METRO operates three light-rail lines with 76 fully-accessible light-rail train cars that travel 22.7 track miles to 44 stations. Annual boarding’s exceeded 18.83 million in 2018. The 12.8-mile Red Line, offers convenient and fast service between the Northline Transit Center/HCC, Burnett Transit Center, UH-Downtown, the Downtown Transit Center, Midtown, Museum District, Texas Medical Center and NRG Stadium and the Fannin South Park & Ride (52-minute end-to-end trip). The 6.6 mile Purple Line travels through the southeast community connecting Downtown, Texas Southern University, the University of Houston, and the Palm Center Transit Center (27-minute end-to-end trip). The 3.3 mile Green Line travels along Harrisburg through the historic East End connecting downtown, the Convention District, EADO Stadium, UH South/University Oaks, and the Magnolia Park Transit Center (21-minute end-to-end trip). ridemetro.org
With an annual system ridership of 116.8 million, serving an area of 1,303 square miles with 21 transit centers, the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) continues to expand.
This is a shared-ride public transit service that offers prescheduled curb-to-curb service for disabled patrons who cannot use METRO’s fixed-route service. METRO operates 154 METROLift vans and manages 241 contractor-owned and operated accessible minivans. Annual boarding’s total 1.9 million for 16,100 active clients. ridemetro.org
Riding METRO has never been easier with their electronic fare card which acts like a "digital wallet. In addition to the Q Fare Card, METRO provides mobile ticketing, reloadable day passes and disposable money cards. They also accept cash and credit cards. ridemetro.org
METRO operates a fully-accessible fleet of 1,238 buses on 114 routes with 8,964 stops that serve an average of more than 189,300 riders per weekday. Annual boarding’s numbered 59.3 million in FY 2018. ridemetro.org
Downtown achieves the strongest commute mode split in the region.
Central Houston is committed to enhancing excellent access to and within Downtown Houston for employees, visitors, tourists, and residents. The organization surveys Downtown stakeholders approximately every five years to better understand travel behavior.
2018 Central Houston Commute Survey
Direct nonstop service METRO buses reach major Downtown employment centers via 30 routes from 23 Park & Ride lots offering over 34,000 parking spaces. METRO Park & Rides serve an average of more then 635,000 miles per weekday with annual boarding’s of 7.6 million. ridemetro.org
- Pearland’s Park & Ride into Downtown and the Texas Medical Center began service July 15, 2019.
- METRO began operating into Downtown the 290 Conroe Park & Ride on April 1, 2019.
- The Woodlands Express Park & Ride provides direct nonstop Woodlands Express buses reach major Downtown employment centers via three routes from three Park & Ride parking lots.
Carpools, vanpools and motorcyclists can drive high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes for free. METRO High Occupancy Toll Lanes allow drivers without passengers to use the HOV lane system by paying a toll. HOV lanes cover 102 miles on five major freeways/corridors in the Houston region. Annual HOV riders (other than bus passengers) total 26.5 million. ridemetro.org
This is a van and carpool service, operated by METRO, extends public transit options beyond the METRO service area, serving Harris, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Glaveston, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller Counties. A dedicated METRO STAR team works directly with riders in order to design a route tailored to their commute using HOV and designated diamond (HOV) lanes to reduce travel times and to assist commuters in the Houston region identify those interested in the program. Riders share the cost of the van, fuel, maintenance, parking and tolls. In 2017 more than 700 vanpools provided over 2 million rides. StarVanpool.org
Downtown is strongly committed to alternative modes of transportation that reduce car dependency.
Downtown’s free Greenlink Circulator operates two routes.
The Green Route operates weekdays from 6:30 a.m. thru 6:30 p.m. connecting major office buildings along Smith and Louisiana Streets to METRO transit, the convention corridor, hotels, restaurants, shopping and entertainment. Popular Downtown destinations along the route include the George R. Brown Convention Center, Main Street Square, Discovery Green, GreenStreet, Phoenica Specialty Foods, City Hall and the Houston Central Library.
The Orange Route operates weekday evenings from 6:30 p.m. until midnight and operates on weekends, connecting the historic and convention districts.
A low-cost bike share consisting of 90 stations with 767 bicycles (July 2019) available for short-term rentals throughout central Houston, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 15 stations are conveniently located Downtown. houston.bcycle.com
To bring air service to Houston’s population of more than four million, the Houston Airport System has three facilities; George Bush Intercontinental Airport, William P. Hobby Airport and Ellington Field (joint civil/military airport). Together they form one of North America’s largest public airport systems and position Houston as the international gateway to the south central United States.
Direct Bus service from Downtown to IAH: 49 minutes. fly2houston.com
Direct Bus service from Downtown to Hobby Airport: 60 minutes. fly2houston.com
Ellington Field, a joint use civil/military airport, was acquired by the City of Houston in 1984 and now supports the operations of the United States military, NASA, and a variety of corporate and general aviation tenants. The airport is home to the annual Wings Over Houston Airshow and is also the place where many of the astronauts from the world-renowned Johnson Space Center receive their ongoing space training. fly2houston.com