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Metro: Changes Coming To Houston’s New Bus Routes

The public transit agency’s goal is to reduce overcrowding on some routes. Easier transfers and more smart phone technology are also on the horizon.


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Bus at Metro's downtown transit center.
METRO officials gathered feedback from riders and used it to tweak the bus network they rolled out in the summer of 2015. (Photo: Gail Delaughter)

Last year, METRO rolled out a series of changes to its bus service.

On Monday, the transportation agency that serves the City of Houston and Harris County announced some changes — starting on January 24th — after receiving feedback from the public.

After launching the plan last summer, METRO held community meetings with bus riders to learn about what works for them and what doesn't.

As part of this new initiative, METRO will adjust layover times at frequently used transit hubs, including downtown Houston, Greenspoint and the Texas Medical Center.

One of the main goals is to relieve overcrowding.

Metro Vice Chairman Jim Robinson explained some of the changes.

"We’ve added the early morning and late work night trips on 12 routes,” Robinson said. “We’ve adjusted running time to improve the reliability on 23 routes."

Metro President and CEO Tom Lambert said the new changes will impact some of Houston's most popular routes.

Lambert said that on the bus route that covers Westheimer Road: "where we’re running buses every eight minutes today, come January 24th, those buses will run during the peak every six minutes."

Another change Metro will introduce to its fare system is with transfers. Riders who use buses and the light rail system will be able to get free transfers in any direction for the price of one single fare.

Those free transfers will be valid for a period of three hours.

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