Emergency Passenger Assistance a Tap Away on METRORail

Press Release New Metro Going Places

Media Hot Line 713.739.4040 

Release Date:
Oct. 3, 2016

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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/HOT lanesBike & Ride program, Park & Ride, and road improvement projects. Learn more about METRO services at ridemetro.org where you will also find information about our T.R.I.P. app, and METRO's Next Bus Arrival texting.  


METRO Blue Light Safety Beacon

MPD Chief Vera Bumpers reminds riders, on this 33rd annual National Night Out, that METRO leaves a safety light on at all rail platforms, all night and all day, all year. The glowing blue light means a Passenger Assistance Telephone or PAT is ready to help in an emergency.   

Blue Light at METRORail Green Line station

The blue LED lights are visible across the system’s 23 miles of rail on platforms and at Park and Rides like Cypress.  At rail stations the lights are secured and visible well above the ground. 


At Park and Ride lots customers should look for a bright red tower with a blue light. More than 100 of these are on hand systemwide for passengers faced with an emergency but with no cell phone in hand.

The system is in use on college campuses throughout the country and makes sense in a transit environment said Chief Bumpers,“The TalkAPhone units replace payphones and work as single-touch emergency call stations. They connect with METRO dispatchers 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year.”    

Below the blue light is a panel with a button that activates emergency responders who monitor the PATs.  

Safety Button Panel on Rail Station

“If, in an emergency, the red button is pushed, the blue light will begin to glow or flash.The customer is connected with METRO dispatchers at Houston TranStar. It's a direct line to critical help but the caller must remain on the line. Police can not call back on these devices," Chief Bumpers continued.  

All units are fully ADA accessible and include enunciator capabilities that can be programmed with live or recorded alerts.  

Passenger Assistance Telephone Tower at P&R