Houston Riders Give Input On Metro’s Bus System Redesign

Metro has been working to redesign Houston’s bus network to offer more frequent service. But not everyone was happy about it at a recent public meeting.

Riders waiting for bus
Riders wait for a bus across from the Downtown Transit Center


Metro says the goal of its bus reimagining plan is to boost declining ridership by about 20% percent in the first two years. It would do that by offering more frequent service on the city’s busiest routes.

But many riders say the plan would make their trips less convenient.

Keith Nettles is visually impaired and rides the bus from his home in far southeast Houston to his job downtown. The trip can take up to an hour and a half, but Nettles says the new route Metro is proposing would make his trip even longer.

Rider looks over a map showing proposed changes

“And if the #88 gets there right after the #40 has left, I’ve got another half-hour before the next bus. Now coming back, it’s even worse. Because if I miss my connection on the #88, I actually have to wait a full hour for the next bus,” Nettles explains.

Metro has been holding public hearings to get input before they finalize the new routes.

CEO Tom Lambert says they’re trying to balance lots of different needs.

“Principles about the new network are making sure we grew ridership, but there’s also the responsibility for coverage. How do we get coverage for needs that people have to this service?” Lambert says.

The reimaging plan is set to be voted on later this month and will take effect in mid-August. 


The first year plan

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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