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Aug 17
Weekend fun with METRO: Aug. 17-19



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

I've got a weekend of superlatives for you – the longest-running play in theater history, the biggest indoor art installation I've ever heard about, and probably the most food vendors at a Houston festival. 

 Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap will keep you on the edge of your seat, the 30-foot high gallery-full of bamboo at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston will stretch your imagination (how'd they do that?), and then you can finish off the weekend by eating everything in sight at the Houston Food Fest.  Whew – I'm getting tired just thinking about all the activity.

But guess what?  METRO can chauffeur you around town, so no matter how much you eat and drink, or how exhausted you get from all this fun, you won't have to drive in Houston traffic. 

Catch one of our buses or trains, sit back, and just relax while our friendly operators do the driving for you.  You know how easy it is to use our Trip Planner, so find your route and go.  Life would be so boring without weekends.

Event: The Mousetrap.  The Alley Theatre is raising the curtain on the longest-running show in theater history.  Agatha Christie's mystery masterpiece recently celebrated its 66th anniversary on the London stage.  A group of strangers finds themselves stranded in a British boarding house during a snowstorm – and the murders begin.  Can you guess the identity of the murderer in the group?  The show runs through Sept. 2, and tickets can be purchased online.

When: Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 and 7 p.m.

Where: The Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Ave.

Getting there*:

Bus – 20 Canal/Memorial, 30 Clinton/Ella, 32 Renwick/San Felipe, 82 Westheimer, 85 Antoine/Washington, 102 Bush IAH Express, 160 Memorial City Express, 161 Wilcrest Express, 162 Memorial Express

METRORail – Green and Purple lines (exit Theater District Station)

Event: Big Bambu: This Thing Called Life.  Try to imagine a 30-foot tall art installation composed of 3,000 bamboo poles lashed together.  You can walk through it and on it.  The trail starts on the second-floor balcony, leads you across a bamboo bridge, then down some ramps to the first floor.  No flip-flops allowed.  I think this is something we'll have to experience for ourselves.  Tickets are available online and on site, and admission includes access to the museum's art collections.

When: Museum hours – Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday from 12:15 to 7 p.m.

Where: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet

Getting there*:

Bus – 56 Airline/Montrose

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

Event: Houston Food Fest.  Feeling hungry?  Then this is the event for you.  You'll find more than 70 food vendors for your tasting pleasure, along with lots of live music, fun activities and interactive games.  Be prepared to eat and eat and eat, then you can dance off the calories.  Tickets are available online.

When: Saturday from noon to 10 p.m.

Where: Hermann Square Park, 900 Smith St.

Getting there*:

Bus – 30 Clinton/Ella, 40 Telephone/Heights, 41 Kirby/Polk, 44 Acres Homes, 85 Antoine/Washington, 160 Memorial City Express, 161 Wilcrest Express, 162 Memorial Express

METRORail – Green and Purple lines (exit Theater District Station)

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



Aug 16
Calling all young transit professionals



YPT Houston wants you to join the group at its next event to network with other transit professionals.

The Young Professionals in Transportation – Houston chapter is open to transportation engineers, urban planners, transportation energy/infrastructure professionals and port/maritime professionals in the greater Houston area.

YPT Houston offers regular seminars from transportation leaders, fellowship with other like-minded professionals and networking opportunities to help young professionals advance their careers and share their ideas.

Get your happy hour on with YPT Houston today, Aug. 23, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Pitch 25 Beer Park at 2120 Walker St. YPT members get their first beer on YPT Houston.


Aug 15
Free rides to the polls



METRO is making it easier for you to cast your vote and make your voice heard.

We are offering free rides to Houston-area polling locations for the Harris County Flood Control District bond election. Hop on any bus or train to get to your polling place during early voting on Saturday, Aug. 18, or on election day, Saturday, Aug. 25.

Free transportation will be available when the polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Please tell the bus operators or fare inspectors that you are going to or returning from the polls to receive your free ride.

So, exercise your right to vote with free, round-trip service on METRORail, any local bus and METROLift paratransit services. Plan your trip with the METRO TRIP app, or call Customer Service at 713-635-4000.


Aug 14
Safety check at a busy Park & Ride


This is a guest post by Brent Taylor, a social media specialist at METRO.

The North Shepherd Park & Ride is a popular transit hub that strategically connects many of the more popular METRO routes. From here, passengers can easily access downtown, shopping centers, the Texas Medical Center, and many other spots with a single bus ride.

 Recently, I went out to see how safely METRO passengers were using our Park & Ride lot, and I found mostly positive results. During my visit on a sleepy Monday morning, I saw passengers waiting at the appropriate spots (behind the curb), giving space to our facilities crew that was cleaning up, and even giving friendly smiles as I walked past.

The only thing I noticed was that not all passengers were using the crosswalks. This Park & Ride is particularly long, so crossing outside of the crosswalks can cause confusion and slow down service, especially when there's several busesTrashCollecting_450px.jpg at their designated stops. Sticking to the crosswalks, marked with yellow hash-marks, keeps things orderly and is the safest way to cross the street.

One thing worth remembering is that at transfer points like the North Shepherd Park & Ride, operators may "lay over" between trips, staying parked for several minutes. In this sweltering heat, you may not want to stay outside, so feel free to get the operator's attention and ask to be let inside the idling bus. Operators will be more than happy to allow you to cool off while they prepare for their next trip.

Finally, while observing, I was asked by a passenger how to get to W. Gulf Bank from there. I quickly pulled out my cell phone and opened the METRO TRIP app, where we saw the 96 Veterans Memorial would drop him just a block or so from his destination. He was very impressed with the technology and saw just how easy it can be to navigate the city with a cell phone.

 If you don't have the TRIP app, get it today! It could help you, or even help make someone else's day that much easier.Brentmoji.jpg


Aug 13
We appreciate you!


Starting at 5 a.m., customers who wandered by the Downtown Transit Center were greeted by the friendly Street Team of METRO, handing out water, reusable water bottles, brochures and maps.

Today is our annual Customer Appreciation Day, and METRO's Street Team was fanned out across various transit centers, giving directions and showing how much METRO values its riders.

"Thank you for riding METRO," said Cyndy Van Zandt, a Street Team member, as she handed out water to a mom and a toddler in a stroller.

Tony Walker, a construction carpenter, was standing at the table, holding his free water bottles. "It's fast and convenient when you don't have a car," he said of METRO.

Gary Quin, said he rides the bus to Randalls and the movies, and takes the 82 Westheimer route frequently. He came downtown this morning to look for his cell phone he left on the bus, and discovered a new way to ride METRO.

Aaron Venson, Street Team member, showed Quin a more efficient route. "You don't have to walk. That bus takes you right in front of the building," Venson pointed out.

As people walked around the busy transit center, they were pleasantly surprised by the giveaways – including the contagious smiles. "Everybody's excited. We've had a big response. Customers were great," said Van Zandt.

To all our riders: Thank you for your patronage - we appreciate you!

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