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New Metro Plan Could Clear The Way For More Suburban Bus Service

The agency has approved a new policy on how it would operate buses outside its service area. Metro developed the policy as it puts together a regional transit plan.

Survey found that about 14 percent of regional riders use park-and-ride buses
Gail Delaughter
Metro Park and Ride bus on Old Katy Road.


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Metro is primarily funded by a one-cent sales tax that's contributed by the member cities in its service area. But there are other communities like Pearland that have reached their sales tax limit and can't join.

Under that new policy Metro can now enter into agreements with non-member cities to provide bus service. Board member Sanjay Ram says they're primarily looking at new park and rides but that could also include new local routes.

"If there is a fixed route service that they then want us to extend further out and it makes sense for them and the agency, this policy allows us to do all of that," explains Ram.

The policy also specifies who would pay for service in non-member jurisdictions.

"The way the policy is set up is that all of the costs associated with that park and ride would be fully borne by the requesting entity," adds Ram. "That would include the fully allocated cost that it would cost Metro to provide that service."

Metro developed the policy as it looks toward a new regional plan that would help connect all the area's transit providers. Public meetings on that plan are expected to start next month.