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Oct 15
Q Cards for Veterans

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Veteran's Day is coming up in a month, and now is the perfect time for qualified veterans to apply for a METRO Veterans Pass.

The pass gives qualified disabled or decorated veterans free unlimited local bus, Park & Ride and METRORail service.

U.S. vets must have suffered a service-connected disability, or earned a medal of valor. Applications can be picked up at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at 6900 Almeda Rd. or you can download an application.

METRO reached out to veterans at the Houston Stand Down event at MacGregor Park on Oct. 5, an annual event designed to assist veterans. METRO hosted pop-up tents erected near three light-rail platforms along the Red Line. Public Affairs staff, along with Street Team members, were stationed near Wheeler Transit Center, McGowen and Northline Transit Center/HCC Station.

"It is important to reach out to military veterans because mobility needs are critical to ensuring that they can access medical services, jobs and other destinations," said Mike Martinez, director of Public Engagement, and a former Marine.

METRO issued more than 80 reloadable METRO Q® Fare Cards to veterans at the event. If you don't have a Q Card yet, pick up one at any of these retailers. For every 50 paid rides, you get five free rides. Plus, to show our appreciation, we have Rider Rewards for you. Simply show your Q Card to any of these eateries, shops or museums – and get a discount.

 

Oct 11
Weekend fun with METRO: Oct. 12-14

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

Even though Halloween’s more than two weeks away, this weekend we’re featuring Halloween activities because they’re just so much fun. Get out the costumes now, and give the kids lots of chances to wear them – you know they love to do that. 

The whole family can enjoy spirited fun at the Houston Zoo’s “Zoo Boo,” and the free Kids Day at Guadalupe Plaza Park includes a costume parade. The National Museum of Funeral History is hosting its annual haunted house, and it promises some family-friendly scares to drag you right into a Halloween frame of mind.

METRO takes the “trick” out of traveling to Halloween festivities – and with the “treat” of half-price rides for students with the student Q card, you’ll have more money for Halloween candy. Our Trip Planner can be your spirit guide for instructions on how to reach your destination – without a broom. Have a spooktacular weekend.

Event: Zoo Boo. The Houston Zoo’s annual celebration of Halloween begins this weekend (and continues each Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 28). Bring the kids dressed in their spookiest or prettiest costumes, and don’t forget the trick-or-treat bags. They can paint a jack-o-lantern, collect candy, and on Saturday and Sunday, participate in costume parades at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. In addition, there are plenty of animal-related activities. There’s no extra cost to participate in Zoo Boo activities; they’re included in the regular zoo admission. Note that the Medical Center/West Gate entrance is open only on Saturdays and Sundays, so it will not be open for Zoo Boo on Fridays.

When: Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: The Houston Zoo, 6200 Hermann Park Dr.

Getting there*:

Bus – 28 OST-Wayside, 56 Airline/Montrose

METRORail – Red Line (exit Memorial Hermann Hospital/Houston Zoo Station)

Event: KBR Kids Day. Here’s a free day of family fun and entertainment that fits our Halloween theme because it includes a Halloween costume parade. In addition, you’ll enjoy lots of hands-on activities, local performers, Dia de los Muertos face painters, balloon artists, a rock-climbing wall, bird of prey exhibitions, and food and drink will be available for purchase.

When: Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Guadalupe Plaza Park, 2311 Runnels St.

Getting there*:

Bus – 6 Jensen/Greens, 20 Canal/Memorial, 30 Clinton/Ella, 48 Market, 137 Northshore Express

Event: Halloween Haunted House. What more appropriate place to find a haunted house attraction than the Museum of Funeral History? Dreadford Falls has experienced a nuclear power plant meltdown, and you’re invited to explore the town. Don’t be too scared, though - it’s family-friendly and rated PG-13 for children ages 12 and up, and children under 12 are welcome if accompanied by an adult. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for kids 11 and under, but it’s half price if you purchase a museum admission. On a brighter note, while you’re there you can see a special tribute to Roy Rogers, including his special convertible and western wear. Happy trails to you!

When: Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. (open through Nov. 6)

Where: National Museum of Funeral History, 415 Barren Springs Dr.

Getting there*:

Bus – 99 Ella–FM 1960

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


Oct 08
​We're Giving Incentives to Skilled Mechanics

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METRO is looking for skilled mechanics and now offering an incentive to the right candidates.

We're offering employee incentives of up to $4,000 for experienced bus mechanics, AC and heat mechanics and collision repair mechanics.

The incentives are linked to skill level and will be paid to new employees over time. See details here.

METRO operates a fleet of more than 1,200 buses, and we need experienced mechanics to help keep those buses maintained and safe.

"Our mechanics play an integral role in our ability to provide the public safe and reliable service," said Tom Lambert, METRO president & CEO. "We are excited METRO's Board of Directors is supporting this endeavor to attract experienced, skilled workers in an extremely competitive job market."

If you know someone who might qualify, tell him or her about our new cash incentives. METRO is a stable place to work with rich benefits, including vacation pay, sick time, health benefits and training. Plus, we are a friendly group who loves serving the public.

 Go here to see all of our career opportunities.

 

Oct 05
Weekend fun with METRO: Oct. 5-7

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

Let's be festive for the first weekend of October.  I'm recommending a free festival of Chicano music, the highly anticipated annual festival of Greek culture (who can pass on that wonderful food), and a celebration of streetwear-streetstyle fashion.  Surely, at least one of these events will suit your fancy.  None of them are single-day-only events, so there's a good chance you'll be able to find time to attend.

No matter which day and time you want to participate in this weekend's suggested activities, METRO will have a way to transport you right to the site.  The Trip Planner will tell you the best bus or train routes for the trip, and you can sit back at the end of the day with your tummy full of baklava (or ouzo?) and let someone else worry about the traffic.  You're going to have fun this weekend; I just know it.

Event:  39th Annual Festival Chicano.  The Festival Chicano is one of the oldest, free events of its type in the world.  It celebrates Chicano music, from Tejano and Conjunto the Mariachi and Orchestra.  The weekend's line-up includes Ruben Ramos & the Mexican Revolution, David Marez, Negami, Little Joe y La Familia, Avizo, and Stevie D.  Admission is free, but tickets are needed for covered seating.  See the website for details.

When: Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.

Where: Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Dr.

Getting there*:

Bus – 56 Airline/Montrose

METRORail – Red Line (exit Museum District Station)

Event: 52nd Annual Original Greek Festival.  Greek food, music and dancing – what could be better?  This festival has been going on since 1966, so they've had plenty of time to get everything just right.  You'll also find a playground for the kids, tours of the cathedral, and vendors with gifts, souvenirs and imported goods.  There's definitely something for everyone to enjoy.

When: Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

Where: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 3511 Yoakum Blvd.

Getting there*:

Bus – 56 Airline/Montrose, 82 Westheimer (3 blocks)

Event:  Fresh Off the Rail Fashion Week.  This is the weekend of this five-day streetwear-streetstyle fashion week, celebrating the convergence of culture, creativity and innovation in the heart of downtown Houston.  More than fifteen brands will be participating, including Negris LeBrum, Travis Cal, Risk Is Key, and Carlos Castillo.  Activities include runway shows, presentation sessions, musical performances and official after-parties, and a portion of the proceeds goes to No Bully Here.  See the website for tickets and schedules.

When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, doors open at 6 p.m.

Where: ARKA Art Gallery, 4715 Main St.

Getting there*:DB08141.jpg

METRORail – Red Line (exit Wheeler Station)

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

 

 

Oct 03
METRO cracks down on HOV violators

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If you try to sneak on the HOV lanes, beware.

METRO police are out in full force this week, increasing their enforcement of the HOV lanes along the North Freeway (I-45 North).

"We've received complaints from customers on the North Freeway HOV, who have noticed a reduction in travel speeds since school started," said Tim Kelly, executive vice president of Operations, Public Safety and Customer Service. "As traffic increases, commutes get longer. We want to help fix that."

Carpools of two more people, vanpools and motorcyclists ride the HOV lanes for free. On the Northwest Freeway, carpools must have three or more people from 6:30 to 8 a.m.

Find a detailed HOV/HOT lane schedule here.

So, obey the law. Otherwise, violators can receive a fine of up to $200.

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