METRO wants you to enjoy your New Year's Eve revelries – and so we are offering free rides on New Year's Eve.
From 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 through 6 a.m. on Jan. 1, you can ride free on local buses, METRORail and METROLift.
Here's what our New Year's Day service will look like:
Enjoy the fun, and ride safely on New Year's Eve – courtesy of METRO.
Happy New Year, everyone!
With just 12 days before Christmas, you still have time to enjoy seasonal fun that will bring you into the holiday spirit. Stroll around a Christmas village, and meet 19th century, costumed actors in a historic mansion. Lose yourself in the music of Tchaikovsky, as you watch the Houston Ballet dance this classic of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince.
Want a break from holiday activities? Check out the art of award-winning, Houstonian artist Catherine Colangelo in “Everyday Sorcery,” a comment on her personal life told through intricate textures and abstract work.
Wherever you spend leisure time this weekend, ride METRO to and from your activities. You can relax, avoid traffic and parking fees, and reduce your carbon footprint. It’s only $1.25 for a local bus or train. Use our Google-powered Transit Planner to find your specific route from your starting point.
Event: Catherine Colangelo. Celebrated local artist Catherine Colangelo delves into her roles as artist and mother in “Everyday Sorcery,” a body of work created during tumultuous times in her personal life. This two-time recipient of a Houston Arts Alliance fellowship weaves intricate patterns into abstract works inspired by quilts, textiles, Islamic and Indian miniatures, taking us along her powerful journey that reflects her personal relationships. Free.
When: Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Through Jan. 5)
Where: Cindy Lisica Gallery, 4411 Montrose Blvd. Suite F
Bus: 56 Airline/Montrose, 25 Richmond, 65 Bissonnet , 82 Westheimer
Event: Christmas Village at Bayou Bend. Immerse yourself in a Christmas experience as you walk across a dazzling bridge into a winter wonderland with thousands of lights and family activities on this 14-acre estate. Ima Hogg’s historic mansion features live actors, theatrical effects and Christmas decorations. Light bites and drinks – including hot chocolate - are available.
When: Friday and Saturday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Where: Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, 6003 Memorial Dr.
Bus: 20 Canal/Memorial
Event: The Nutcracker. Bring the whole family to this holiday tradition with beloved characters from this classic set to Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score. Join Clara’s revelry as she travels from her home on Christmas Eve – through a magical Christmas tree – into the playful Kingdom of Sweets, accompanied by her Nutcracker Prince.
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (Through Jan. 29)
Where: Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave.
METRORail: Red Line – exit Theater District Station
Bus: 160 Memorial City Express, 161 Wilcrest Express, 162 Memorial Express, 85 Antoine/Washington, 44 Acres Homes, 30 Clinton/Ella, 48 Market
*Suggested routes recommended by Customer Service; individual needs may vary.
As the nation mourned the passing of former President George H.W. Bush last week, METRO quietly provided shuttles from Second Baptist Church to St. Martin's Episcopal Church for the public to pay their respects as his body lay in repose for 12 hours.
From 6 p.m. on Dec. 5 to 6 a.m. the next day, 12,000 mourners of all ages and ethnicities braved lines all night, first going through security screening overseen by the Secret Service and then boarding the shuttles.
For the repose, METRO transit buses were used with destination signs reading, "George H.W. Bush." Shuttle service operated continuously with each bus transporting standing loads, one after another. To maintain security enroute, a Harris County sheriff was on board every bus, while METRO police provided escort to St. Martin's. Local and METROLift buses were used.
Shuttle service for the funeral Thursday morning transitioned to commuter buses. The destination message on these buses expanded to include a motto the president lived by: "Visibility Unlimited."
The funeral service was by invitation only. From 7:15 until 9 a.m., guests were screened and then escorted to the buses. In addition to family friends, celebrity guests included Arnold Schwarzenegger and Chuck Norris, along with sport greats J. J. Watt, Jeff Bagwell, Tommy LaSorta, Yao Ming and many others. After the service, METRO transported guests back to Second Baptist Church.
Bus operators wore unusual, colorful socks as a tribute to Bush, whose trademark accessory was whimsical, multi-hued socks.
METRO's special shuttle service was led by the Operations and MPD departments, working in partnership with the Bush Foundation, the Secret Service and the Houston Police Department.
Tom Lambert, METRO president & CEO, commended the staff in an email, saying hundreds of employees from several departments were involved in the logistics.
"Your support of these memorials by providing bus shuttles to the visitation throughout the night and to the funeral the next morning gave us an opportunity to honor a Houstonian who was also one of our nation's great leaders," wrote Lambert.
METRO is honored to have been a part of the final goodbye to President George Herbert Walker Bush.
This first weekend in December brings holiday events in full swing. Taste and see a traditional Czech Christmas at a holiday market in the Museum District. Then, take a break from seasonal fun, and explore some of the best contemporary crafts in the state.
In the evening, watch a world premiere from an emerging new playwright who takes us back to adolescent life in the suburbs in the 1990s. And if you're on a tight budget because of all the gift-giving, we have one free event and one pay-what-you-can event.
Whatever you do for fun, make METRO part of your plans. We'll take you where you want to go, while you sit back, relax and text to your heart's content. Use our Google-powered Trip Planner to get the specific route from your starting point.
Event: Czech Christmas Market with St. Nicholas. Experience a Central European Christmas at the Czech Center Museum Houston with food trucks, Christmas activity booths, Christmas music and a special visit from St. Nicholas. Discover Czech Christmas traditions – from blown-glass ornaments to Czech vanilla crescent cookies – a sweet, nutty treat. The kids can get their photo taken with St. Nicholas – and this one does not look like the mall Santa. Select unusual gifts from the museum's Prague international gift shop.
When: Saturday, 2 to 6 p.m. Free for kids under age 13; $5 for kids 13+ and adults.
Where: Czech Center Museum Houston, 4920 San Jacinto St.
METRORail: Red Line – exit Wheeler Station
Bus: 5 Southmore - exit Fannin & Rosedale; 65 Bissonnet – exit Main & Arbor; 25 Richmond – exit Wheeler Station; 152 Harwin Express, 153 Harwin Express – exit Wheeler Station.
Event: CraftTexas 2018. This tenth in a series of biennial juried exhibitions highlights the best in Texas-made contemporary craft. The show features 50 works by 36 artists and includes sculpture, jewelry, and furniture – all with a focus on cutting-edge works.
When: Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. (through Jan. 6)
Where: Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main St.
METRORail: Red Line – exit Wheeler Station.
Bus: 65 Bissonnet – exit Main and Arbor; 5 Southmore – exit Fannin & Rosedale; 25 Richmond – exit Wheeler Station; 153 Harwin Express – exit Wheeler Station; 56 Airline/Montrose – exit Montrose.
Event: "First Suburb." This play follows five adolescents' lives in a planned community in the 1990s when their quiet suburb is violently interrupted. It's a subversive, mischievous and somewhat familiar look back at childhood by Chana Porter, an emerging playwright, education activist, writer-in-residence and McDowell Fellow.
When: Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2:30 p.m. Pay-what-you-can, although $40 is suggested price.
Where: MATCH - Catastrophic Theatre, 3400 Main St.
METRORail: Red Line – exit Ensemble/HCC Station.
Bus: 9 Gulfton/Holman – exit Holman & Main; 82 Westheimer – exit Milam & Elgin.
*Suggested routes by our Customer Care Center; individual routes may vary by need.
This is a guest post by Ramonica Jones, a social media specialist at METRO.
METRO police officers regularly patrol bus stops and rail lines to keep riders safe, but MPD also depends on our customers to say something if they see something.
Contacting METRO police is easy and anonymous via the MPD Connect app. Not only is reaching out to METRO police via the app discreet, it is also the fastest way to report suspicious or illegal activity to MPD.
Understandably, riders may feel uneasy about pulling out their cell phone to call police, especially while a crime is in progress; MPD Connect lets customers submit a report directly to METRO police, and even chat live - all from the palm of their hand.
While social media is quick and convenient, it's not the most efficient way to report criminal behavior. The MPD Connect app is fast – and free; all you need is a smartphone. MPD Connect is available 24/7.
So, if you're ever on board a bus or train, at a bus stop or rail platform, remember that METRO police are not far away, thanks to the MPD Connect app.
Just say something if you see something. Thank you for helping us keep our system safe.
Watch this short clip: How to Report to MPD.
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