Thousands of Riders Test Drive METRO's New Bus Network

Press Release New Metro Going Places

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Release Date:    Aug. 26, 2015

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The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) is the region’s largest public transit provider, offering safe, reliable and affordable transportation services about 370,000 times per day. Besides operating more than 1,200 buses on a New Bus Network, METRORail's expanded system includes the Red Line (Main Street and Northline), Green Line (East End) and Purple Line (Southeast). METRO’s services also include: STAR VanpoolMETROLiftHOV lanesHOT lanesBikes-on-Buses/Trains program, Park & Ride, and road improvement projects. Learn more about METRO services at where you will also find information about our T.R.I.P. app, Next Bus Arrival texting and the new digital, interactive rider tool METRO 360 [take a seat].  


New Bus Network's First Week Brings Big Boost in METRO Ridership

The numbers are in and the first week of METRO's New Bus Network brought a 24 percent increase in weekly ridership for local bus and light-rail.  That translates to a total of 1,742,500 boardings, demonstrating the impact of an improved, high-frequency public transportation system, which integrates bus and rail in a network with better connections.  

METRO offered free fares Sunday, Aug. 16 - Saturday, Aug. 22 which also contributed to the increase in ridership.

"This is good news as we work to create a system that promotes public transit and connects more people to more places," said METRO Board Chairman Gilbert Garcia. "Our region continues to grow and we need to maximize usage of our transit system, including local bus and rail."

"The free fares promotion gave people an opportunity to test drive our new system," said President & CEO Tom Lambert. "But we anticipate consistent increases in ridership after two years of implementation.  By then, we expect a 20 percent hike in ridership."

The largest increase in passenger traffic was over the weekend. Boardings on local buses totaled 270,000 on Aug. 16 and Aug. 22, compared to 191,500 average weekend boardings in Aug. 2014.

There were 85,500 weekend light-rail boardings on Aug. 16 and Aug. 22, up from 32,400 average weekend boardings in Aug. 2014.*

METRO's New Bus Network greatly expanded weekend local bus service.


* Light-Rail - Aug. 2014 does not include Green Line, Purple Line ( those lines opened in May 2015), or six-minute weekday service between Burnett and Northline or additional rail cars