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Rail Safety

Car crossing the rail METRORail moves along the street just like other vehicles. The tracks are separated from the roadway by large raised white domes warning drivers to stay off the tracks. METRORail is very quiet. In fact, the trains are quieter than buses and most cars. So, whether you are riding METRORail, or just walking or driving near the trains and tracks, it is important to stay alert and follow the safety rules of METRORail.

Stop

            • Do not walk in front of, between or behind the trains.
            • Trains can start quickly regardless of traffic flow.
            • Do not drive, stop or park your vehicle on the tracks. It’s dangerous and against the law.

Look

            • Always cross the tracks at designated pedestrian crossings, and only when it is safe to do so.
            • Always look both ways before crossing the tracks. Trains travel in both directions.
            • Always look for and obey all warning devices: flashing lights, signals and crossing gates. Police will ticket violators.

Listen

  • Always stay alert. METRORail is quieter than a bus. You may not hear it coming.
  • Always listen for train horns, whistles and signal bells.
  • Always follow instructions from workers and police officers.

And Never…

  • Never race a train or run in front of a train.
  • Never try to beat the train to a crossing. Even with a tie you lose.
  • Never drive around crossing gate arms.
  • Never stand on or near the tracks.
  • Never put anything on or near the tracks.

 

Rules of METRORail Stop

METRORail serves 24 rail stations and one Park & Ride lot along the 13-mile line. Catching a ride is safe and easy as long as you follow the rules. When it comes to safety, YOU are your best defense. Make safety a part of your everyday life. Learn the rules of METRORail that will help keep you safe. Remember, safety starts with you.

  1. Do not walk in front of, between or behind the trains.
  2. Trains can start or stop quickly regardless of traffic flow.
  3. Do not drive, stop or park your vehicle on the tracks. It's dangerous and illegal.

Look
Always cross the tracks at designated pedestrian crossings and only when it is safe to do so.
Always look both ways before crossing the tracks. Trains travel in both directions.
Obey all warning signs: flashing lights, signals and crossing gates. Police will issue tickets to violators.

Listen
Stay alert. METRORail is quieter than a bus and most cars. You may not hear it coming.
Listen for train horns and signal bells.
Follow instructions from police officers.

And Never
Never race a train or run in front of a train.
Never try to beat the train to a crossing. Even with a tie you lose.
Never drive around crossing gate arms.
Never stand on or near the tracks.
Never put anything on or near the tracks.

 

Waiting on the Station Platform

  • At each station platform there is a Ticket Vending Machine where you can purchase your ticket(s) or pass. Before boarding METRORail, make sure you've paid for a ticket or that you have an active pass.
  • METRORail station platforms are equipped with video cameras. Most platforms have pay phones that can be used to call "911" or "METROLine" (for route information) free of charge.
  • Many METRORail stations consist of two separate platforms, one for each direction of travel. Look for station signs that will help you locate the correct platform for your direction of travel.
  • Prior to the train's arrival, an audio and visual announcement will be broadcast on the station platform informing you of its destination. The train operator will sound the train's bell as it approaches each station.
  • METRORail service runs very frequently, so never rush to the platform. Don't worry if you miss the train, another one will arrive shortly.
  • Always stand behind the "white" warning strips on the platforms.
  • Never approach the train until it has come to a complete stop.
  • Vicinity maps are conveniently located on the platforms to help guide you to major destinations within walking distance of the station.
  • Refer to train schedules for connecting bus information.

 

Boarding and Exiting the Train

  • Always let exiting passengers leave the train before you board. It's the safe and courteous thing to do.
  • Convenient platform ramps make METRORail and its stations 100 percent accessible and offer easy boarding.
  • Entering and exiting the train is completely safe.
  • When boarding or exiting the train, be careful and watch your step, especially at night or when it is wet. There is a small gap that separates the train from the platform.
  • When approaching your stop, it is best to gather your belongings and prepare to exit. This way when the train stops, you do not have to rush.
  • Upon exiting the train, always remember to move a safe distance away.

 

Riding the Train

  • Always have your ticket or pass handy. METRO police and fare inspectors will periodically check to ensure that all fares have been paid. Failure to do so could result in a substantial fine. Police are also available should you have a question or need assistance.
  • METRORail trains are equipped with television cameras that monitor activities within the train.
  • If you wish to contact the train operator in an emergency, passenger intercom units are installed at four locations adjacent to doorways inside the vehicle. The train operator is in constant contact with the METRORail Control Center.
  • METRORail trains provide automated audio and visual announcements as the train approaches and departs each station. Electronic signs that display the approaching stops are located at the middle of the train as well as behind each train operator's cab window.
  • When walking within the train, steps or changes in the floor level are marked by contrasting stripes.
  • When seated, please keep your belongings out of the aisle.
  • If you are standing, hold the handholds or handrails.
  • Remember to be considerate of other riders.


Walking Along the Rail Line

Not only is METRORail changing the way we travel, but also the way we walk. That's because each segment along the METRORail trackway is unique to the neighborhood it serves.

Pay attention to your surroundings and take a walk on the safe side.

  • Don’t wear earbuds or headphones.
  • Don’t talk on your cell phone.
  • Don’t text or play games.
  • Don’t text or talk on your cell phone near the tracks.
  • Respect red lights.
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals around tracks.
  • Watch for trains.
  • Trains are quiet. Listen for horns, whistles and signal bells.
  • Only cross tracks at crosswalks, and only when no trains are around.
  • Never put anything on the tracks.
  • Never play on tracks or platforms or anywhere near poles or wires.
  • Never throw anything at trains.
  • Push the "WALK" button in order to receive permission to cross at a signalized intersection. The only exception to this rule is in the downtown area, where the WALK/DON'T WALK signals are automated.
  • Six special pedestrian crossings, shaped like the letter Z, have been installed at intersections in midtown and just south of the Texas Medical Center. These unique pathways force you to stop and look for oncoming trains.
  • Jaywalking anywhere along the rail line is illegal and deadly. Cross only at a designated crosswalk. Police will ticket violators.
  • Set an example by obeying the rules and sharing the message.

 

Driving Along the Rail Line

When driving along the METRORail line, you should always stay alert. Watch for trains and pedestrians. Remember to reduce your speed in heavily congested areas to reduce the likelihood of an accident.

  • Don’t stop on the tracks.
  • Obey all signs and speed limits.
  • Follow lane markings in lanes shared by cars and trains.
  • Respect red lights.
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals around tracks.
  • Watch for trains.
  • Trains are quiet. Listen for horns, whistles and signal bells.
  • Left turns are NOT allowed along the rail line on Main Street between the University of Houston-Downtown and north of Wheeler/Richmond in midtown.
  • LEFT turns are NOT allowed along the rail line on Fannin between Blodgett and Montrose, except at signalized intersections.
  • Right turns are NOT allowed along the rail line on San Jacinto, except at signalized intersections.
  • When approaching an intersection, always stop behind the crosswalk.
  • Always stop for pedestrians. Never assume they see you.
  • And always remember to "Steer it, Clear it." If you have an accident along the rail line and your vehicle can be normally and safely driven, please move it to a safe location to minimize the interference with existing traffic flow.

 

General Signage Found Along the Rail Line

It is important that you understand an obey all signals and signs. Recognizing these symbols will help you avoid an accident or injury and may even save your life. Police are enforcing all traffic laws, and failure to obey them could result in a substantial fine.

Train Approaching
Train is approaching when displayed.
Approaching train sign Divided Highway
Tracks in the median at the next intersection.
Divided Highway
Do Not Drive On Tracks
Driving on tracks is prohibited.
Do Not Drive On Tracks Advance Railroad Crossing Sign
Watch for trains.
Advance Railroad Crossing Sign
No Left Turn Across Tracks
Left turns are prohibited when displayed.
No Left Turn Across Tracks Gated Crossing
Stop when lights are flashing.
Gated Crossing
No Right Turn Across Tracks
Right turns are prohibited when displayed.
No Right Turn Across Tracks    
Cross Only At Cross Walks
No Right Turn Across Tracks PedestrianCrossing
Read and sign for information on what the symbols mean.
No Right Turn Across Tracks

 

Remember, safety starts with you...

 

School Safety Program

Think Rail.
That's the driving message behind METRO's new School Safety Program, which is bringing educational and entertaining safety presentations into the classroom. We're encouraging students—from elementary through high school—to play it safe when they're around the tracks. We anticipate reaching more than 22,000 students at 41 schools along the new lines throughout 2013.
Beign Safe Is Easy flyer English / Spanish
SAP Lesson Plan
SAP Lesson Plan Appendix
Health Safety TEKS
Open Your Brain
Rail Safety Activity Booklet

Bicycle & Skateboard Safety

  • Stop, look and listen.
  • Cross at crosswalk, and only when a train isn’t coming.
  • Look both ways before crossing.
  • Never ride or stop on the tracks.
  • Obey traffic signs and signals.
  • Watch for trains.
  • Listen for warning bells, whistles and horns.
  • Wear protective gear, including a helmet.