METRO has about 9,000 bus stops throughout its service area. While many of those stops have shelters and benches, some pose a challenge for disabled riders because of broken or non-existent sidewalks.
METRO's Board of Directors has now approved a $3 million construction contract to help make stops more accessible to all users. That includes things like sidewalk repairs and new curb ramps.
Metro CEO Tom Lambert said they're focusing on stops where riders are having the most difficulties.
"We have a very good foundation in place now and we have contract capacity in place now," said Lambert. "We basically put together a priority strategy based upon particular ridership, the disabilities of our riders, the economic status of our riders, what should be our priorities going forward."
Lambert said they're working with the City of Houston in the effort and they hope to form similar partnerships with Harris County and other entities. As for additional funding for bus stop improvements, Lambert said they've also made a request through the Houston-Galveston Area Council's Call for Projects.
Some of the stops that have already been improved include Fuqua and Fondren as well as Beechnut and Synott. Those stops are in the southwest portion of METRO's service area where there's a large population that depends on transit.
Lambert is also asking riders to get in touch with METRO if they have concerns about a particular bus stop.