METRO Transit System
METRO provides a range of multi-modal transportation services in the Houston region, within its service area. These services include an extensive local fixed-route bus network; park & ride service on a network of shared high-occupancy vehicle/high-occupancy toll (HOV/HOT) lanes; a three-line, 23-mile light rail network; shuttle services; METROLift demand response service; and a variety of other services to support improved mobility for a broad range of customers.
In fiscal year (FY) 2016, METRO carried over 116 million trips across its various services, ranking among the largest US transit agencies by passenger boardings. The largest of METRO’s services, the local bus network, accounts for 69% of annual riders (59 million boardings) and the light rail network accounts for 22% (18 million boardings). Overall ridership on the system grew 5% from FY 2015 to FY 2016, driven by gains in local bus and rail ridership.
In recent years METRO has expanded its light rail network from the original 7-mile Red Line to 3 lines and 40 stations. In 2015, METRO implemented its New Network, a transformative rethinking of its local bus network to better serve the Houston region. The New Network was built on extensive stakeholder input to identify goals and priorities and develop the plan. Similarly, METRONext will be built on an extensive community engagement process.
The backbone of METRO's local transit services is the Frequent Network, a grid of over 20 bus routes and the three rail lines where the next bus or train is always coming soon. This means that for frequent bus routes, buses are scheduled to arrive at least every 15 minutes for at least 14 hours a day, seven days a week. Trains arrive even more frequently. The change in the reach and connectivity of METRO’s transit network, before and after implementation of the New Network, can be seen in the animation below. To see METRO's full transit network as well for more information on how to ride the system, download the full system map here.
METRONext represents an opportunity to build on these existing services to continue to provide better transit choices for people in the Houston region.