This wasn’t your typical ride on Metro’s light rail.
The train pulling out of UH-Downtown Station was decorated with paper flowers and filled with dignitaries as it headed to Metro’s headquarters for a big celebration.
The event marked a milestone for Metro. There have been 100 million boardings since the Main Street route started operating in 2004.
As part of the festivities, riders got a surprise when they boarded at Preston Street Station.
A mariachi group serenaded riders as they headed to the Downtown Transit Center. There they were greeted by Metro Chairman Gilbert Garcia.
And then, Garcia had a surprise.
After City Councilwoman Wanda Adams led Metro employees in a spirited line dance, Mayor Annise Parker spoke of the critics who said light rail would never work in Houston.
“You don’t have the density, you don’t have this, you don’t have that. A lot of naysayers out there. And we did it because we knew it would work and we knew it was the right thing to do. We must provide transit options for Houston.”
Metro officials say they reached the 100 million boardings mark about four years ahead of schedule.
Even more riders will climb aboard when three new light rail lines go into operation next year.