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HOW TO RIDE
Discover what METRO can do for you.
METRO's combination of services, including bus, train and vanpool, help area residents meet their unique transportation challenges. We call it- "seamless service." This guide contains the knowledge you need to get on board with METRO, including, how to plan your trip, navigate our system and even pay for your ride.
Let us help you plan your trip.
METRO offers two options on how to plan your trip: The METRO Trip Planner or Google Transit. Whether you are new to Houston or have lived in the area for most of your life, you can plan your trip from start to finish. Learn more >>
Visit the METRO RideStore or call 713-635-4000, (713-635-6993 TTY), and speak to one of our customer care specialists. They can help you chart your route, provide the right schedule information and let you how to purchase a METRO fare card. Learn more >>
You may obtain a METRO Q® Fare Card or METRO Day Pass at the METRO’s RideStore, located at the corner of 1900 Main Street and St. Joseph Parkway, inside METRO administration building. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Learn more >>
You also may obtain your METRO fare card at hundreds of retail locations around town, including some neighborhood convenience stores, and online.
On the road with METRO's bus service.
Local Service runs mostly on city streets, stopping at designated points along its route.
Park & Ride Service is for long-distance commuting. METRO Park & Ride lots provide bus service to key destinations within the METRO service area. A one-way Park & Ride fare varies by the zone it resides in, and is based on the distance the bus travels.
Learn more about the fare >>
Transit Centers and Park & Rides bring hassle-free commuting to you.
Join other bus and rail riders at our sheltered Transit Centers to transfer easily and safely from service to service. Transit Centers offer convenience and flexibility through various transfer opportunities and provide surrounding communities access to METRO services.
Park your car at one of METRO's Park & Ride lots and ride our bus or rail service to your ultimate destination. We have Park & Ride service from all parts of the Greater Houston area.
Riding METRORail is easy.
Spanning 7.5 miles, Houston's first rail line features 16 stations conveniently located in and around many busy activity centers such as the Central Business District (CBD), Midtown, the Texas Medical Center (TMC) and the Reliant Park area. Riding the train is easy; just follow these simple steps:
- Buy a rail ticket if you need one or tap your METRO fare card on the Q Box reader. If you don't already have a METRO fare card, your first stop must be at the Ticket Vending Machine (TVM). Conveniently located at each station along the line, the TVM is used to purchase your Single-Ride Ticket or add value to your METRO fare card.
- Each of the 16 METRORail stations is unique in design, yet all share conveniences such as covered waiting areas, benches and TVMs. METRORail operates a minimum of 20 hours per day, seven days per week. A one-way rail ticket is $1.25, and children five and under ride free. METRO police will perform random fare inspections aboard trains to verify that passengers have paid the proper fare. If unable to show proof of purchase, passengers may be fined up to $500.
The following items may be used as proof of purchase:
Wait for your train. Look and listen for announcements for each train's arrival, including the train's ultimate destination. When the train arrives at the station, look for the destination signs at the base of the train's windshield and in two places along the side of the vehicle. These signs show the train's ultimate destination. Currently UH-Downtown is the farthest northbound destination; Fannin South is the farthest southbound destination.
Boarding METRORail. Once the train has come to a complete stop, the doors will open for 20 to 30 seconds. A warning chime will sound, and lights will begin to flash (both inside and outside the train) before the doors begin to close. As soon as you see or hear these signals, step clear of the doorway.
- Rail Ticket purchased at the TVMs located on rail platforms.
- METRO Q® Fare Card or METRO Day Pass, with an appropriate balance, that has been tapped on the Q Box reader located on each TVM.
Once the doors close, the train must leave the station so that it may progress though intersections along the rail line with minimal delays to cross-street traffic.
Walk safely along the rail line.
METRORail trains travel along the street just like other vehicles and are very quiet. In fact, trains make less noise than buses and most cars. When walking near the rail line, always remember:
- Do not walk in front of, between or behind the trains
- Never stand on or near the tracks
- Cross the tracks only at a designated pedestrian crosswalk and only when it is safe to do so
- Look both ways before crossing the tracks. Trains travel in both directions
- Obey all signs: flashing lights, traffic and pedestrian signals and crossing gates. Police will ticket violators
- Listen for train whistles, bells and horns
- Follow instructions from police officers
Save time, money and stress with METRO STAR Vanpool.
Sharing a METRO STAR vanpool is perfect for commuters who live or work in areas where bus service is not convenient. METRO STAR serves Harris County and the surrounding seven counties. Vanpools reduce the number of vehicles on our roadways to alleviate congestion and reduce harmful emissions.
- Lower your vehicle's fuel and maintenance expenses
- Reduce your personal auto insurance rates
- Some employers reduce your cost even further by offering extra monthly commuter benefits
- Save time by using the HOV lanes located along Houston's major freeways
- Enjoy a reliable source of transportation to and from work
METRO offers discounted fares to elementary, middle and high school students, persons with disabilities, senior citizens and Medicare card holders. These fares are valid on all METRO services. METRO-issued identification is required. Learn more >>
METROLift Provides Alternate Service
METRO buses and trains are 100 percent accessible for people with disabilities plus, our buses feature lifts, ramps and enlarged destination signs. For those who cannot use our accessible buses or trains, METRO offers METROLift, a curb-to-curb, shared-ride service using vans and sedans. METROLift eligibility requires physician approval and an in-person evaluation by METRO. For more information, call 713-225-0119 or click here.
Use Transfers To Finish Your Trip
Free transfers are only available with a METRO fare card, and are only valid in one direction for three hours.
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