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Oct 20
Weekend Fun with METRO: Oct. 20-22

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This weekend, you can indulge in fun activities that will appeal to every age group in your family – from monster truck races to the latest trends in homes and gardens. If Harvey destroyed much of your landscaping, this could be a good opportunity to replant and redesign your garden – and the Texas Home & Garden Show is chockful of ideas.

Feeling restless and want to escape H-town?  Take a trip to Discovery Green where you can taste, touch and see the best of Korean culture at this annual free festival. Let METRO take you to all these activities while you avoid traffic gridlock and the search for parking. Simply use the Google-powered Trip Planner to find the best bus or train from your location.

Event: Monster Jam. With trucks named Big Kahuna, EarthShake and El Toro Loco, Monster Jam promises to be an exciting event in which trucks on steroids perform acts of courage and craziness in the world's biggest truck tour. The whole family can enjoy the racing and freestyle competitions.

When: Saturday, 7 p.m.

Where: NRG Stadium

Getting there:

Bus:  84 Buffalo Speedway, exit Kirby & Westridge; 14 Hiram Clark, exit Main & McKee

METRORail: Red Line, exit Stadium Park/Astrodome Station

Event: Houston Korean Cultural Festival. This annual festival celebrates the Korean culture through food, fun activities and live dance, music and martial arts demonstrations. Experience the richness of Korean culture and this event that's free and open to the public. Bring the whole family and travel to the other side of the world – right here in downtown Houston.

When: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: Discovery Green Conservancy, 1500 McKinney

Getting there:

Bus: 40 Telephone/ Heights or 41 Kirby Polk exit McKinney & Austin.

METRORail: Purple Line or Green Line, exit at Convention District Station

Event: Texas Home & Garden Show. For almost four decades, this show has highlighted the best in home and garden trends, tips and tools for garden lovers. Meet with industry pros, participate in hands-on workshops, discover the latest products and save money with show-only specials. Keep the kids entertained at the free KidsZone with inflatables.

When: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: NRG Center, One NRG Park West

Getting there:

Bus:  60 Cambridge exit Fannin & Holly Hall

METRORail: Red Line, exit Stadium Park/Astrodome Station

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

Oct 19
Take METRO to the Astros Game

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If the Astros win tomorrow night's game against the New York Yankees, they have a chance for one more game on Saturday to advance to the World Series.

METRO is right there rooting for our home team by giving everyone with a valid game ticket free rides on METRORail to Minute Maid Park. Ride the train and help us reduce gridlock on the road.

Take the Purple Line. Trains come about every 12 minutes and run until 2:08 a.m. eastbound from the Theater District and 2:23 a.m. westbound from Palm Center. Click here for hours and travel times.

Exit at Convention District Station. Then walk two blocks north to Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford St.

If you've never taken METRORail before, this is the perfect time to try it. Hop on board, and simply show your valid game ticket to any fare checker who may ask.

Go, 'Stros!

 Driving into downtown? Check out these parking lots.

 

 

 

Oct 18
Free Shuttles to Food Assistance


If you've been affected by Hurricane Harvey and want to apply for short-term food benefits, METRO is here to help. 

We'll be providing free shuttles today through Friday, Oct. 20, for residents applying for the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP)

The registration site is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is located at Alexander Deussen Park at 12303 Sonnier St. We'll be offering free METRO shuttles from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. from the following locations: 

  • JJ Robertson Family Life Center, 4810 Red Bud St.
  • Acres Homes Multi-Service Center, 6719 W. Montgomery Rd. 
  • The Tabernacle of Praise, 8814 Tidwell Rd.

Applicants must be in line by 7 p.m. to be considered, according to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. The D-SNAP application extension was a cooperative effort by many levels of government, including the Department of Agriculture, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, U.S. Rep. Al Green, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Harris County Comm. Rodney Ellis, Mayor Sylvester Turner and state officials. 



Oct 17
Master Mechanic Rescues Harvey Victims

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This is a guest article by media specialist Monica Russo in the Press Office. 

 When Carlester Chatmon reported to work the afternoon of Saturday, Aug. 28, at the Field Service Center in east Houston, little did he know what the next several days would have in store for him.

"I knew a big storm was bearing down on the city. I'm a Houstonian – born and raised here – so I'm used to working in storms and floods," said Chatmon as he reflected on his experience. "But, in all my years of living here, I've never seen so much water."

During his nine-year career at the agency, he's worn many hats.

"I've worked on police cars and METROLift vans. I've towed 40-foot buses from all parts of this city," he recalled.

His experience driving large trucks and his extensive knowledge of Houston-area streets would prove to be invaluable skills because on this weekend, Chatmon was assigned to operate METRO's high-water rescue vehicle, a BMY 6x6 5-Ton Military Cargo Truck. METRO had purchased this after the 2016 Tax Day Floods.

The first call came in on Sunday around 2 a.m. Soon, requests for high-water rescues began to pour in, and first responders needed all the resources they could get.

Assigned to join three HPD officers, Chatmon and his new partners began a non-stop effort to rescue people and move essential supplies.

"People would cry, laugh, clap when they saw us arrive. We rescued a family with a one-month-old baby from a flooded home. I remember an elderly lady who hugged one of the police officers so tight and didn't want to let go," said Chatmon.

He and his navigator, HPD Officer Marcus Betancourt, had to carefully maneuver through flooded roads. Because floodwaters would often hide curbs and medians, it was hard to tell where a roadway began and ended. Everyday objects like electrical boxes and fire hydrants became underwater hazards. The hidden dangers also included a swamp of submerged cars.

At one point, Chatmon recalled, water entered the cab of the truck, reaching his ankles.

"We were in the Meyerland area. The flooding was unbelievable. This truck was made for high water. So, when water entered the cab, it was an uneasy feeling. I thought a lot about my family. I know they were worried for me."

But the group endured. Despite obstacles and lack of sleep, they pressed on -- prepared to answer the next call.

By the end, the team had trekked all over the Houston region. They rescued families near FM-1960, transported doctors and nurses from Pearland to the Texas Medical Center. They shuttled cases of blood and medical supplies to waiting helicopters. Chatmon helped the team find a route that would allow them to move dozens of police officers to a facility which housed high-water vehicles in need of drivers.

"We really were a team. Those guys are my family now," said Chatmon with a huge smile.

HPD Sergeant Timothy Zaragoza said he was vital to the operation.

"Everywhere you looked, there was so much devastation. At times, we were overwhelmed. Working with Carl made things so much easier. He knew this city like the back of his hand. We couldn't have achieved as much as we did without him."

In fact, the HPD officers, affectionally nick-named the truck "Carla" in honor of its driver.

The master mechanic turned unexpectant first responder says he still dreams about those long nights during Harvey.

"There was a lot of joy in helping people. It was beautiful. I loved it and I'd do it again if I had to," he said.

Oct 16
High-speed Travel in a Tube

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Richard Branson, the entrepreneur who has changed the travel industry with trains, planes and spacecraft, has just invested in a company developing high-speed travel in a tube.

This futuristic science fiction-like travel is being designed by Hyperloop One, which started in a Los Angeles garage with a business model outlined on a white board by co-founders Josh Giegel and Shervin Pishevar

This privately-held company wants to reinvent transportation by loading people and cargo into a Hyperloop vehicle and then accelerate gradually using electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube. The vehicle floats above a track using magnetic levitation and moves at airline speeds. Hyperloop One tunnels will weave underground and be fully autonomous. It will feel like being in an airplane or elevator.

Last Friday, the company announced heavyweight Branson is forming a partnership with Hyperloop One, investing an undisclosed amount of money and joining its board of directors. Over the next few months the company's name will change to Virgin Hyperloop One.

"Ever since our creation, Virgin has been known for disruption and investing in innovative companies," wrote Branson on his blog. "From our airplanes to our trains to our spaceline, we have long been passionate about innovation in transport too, especially the development of technology that could transform people's lives. This is just the latest example."

Travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco would be 30 minutes; or between Edinburgh and London, 50 minutes.

 

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About this blog
Hi! I'm Mary Sit, and I am blogging to you from METRO!