 

When: Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

 

Where: Fondren Rd. between S. Braeswood Blvd. and W. Bellfort Ave.

 

Getting there*:

Bus – 63 Fondren

 

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

 

 

 

Marketing Staff Wins Crystal Award

Marketing department with award at ceremony

METRO’s marketing team captured the top honor in an industry competition, beating out the Houston Rockets. 


METRO won a Crystal Award - the first place recognition - from the Houston chapter of the American Marketing Association. Winning a Crystal is like winning an Oscar. METRO won the category of “Outdoor Marketing Campaign” of two or more elements for the “Ride METRO to the Rodeo” campaign in 2016.


METRO also was a finalist in “Advertising - Radio Single” for “This is My METRO” featuring Kate, a blogger mom who rode our rail lines with her young daughter; and a finalist in “Marketing Campaign - Business to Consumer” for pieces related to the NCAA Final Four. 


“The competition was harder to win than in the past due to the record number of entries received, so it was an honor to even be a finalist this year,” said Darla Bell, manager of Strategic Analysis in Marketing, who wrote the detailed entries for the award. 

Finalists for the Outdoor Campaign Crystal Award were the Houston Rockets, Broadway Bank and People Generation-Magical Winter Lights. 


Ray Green, METRO’s graphic designer who created the rodeo campaign, said he was surprised METRO snagged the Crystal. “This was awesome,” said Green of his first big external campaign since he was hired in 2015. “I was at home sketching and designing, coming in early.”Award-winning poster


The campaign increased ridership 23 percent over 2015 with nearly 100,000 riders on our shuttle buses alone.

 

 In the photo above, left to right: Graphic designers Kelly Braverman, Esmeralda Davila and Ray Green; Jessica Gonzalez, account executive; Lorena Chavez, graphic designer and Rob Fritsche Jr., senior copywriter/producer.

 

 

Creative Crosswalk Highlights Walkers

 

Crosswalk with giant letters painted on it in skewered mannerWe all know what the traditional crosswalk looks like – zebra stripes.

But visit the Netherlands, and you can find a crosswalk that looks like scrambled letters that were randomly tossed on the street. The crosswalk features giant letters and shapes randomly painted on the street - think of overturning a Scrabble game with the letters scattered all over.

This so-called creative crosswalk is designed to brighten up the neighborhood and grab the attention of motorists. Last week, this unique crosswalk was unveiled in the city of Rotterdam on downtown’s Westblaak Street.

“This intersection was chosen because it is busy with a lot of foot and car traffic. It’s also very central, so a great location to make a statement for livelier cities,” said Lior Steinberg of Street Makers, a local urbanism agency with a strong social mission.  

Read the scrambled letters carefully and you’ll see a message: “Stand Straight” and “Walk Proud.” The creators said they wanted the space to dignify and celebrate all pedestrians.

Closer to home, San Francisco has installed crosswalks of colored rainbows and Portland has unveiled rain-themed crosswalks with raindrops and a giant umbrella. Creators hope such crosswalks inspire pedestrians to use the crosswalks – and help motorists pay attention to pedestrians using them.

Would you like to see creative crosswalks in Houston?

Honoring the Women and Men in Blue

Police badge, flag

This week is National Police Week, a week to give special recognition to the fallen officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Established in 1962 by a joint resolution of Congress, National Police Week is hosting events in Washington, including a candlelight vigil and honor guard. Every year, thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world attend these events to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“Police Week is about the oath that men and women repeated when they accepted the badge. It is about serving and protecting as your duty and not as a job,” said MPD Chief Vera Bumpers.

At METRO, we want to acknowledge our officers who work every day to keep our transit system safer. On Thursday, METRO will host the Police Week Awards Ceremony, honoring the courageous acts of outstanding officers.

The METRO Police Department is a full-service police agency, committed to providing the best possible police services to our community.

We salute all the police officers who work diligently to make our community safer.

 

Weekend Fun with METRO May 12-14

Montage of events

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

Sunday is Mother’s Day, so the most important part of this weekend should be spending some time with your mom.  For that reason, I’m recommending some events in which the whole family can participate.  Mom may or may not enjoy Comicpalooza, but she can go with the family for AsiaFest fun, or you can take her to see “Madame Butterfly” during its three-night run at Miller Outdoor Theatre.  There are more restaurants than I can possibly list that offer special Mother’s Day brunches this Sunday.

You can introduce Mom to METRO this weekend, too.  She’ll appreciate knowing that easy-to-use public transit is available to take her around town, with a relaxing ride at a very affordable price.  Show her how you plan your trip with our Trip Planner.  She’ll be out and about before you know it, and telling you about places you should go – you know how she likes to give you advice.  Enjoy the weekend!

Event:  Comicpalooza.  This event is billed as “the largest pop culture festival in Texas,” and the website description of what’s going on there makes me think that even three days might not be enough time to experience all of it.  There’s a sports arena (Quidditch, anyone?), a film festival, panels of all sorts, gaming halls, photo ops with celebrities, a kids’ zone, cosplay contest, and lots more.  Even “Freddy Krueger” will be there.  Passes can be purchased online.

When: Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ticket hours).

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:  Madame Butterfly.”  This is the Houston Ballet’s interpretation of the classically beautiful Puccini opera, and just the thing for Mother’s Day weekend.  Many of us know the story of Cio-Cio San and Lt. Pinkerton, but this time the beauty is in movement rather than in voice, although you can still enjoy Puccini’s amazing score.  Free tickets are available at the box office for covered seating (see the website for details), but tickets are not required for seating on the hill.

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

Where: Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Dr.

Getting there*:

METRORail – Red Line, exit Museum District Station

 Event:  AsiaFest 2017.  May is Asian Pacific American Heritage month, and the goal of AsiaFest is to bring families together in celebration of Houston’s diverse cultures.  It’s a free family festival - you can spend the day enjoying community group performances, creative activities, local vendors, and fusion cuisine.  Some of the performances feature dance groups, tai chi, martial arts, Taiwanese puppets, and Viet Wave music.  There really is something for everyone.

When: Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Asia Society Texas Center, 1370 Southmore Blvd.

Getting there*:

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

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

Hands-0n Transit for the Young

Middle school students on METRO field trip

This is a guest post by Monica Russo, METRO media specialist.

METRO Board Member Christof Spieler is used to giving lectures.

In addition to serving as vice-president and director of planning at engineering firm Huitt-Zollars, he teaches at Rice University’s School of Architecture and advises student design-build programs at Rice and the University of Houston.

But the group sitting before him recently is a much younger set. Middle school students from The Post Oak School have arrived to learn more about public transportation and its impact on mobility in Houston.

Students listen intently as Spieler discusses public policy, METRO’s New Bus Network, and the use of multi-modal transportation to solve congestion. There are periodic pauses throughout the lecture as students ask questions.

“We’re doing an intensive week-long city study of Houston,” says Jami Sweeney, Post Oak Middle School director. He says METRO is one of several government and civic organizations students are visiting that week. The field trips give children an opportunity to observe and experience the workings of local government.

“We know METRO is a big piece of quality of life and mobility around the city,” he adds.

Once Spieler concludes his lecture, students break for lunch and return to ride a METRORail train to the Rail Operations Center, also known as the ROC. There, kids are introduced to METRO safety personnel who discuss safety and offer a tour of the facility, including the rail yard and dispatch center.

Ramona Crayton, METRO senior Public Affairs representative, says the field trips are one of the highlights of her job. “Inviting school children to tour our facilities and learn about transit is rewarding,” she says. “These kids are the next generation, and it’s important we show them how vital public transportation is to this city and its overall quality of life.”

For more information on how your school can learn more about METRO and public transportation, contact 713-635-4000.

Partial Rail Shutdowns Start Tonight

Rail interruption logo

Starting tonight, METRORail will be partially closed on the Green and Purple lines.


At 10 p.m. tonight, METRO will close segments of the Green Line from the Theater District to Magnolia Park Transit Center stations; and along the Purple Line from the Theater District to EADO/Stadium stations. 


We are doing this in order to complete scheduled welding work on the track, necessary to provide a smoother ride. 


The work will continue at 10 p..m each night on May 11, and May 14 through 18. 


We’ll have free bus shuttles in those late evening hours to carry riders between the closed segments. Signs at closed rail platforms will guide commuters to nearby rail shuttle stops. We’ll also have staff on the street to help you. 


Please allow extra time to complete your trip. You can find a shuttle map here.  Regular rail service will resume the following morning of each closure. 


Thanks for riding METRO, and thanks for your patience. 



 

Would You Take a Train to the Airport?

 

 Images of SkyTran, Velo-Cit, Next

Dust off the crystal ball, and peer into the future: What does public transportation look like in 2040?

We want to hear your ideas for a regional transit plan for the future. METRO, led by its Board of Directors and chair Carrin Patman, is developing a new plan for transit services. It will build on the foundation laid by METRO Solutions, approved by voters in 2003.

Our goals are to improve mobility, enhance connectivity, support vibrant communities and ensure a return on investment. We will be guided by these principles: safety, stewardship, accessibility and equity.

So talk to us.

What type of transit would you use? How do you feel about the goals above? If you don’t use transit today, what would convince you to use it? Can you list three important things METRO should keep top of mind as it shapes this regional plan?

Click here to learn more details. You’ll find tabs at the top of the page. One is “Share Your Vision” where you can submit your ideas online. You’ll also be able to see a presentation on our regional transit plan.

(Note: The images posted above are of SkyTran, Velo-City and Next, futuristic transportation technologies as described on wonderfulenginering.com)

 

Tweeting About Transit Manners

Tweet Campaign


From manspreading to seat hogs, bad transit etiquette will soon be shamed in a new campaign launched by Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), the public transportation agency in Canada.

The TTC plans to use real posts from social media by real riders commenting about etiquette – or the lack of it – on buses and trains in Toronto. The system-wide campaign, “You Said It,” is scheduled to launch next week. It will feature real tweets pointing out bad manners.

Some examples: Bobby tweets, “Why do people think that a seat is an acceptable place for their dirty shoes and feet? #TTC”

Another urges kindness. Melissa tweets, “If we could take a moment and think about others instead of ourselves for once. Give up the blue seats to those in need. #TTC.”

Eight ads will highlight different behaviors – from trespassing on subway tracks to tossing a bag on a seat to block someone from sitting next to you.

What would you tweet about to make our system a nicer place to ride?

 

Weekend Fun with METRO: May 5-May 7

Montage of events

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

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  Be sure that you celebrate in some way – Miller Outdoor Theatre offers some wonderful Mexican music tonight.  I’m recommending three outdoor events for this nice spring weekend, and two or these are free - always a bonus.  Besides Friday evening at Miller, you can watch dragon boat races on Buffalo Bayou downtown on Saturday and join the zoo elephants for a Sunday breakfast and open house.  There – that’s something fun and interesting for each day of your weekend.

METRO’s seven-day service has you covered for transportation each day of the weekend, too, so consider taking the bus or train to reach your weekend events.  Our website is always available, and all you have to do is plan your trip with our Trip Planner.  You can buy fares in advance for your whole party with our mobile ticketing app, and then hop right on.  The weekend’s ready for you – enjoy it!

Event:  Cinco de Mayo at Miller.  Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with two terrific musical groups from Mexico.  Tlen-Huicani…The Singers of Veracruz use traditional costumes and instruments, and feature the folk harp as the centerpiece of their music.  The Villalobos Brothers are considered one of the leading contemporary Mexican music ensembles.  Their performances blend Mexican folk music with the harmonies of jazz and classical music in original compositions and arrangements.  Free tickets are needed for the covered seating area and you can get these between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the box office.  As always, there’s open seating on the hill. 

When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Dr.

Getting there*:

METRORail – Red Line (exit Museum District Station)

Event:  Houston Dragon Boat Festival.  If you’ve never seen dragon boat races, now’s your chance.  You’ll see corporate and school teams paddle these impressive boats in races against each other.  The free festival includes music and cultural performances and food vendors.  There will even be a lion dance at 8:45 a.m. to get things started.  I was part of a dragon boat team once, and it’s hard work, so come out and cheer on your favorite team or just take photos.

When: Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Where: Allen’s Landing, 1005 Commerce St.

Getting there*:

Bus – 11 Almeda/Lyons, 51 Hardy-Kelley, 52 Hardy-Ley, 82 Westheimer, 102 Bush IAH Express, 137 Northshore Express

METRORail – Red Line (exit Preston or UH Downtown Station)

Event:  Elephant Open House.  The Houston Zoo’s elephants are inviting you to meet them at a Sunday morning open house at their barn.  You can watch them in training, getting their baths and weighing in, and (for an extra fee) have your photo taken with an elephant.  You’ll enjoy a continental breakfast, and there’s even a raffle for an elephant-created painting.  Tickets can be purchased online and the cost includes zoo admission, so you can spend the rest of the day becoming acquainted with all the other animals.  All proceeds from the event go to elephant conservation.  The zoo requests that you bring a reusable water bottle to help them reduce use of plastics like bottled water.

When: Sunday from 8 to 10 a.m.

Where: Houston Zoo, 6200 Hermann Park Dr.

Getting there*:

Bus – 28 OST-Wayside

"METRO Matters" on Staying Safer

Mary Sit interviews Sean Cagan, chief safety officerWe all know that talking and texting on our cell phones while driving is distracting. Now new research shows that talking on a phone while walking can be just as distracting and often dangerous.

A little more than 1,000 pedestrians visited emergency rooms in 2008 due to becoming distracted while using a cellphone to talk or text. They tripped, fell or ran into something. That was twice the number from 2007, which had almost doubled from the year before that, according to a study by Ohio State University.

METRO wants to make sure as you walk around our trains, you pay attention.

We’ve added bold red and blue stripes to the trains, and our conductors now sound a horn as they approach each intersection. You may have seen our posters along the platforms: Stop, Look, Listen.

Take a listen to our latest edition of METRO Matters and hear Sean Cagan, METRO’s chief safety officer, talk about new strategies METRO is considering.

METRO Goes to the Offshore Technology Conference
 

Scenes from METRO at the OTC

The world's biggest event for the oil and gas industry is happening this week at NRG, and METRO is right there, telling visitors how to use public transit to get around town.

The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) brings together energy professionals to exchange ideas and scientific and technical knowledge. The conference meets through May 4 - and you'll find METRO with a booth in the hall, selling METRO Convention Passes for unlimited rides on local buses or trains.

Passes are only $3 a day - a true Houston bargain. Conference-goers can still buy their passes at participating hotels or online and then pick them up at the METRO booth located in the main hallway of NRG Center.

METRO has sold hundreds of passes already, making it easy for our international visitors to travel around the Bayou City. If you're visiting the OTC, be sure to buy an all-day pass for only $3 and explore our city.

Meet Martina, a Park & Rider

 Martina on the Park & Ride bus

Meet Martina. She rides the 244 Monroe Park & Ride bus, and her fellow passengers have become her bus family.

Featured in METRO’s latest commercial in the “This is My METRO” campaign, Martina has been riding the Park & Ride bus for a decade now. She’s gotten to know the other commuters - from the gamers to the businessmen and women – and of course, the nappers.

Check it out. And look for it on the air on both radio and TV.

If you’re not a regular rider on METRO, try us out. We can help you de-stress to and from work while you relax and leave the driving to us. By the way, many of our commuter buses are equipped with outlets in each row so you can stay plugged in the entire trip.

Weekend Fun with METRO: April 28-April 30

Montage

 

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

 

We’re back with more suggestions on how to use your spare time.  It’s a “be eclectic” weekend in terms of activities.  Depending on how you feel, you can take the family to a free outdoor festival, educate yourself on today’s Latin American filmmaking courtesy of the MFAH, or enjoy a Mozart comedy brought to you by the Houston Grand Opera.  I remember whining to my Mom when I was a child, “I don’t have anything to do.”  No one living in this area should even know the meaning of that phrase.

 

So give some thought to what you’d like to do this weekend, and then let METRO make it easy for you to get there.  Speaking of eclectic, we’ve got more than 80 local bus routes going in all directions and three light-rail lines to move you around town.  Just plan your trip with our Trip Planner.  You’ll be amazed at how simple and pleasant it is to take the bus or train to your weekend destination.

 

Event:  Latin Wave 12.  Every year, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston brings lucky Houstonians a group of notable new films reflecting the vibrant and innovative cinema scene of Latin America.  This year’s menu of 10 films features offerings from a variety of nations and genres.  Go to the website to choose your films and show times.  Festival admission is only $8 to $10, and students can attend free on Sunday.  There’s also a brunch and roundtable discussion with several of the filmmakers on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Under the Volcano on Bissonnet.

 

When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday – See the website for show times of individual films.

 

Where: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet

 

Getting there*:

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

 

METRORail – Red Line (exit Museum District Station)

 

Event:  The Abduction from the Seraglio.”  How about a little comedy from the Houston Grand Opera?  This 1782 Mozart work tells of a woman captured by pirates and awaiting rescue – but wait – it’s been magically relocated to the 1920s and the Orient Express train.  Sung in German with projected English subtitles, the production is suitable for all ages.  Tickets can be purchased online.  I noticed some interesting features of the HGO’s pricing – discounts are offered to first-time opera goers and there’s a number to call if you’re under 25 to arrange to pay your age for your ticket.  What a neat way to introduce yourself to opera.

 

When: Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

 

Where: Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas

 

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)

 

Event:  Bayou Greenway Day.  The Houston Parks Board is hosting a free outdoor festival with games, giveaways, music and lots more for family fun.  You can explore the beautiful Bayou Greenway with a kayak or a guided children’s bike ride.  You can visit with the animals in the mobile zoo and at the animal adoptions.  Fly a kite, try yoga or soccer drills, make arts and crafts…and the list goes on.  Food trucks will provide refreshments.  This promises to be a great day for everyone.

 

When: Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Where: MacGregor Park, 5225 Calhoun Rd.

 

Getting there*:

Bus - 28 OST–Wayside, 29 Cullen/Hirsch, 80 MLK/Lockwood

 

METRORail – Purple Line (exit MacGregor Park/Martin Luther King, Jr. Station)

 

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

 

 

 

METRO Praised for Financial Transparency

Cover of report: Following the Money 2017 

METRO was honored as one of the highest scorers in financial transparency by a consumer advocacy group. 

The Texas Public Interest Research Group (TexPIRG) Education Fund released its annual report that examined METRO’s financial disclosures and compared them against dozens of other special districts across the nation.

Texas has more than 2,600 special districts, government entities established by a citizen vote or other legislation, providing a specific service for a designated area.

The group released a report called “Following the Money 2017: Governing in the Shadows.”  It tracks how states provide public access to online info on spending. This year, the annual report concentrated on spending transparency and special districts.

The report analyzed 79 special districts. Only seven special districts had detailed spending checkbooks online, allowing citizens to see how their tax money is spent. Of the seven districts, three received an “A” in financial disclosure, including METRO.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar commended both METRO and the Port of Houston for achieving high honors in this year’s PIRG report.

“METRO operations and financial reports have been open and accessible to the public for several years now,” said Tom Lambert, METRO’s president & CEO. “We are extremely proud to be recognized nationally.”

The agency streams all of its monthly board meetings and committee meetings, along with public hearings. You can also view on a single web page the agency’s check register, budgets, financial reports, bond disclosure documents and instructions on filing an open records request.

METRO Parties at the Park


Kids on bikes with balloons behind them

Join us at a free outdoor festival this Saturday. Bayou Greenway Park will be chockfull of family activities, games, music food and more. 


METRO is the transportation sponsor, and we’ll have our emerald-green Discover Bus parked there from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Climb aboard and you’ll learn about METRO Q®  Fare Cards, as well as the other services we offer. 


Did you know METRO operates the HOV/HOT lanes? And we have curbside service for patrons who qualify for METROLift? We have an extensive Park & Ride system for suburbanites who can park their cars in a lot and ride stress-free to downtown. We can also organize a customized van or carpool for you. 


We’ll also be giving away free round-trip Q Cards to anyone who fills out a short survey on how you ride METRO.


Use the Trip Planner to find your specific bus, or take the Purple Line to get there. 


So join us as we party at this fabulous festival by Houston Parks Board,  and win a free trip on METRO, too!



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