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Metro Considering New Midday Park And Ride Service

The midday buses would run between downtown and southwest Houston. The transit agency says it’s getting lots of requests for commuter service outside the traditional morning and afternoon drive times.


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Southwest Houston commuters spoke to Metro board members at a public hearing on proposed service changes.
Southwest Houston commuters spoke to Metro board members at a public hearing on proposed service changes.

Every day Ali Rashid takes the 265 West Bellfort bus to travel between southwest Houston and downtown where he works. And he says it can be a big hassle when commuters have to go home during the midday, like when they have a doctor's appointment.

"We're forced to drive in and driving in is very expensive in downtown," says Rashid. "Rates can be as high as $30 a day. And with that said, we've had to come up with other compromises and carpooling and other ways to kind of get around that situation."

Rashid was one of several people who talked about the problem at a Metro public hearing. U.S. 59 South is currently the only major freeway corridor that doesn't have midday park and ride service.

Metro is now hoping to change that. The agency is proposing midday service to three southwest Houston transit hubs. Those hubs are the Hillcroft Transit Center, the Westwood Park and Ride, and the West Bellfort Park and Ride.

Service Planning Director Jim Archer says there are a growing number of commuters who don't work nine-to-five.

"Some of the individuals that approached us actually come to work later in the day," explains Archer. "So they were looking to come into town later. Not everybody was looking to go home early but there are several who work for an oil and gas company. And on Fridays they work half-days so they were looking to get home at that time."

Metro's board is set to vote on the new route at next month's meeting. If it's approved, officials say those midday buses should start running by late August.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

News Anchor

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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