Friday, March 27, 2020

"Stay Home, Work Safe" Order Reduces Ridership

Beginning Monday, March 30, METRO is making more adjustments to its bus and rail schedules to continue to provide the highest level of service possible. The modified schedule will maintain service throughout the region with some possible delays.  All Park & Ride routes, except those serving the Texas Medical Center, are suspended.
METRO's efforts are focused on connecting essential workers to their jobs. We also realize some in our community have few travel options which is why we are committed to providing trips to grocery stores, pharmacies and other places people need to go.  It is critical we all limit travel to only essential trips.  This supports city and county leaders "Stay Home, Work Safe" Order to hopefully slow the transmission of COVID-19 (the coronavirus). 
METRO has intensified its already rigorous cleaning schedule and will be bringing in even more staff to disinfect buses at transit centers during midday.  This is in addition to the daily cleaning METRO performs outside of service hours. The Authority continues to put emphasis on surfaces frequently touched by the public. Customers are reminded to follow the advice of local public health officials and follow all public health directives. 
The service adjustments below may mean longer travel times, so please plan accordingly: 
Park & Ride
  • All Park & Ride routes serving the Texas Medical Center will operate on a regular weekday schedule.
    • 170-171 Missouri City Express/Fort Bend Town Center
    • 292 West Bellfort/Westwood/TMC
    • 297 South Point/Monroe/TMC
    • 298 Kingsland/Addicks/NWTC/TMC
    • 291 Conroe
  • All other Park & Ride service is suspended.
Local Bus/ Community Connectors
  • Local bus routes will continue to run on a modified Saturday Schedule seven days a week.
  • All routes will run at a reduced frequency of every 30 minutes to one hour.
  • Community Connector routes will continue to operate. 
METRORail
  • The Red Line will operate a modified Sunday schedule every 12 minutes.
  • The Purple Line will run on a modified Sunday schedule every 18 minutes.
  • The Green Line will run bus shuttles every 20 minutes.
  • The Texas Medical Center rail shuttle from Fannin South to Hermann Park/Rice U station will operate every 12 minutes during weekday morning and evening peak times.
HOV/HOT Lanes
  • All HOV/HOT Lanes will be closed.
METROLift
  • The number of passengers in each vehicle is being reduced to allow social distancing which may extend wait times.  
Social Distancing
  • Seating on METRO vehicles has been reduced by 50 percent.
  • Boarding and exiting is through the rear door unless accessibility needs require front door entry.
  • As employers and schools adhere to the Stay Home Order, METRO ridership has decreased allowing for more space among passengers. (Total fixed route ridership Thursday, March 26, 2020 was 130,000 boardings, down 53 percent from one year ago)
  • Fares are suspended temporarily.  
  • METRO RideStore locations are currently closed.
METRO's TRIP app and Next Bus Arrival Texting will not be accurate. Patrons should stay informed by subscribing to real-time, route information through METRO's service alert system and monitoring the agency's social media accounts, TwitterFacebook.
Customer service representatives can be reached 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. seven days a week by calling 713-635-4000.