This is a guest post by Darla Bell, manager of Strategic Analysis in Communications & Marketing.
Let's get outdoors and enjoy early autumn! This weekend, I'm recommending two outdoor festivals - one geared towards adults and one that's very family-friendly (and free). Also, the Ensemble Theatre just debuted a new production that's worth seeing.
METRO will help you take advantage of these weekend activities without the worries of finding parking in the city. The Trip Planner will steer you to convenient routes to reach your destinations with ease. Houston is at your doorstep to explore and experience. Make good use of all that the city offers every weekend!
Event: 'da Kink In My Hair. The Ensemble Theatre's new play tells the story of a West Indian hair stylist and the ladies who patronize her salon, many of whom are immigrants from the Caribbean. Drumming, singing and dance provide background to the tales of their challenges and triumphs. You can buy tickets online.
When: Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m.
Where: Ensemble Theatre, 3535 Main St.
Bus – 9 Gulfton/Holman
METRORail – Red Line (exit Ensemble/HCC Station)
Event: "Take Me Outdoors Houston." Texas Parks & Wildlife invites your family to enjoy hands-on activities and demonstrations for free at Discovery Green. You can see live hawks and other raptors in flight at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., as well as booths and information about outdoor resources in our city. The Buffalo Soldiers will be on hand, so you can learn about their service after the Civil War. This is a great opportunity for big-city people who don't often get exposure to the great outdoors.
When: Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Discovery Green Conservancy, 1500 McKinney St.
Bus – 6 Jensen, 11 Almeda/Lyons, 40 Telephone/Heights, 41 Kirby/Polk, 51 Hardy-Kelley, 52 Hardy-Ley, 137 Northshore Express, 413 Greenlink Circulator Orange
METRORail – Green and Purple lines (exit Convention District Station)
Event: Taste of New Orleans Festival. Do you love visiting New Orleans – or wish you could do so? Celebrate that amazing city with delicious food and authentic New Orleans drinks, live music and dancing on Jones Plaza. The organizers claim that they're bringing Bourbon Street to us – let's go find out. Tickets can be purchased online for $5, and these cover admission only. Food and drinks can be purchased on site.
When: Saturday from 3 to 10 p.m.
Where: Jones Plaza, 600 Louisiana St.
Bus – 30 Clinton/Ella, 32 Renwick/San Felipe, 44 Acres Homes, 82 Westheimer, 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.
If you ride METRO already, imagine taking two more public transit trips per month.
If you do, you can provide disproportionally larger traffic safety benefits. That's according to a recent study released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the Vision Zero Network.
The analysis, Public Transit is a Key Strategy in Advancing Vision Zero and Eliminating Traffic Fatalities, shows that public transit users who increase their trips from 20 a year to 40 a year can reduce traffic deaths by up to 40 percent.
The study also revealed that public transportation is 10 times safer than traveling by car. When using commuter and intercity rail, it's 18 times safer than driving a car.
"It is essential that our elected leaders on all levels continue to provide strong investments in public transportation because of its extensive traffic safety benefits," said Paul P. Skoutelas, APTA president & CEO.
Here in the Houston area, 640 people die on the road every year – and 2,850 people are seriously injured. These grim stats make Houston the deadliest metro area for drivers, passengers and anyone using our roads, reports the Houston Chronicle.
This is one more reason why we should all use public transportation. We'll be making our roads safer. If you're not a regular transit user, try adding one public transit trip a month to your routine, and slowly add one more each month.
Not only will you find less stress and more savings in fuel and parking – you'll be doing your part to make our roads safer.
You may also email your comments to
You can read a draft of our FY2019 Budget Plan & Budget Book
here. Our priorities in FY19 remain the same as those last year:
Read our budget plan, and you'll learn how each department is planning to invest funds to meet these priorities. Projects range from an autonomous shuttle on the Texas Southern University campus to Bluetooth technology, using customers' mobile phones to alert them to approaching trains or to help them locate bus stops.
There's a wide range of entertainment available this weekend in our fair city, and here are just a few of the choices. You can immerse yourself in pop culture at a new-to-Houston comic con event, visiting with your favorite sci-fi and comic characters. If that's not your idea of entertainment, enjoy a production of a favorite Broadway and movie hit musical, or treat the family to a free sampling of classic ballet performances. Weekends in Houston don't ever need to be boring.
We'll get you there on METRO, to these events and many others. Use the Trip Plannerto guide you with route and schedule information, then sit back and relax while you're transported to your destination. It's easy to enjoy our city when you aren't concerned with traffic and parking. Have a wonderful weekend!
Event: Fandemic Comic Con Tour. For those of you who can't get enough of comic pop culture, here's a convention that's new to Houston. Featured celebrity guests include Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and others from The Walking Dead, Tom Welling of Smallville, and a host of others from TV and movies. You'll find cosplay, artists, creators, things to buy, speakers and workshops, and the opportunity for photo ops and autographs. Tickets can be purchased online, and kids 10 and younger get in free.
When: Friday from 3 to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: NRG Center, One NRG Park
Bus – 84 Buffalo Speedway
METRORail – Red Line (exit Stadium Park/Astrodome Station)
Event: Oklahoma! It's the 75th anniversary of this beloved musical theater production, the story of Laurey and Curly and love on the Oklahoma range at the turn of the 20th century. It's also the opening of Theatre Under the Stars 50th Anniversary Season. This Rodgers and Hammerstein show has some of the most memorable songs and dance numbers I've ever seen. See for yourself; I think you'll love it. Tickets can be purchased online starting at $30, but you may find cheaper or better seats on TicketNetwork's resale marketplace.
When: Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m.
Where: Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St.
Bus – 20 Canal/Memorial, 30 Clinton/Ella, 32 Renwick, 44 Acres Homes, 82 Westheimer, 85 Antoine/Washington, 102 Bush/IAH Express, 160 Memorial City Express, 161 Wilcrest Express, 162 Memorial Express, 413 Greenlink Circulator Orange
Event: "Houston Ballet Presents an Evening of Stars." Did you ever want to introduce the family to ballet, but didn't want to pay the ticket prices? Here's your chance to enjoy some classic ballet at a less-than-classic price. Houston Ballet's highest-ranking dancers will participate in this program of excerpts and grand pas de deux selections from some of the most recognizable ballets – like Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, and Don Quixote – along with newer works. Admission is free, but tickets are required for covered seating. See the website for details.
When: Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.
Where: Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Dr.
Bus – 56 Airline/Montrose
METRORail – Red Line (exit Hermann Park/Rice U Station)
Take a peek inside our busiest bus operating facility - the West Bus Operating Facility.
We dropped by in the early dawn hours to see how METRO's most active bus garage gets ready to provide transportation to you. Buses that pull out of this garage go to four of our most popular routes: the 82 Westheimer, 4 Beechnut, 2 Bellaire and 25 Richmond.
Our transportation supervisor, a former bus driver, explains what happens every morning. Watch this short clip from our METRO Facebook page.
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