This Thursday is "Get on Board Day," a day when transit agencies nationwide are encouraging everyone to take public transportation.
Whether you live in the suburbs and work downtown or reside inside the Loop and enjoy an urban lifestyle, you'll find riding METRO is convenient and easy.
Here are 4 reasons why you should get on board with METRO:
Get on board for a safer way to travel. Public transit is 10 times safer per mile than an automobile, reducing your chance of being in an accident by more than 90 percent.
Get on board to save money. The average household spends 16 cents of every dollar on transportation – and 93 percent goes to buying, maintaining and operating cars. Take public transit and live with one less car – you'll save almost $10,000 a year.
Get on board to reduce your carbon footprint. Public transportation saves the United States 4.2 billion gallons of gas every year. Communities that invest in public transit cut the nation's carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually.
Get on board to enhance personal opportunities. Taking a bus or train offers personal mobility and freedom for people from every walk of life. Access to public transit allows you to go to work, school, place of worship, shopping, the doctor's office or a friend's home. A total of 87 percent of all trips on public transit directly impact the local economy.
And leading up to "Get on Board Day," we'll be conducting a contest where you'll have a chance to win a gift card to one of our Rider Rewards restaurants.
Visit us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter on details of how to be a lucky winner.
This Thursday is also National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. What better way to show the next generation the benefits of taking public transportation than to take your child to work with you on METRO!
Kids five and under ride free, and all students K-12 ride for half price.
This is Easter weekend, and if you want some fun activities, we've got free events for the kids – and the four-footed kids, too. From a huge dog festival to an art day for families to awesome performances from international dance companies, this weekend is full of choices.
However you choose to relax, take METRO to your destination. Check out our METRO TRIP app to find the exact bus to your location, and find schedules and next-bus arrivals on your smartphone.
Event: Puppies for Breakfast. Nobody's eating puppies at this unique festival that brings together all things dog-related, with more than 50 vendors and artists. See the world's largest canine pinata, enjoy a costume contest for four-legged friends and watch Rover roam at a park-wide egg hunt. Free, but a $5 donation to help a local dog rescue group is appreciated. Food and drinks available for purchase.
When: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Market Square Park, 301 Milam St.
METRORail: Red Line – exit Preston Station
Bus: 32 Renwick/San Felipe, 48 Navigation, 160 Memorial City Express, 161 Wilcrest Express, 85 Antoine/Washington; 44 Acres Homes
Event: Dance Salad Festival 2019. The Houston International Dance Coalition presents its 24th annual program of world-class performers. See dancers from the Royal Danish Ballet, New York City Ballet and Donlon Dance Collective Berlin.
When: Thursday, Friday and Saturday - 7:30 p.m.
Where: Wortham Center, 501 Texas Ave.
METRORail: Green or Purple Lines – exit Theater District Station
Bus: 160 Memorial City Express, 161 Wilcrest Express, 162 Memorial Express, 85 Antoine/Washington, 44 Acres Homes, 30 Clinton/Ella, 20 Canal/Memorial, 102 Bush IAH Express, 82 Westheimer
Event: Sunday Family Zone. Drop in and enjoy games, activities, books and mini-tours of the galleries. This event launches Sunday family days, focusing on a different work of art or exhibition every month. Two storybook circles (1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.) use exciting tales to connect art with fiction. Free with general admission. MFAH members and children 12 and younger are always free. Recommended for ages 3 plus.
When: Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.
Where: Beck Building, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 5601 Main St.
METRORail: Red Line – exit Museum District Station
Bus: 65 Bissonnet, 56 Airline/ Montrose, 5 Southmore
*Routes suggested by Customer Service; individual needs may vary.
METRO's got a great summer treat for all students: Ride free on our buses and trains all summer long.
We're bringing back a summer of fun for you - where you can go to top destinations, explore museums, parks, the zoo, malls and new restaurants by riding METRO for free.
Just use your existing Student METRO Q® Fare Card. Starting June 1, when you tap the card, no deductions will be taken off any balance. Tap all summer, and your balance stays intact, while you enjoy free rides. All local, Park & Ride and METRORail rides are free.
If you don't have a Student Q Card yet, you can apply online. Or apply by mail. Simply download and fill out this form. You can also visit us in the RideStore at 1900 Main St. or 1001 Travis St.
The free rides start June 1 for all K-12, college and university students. Regular, half-price student fares return on Sept. 1.
So, get ready to put some sizzle in your summer and enjoy new sights and sounds in H-town.
Read more details about free rides this summer.
This weekend is prime time for festivals, and we've got two for you – one will show how to keep our Earth green, and the other will immerse you in a multicultural experience. At night, enjoy a Pulitzer Prize-winning dark comedy that inspired a movie. Wherever you go, take METRO for a smooth, easy ride where you can text to your heart's content and not worry about finding or paying for parking. Download the METRO TRIP App on your smartphone, and you'll have schedules and next-bus arrival times at your fingertips.
Event: Japan Festival Houston. Experience the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun at this 26th annual tradition that celebrates the rich cultural heritage of Japan. You'll find unusual items to buy, including anime goods, handcrafted jewelry and antique kimonos. Food stands offer Japanese cream puffs, Gyudon beef bowls and crave-worthy ramen. Find out how to become a teacher in Japan, meet an astronaut or make a lantern. And listen to the music of The Yano Brothers. The trio are of Ghanaian and Japanese descent and blend genres to create "Jafrican" music. Free. Participation in select activities require a fee.
When: Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Hermann Park, 6001 Fannin St.
METRORail: Red Line – exit Hermann Park/Rice U
Bus: 56 Airline/Montrose
Event: Green Mountain Energy Earth Day. Discovery Green, partnering with Green Mountain Energy and the Citizens' Environmental Coalition, hosts H-town's biggest Earth Day. Come by and enjoy a farmers' market, activities for kids that both entertain and educate, live music and an eco-fashion show. You'll also get to hear Earth Talks, short talks by environmental leaders that will inspire you to work toward a zero-waste footprint. Free.
Where: Discovery Green Conservancy, 1500 McKinney St.
When: Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m.
METRORail: Green and Purple Lines – exit Convention District Station
Bus: 40 Telephone/Heights, 41 Kirby/Polk
Event: "Crimes of the Heart." Check out this award-winning play by Beth Henley, an SMU graduate, whose debut play follows the Magrath sisters – Babe, Meg and Lenny - in a dark comedy. The sisters are unexpectedly reunited after Babe shoots her husband because she doesn't like his looks. Middle sister, Meg, comes home from Los Angeles, and everyone forgets Lenny's birthday. Warm-hearted and irreverent, the sisters learn to forgive the past and welcome the future. The play won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and inspired the 1986 film co-starring Sissy Spacek, Jessica Lange and Diane Keaton.
When: Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Where: Ally Theatre, 615 Texas Ave.
METRORail: Green or Purple Line – exit Theater District Station
Bus: 20 Canal/Memorial, 30 Clinton/Ella, 32 Renwick/San Felipe, 44 Acres Homes, 48 Market, 82 Westheimer, 85 Antoine/Washington, 102 Bush IAH Express, 161 Wilcrest Express, 162 Memorial Express
If you're a regular bus rider, you may notice some cool upgrades we've done to some of our bus stops.
METRO is testing digital bus stop signs at 16 of its most popular bus stops and transit centers as part of a pilot project. The signs show which buses arrive and when.
"We know technological innovations can improve the rider experience and make our system easier to use. We're evaluating these devices in a number of areas, including performance, accuracy and feasibility," said Randy Frazier, METRO chief technology officer. "Ultimately, we want to find out what technology will serve our riders best."
Four manufacturers are demonstrating these digital signs. Each uses different technology to display next-bus arrivals, alerts and possibly a METRO-related media or marketing message.
Most are battery-powered with solar cells to recharge the battery. Others are LED signs, while another uses e-paper, a Kindle-like sign, which uses a battery only when the sign is changed. One vendor has installed solar lighting around the stop to make it easier for riders to read the sign. METRO will select a vendor to supply the agency with various sizes and types of digital bus stop signs.
During this pilot program, METRO will gather feedback from its customers. The study's findings and staff recommendations are expected to be presented to the METRO Board of Directors later this year.
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