METRO Service Modifications and Safety Measures in Response to COVID-19

METRO Service Modifications

Protecting the health and safety of patrons, employees and the community is METRO's No. 1 priority.

METRO understands the critical role public transportation provides for the region and is continuing to expand its public service efforts to help safeguard against the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Additional safety measures are being implemented to encourage responsible social distancing on local bus routes, light rail, Park & Rides and METROLift.

Seating reductions

Additional adjustments have reduced customer seating by 50 percent and allow you to spread out while on board:

  • Seats on buses and METRORail have been tagged as unavailable
  • When buses reach 50 percent seating, digital signs will advise you to wait for the next bus
  • Orange mesh protective barriers to provide more distance between bus operators and passengers

As a result of measures to encourage social distancing:

  • Real-time predictions in the METRO TRIP app, or sent via text, will not be accurate
  • Accuracy of schedules for various services have been impacted

Stay informed by subscribing to receive service alerts for the route(s) of your choice. We’ll send real-time, personalized route information straight to your phone or email for free. It takes just seconds to subscribe.

You can also monitor METRO’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.

As always, METRO Customer Service can be reached at 713-635-4000.

METRO will continue:

  • Putting an even greater emphasis on disinfecting surfaces frequently touched by the public during our daily bus and rail cleaning
  • Displaying posters along the system reminding riders of public health officials' recommendations to stop the spread of germs
  • Displaying signs and notifications at transit centers, Park & Ride lots and rail stations, encouraging you to practice responsible social distancing
  • Communicating safety messages on service alerts
  • Remaining in close and continuous communication with local public health and emergency management officials to monitor developments
  • Evaluating the threat of this virus and responding appropriately
  • Providing service, and doing so safely

The following procedures are in effect:

  • You must use the rear door when boarding and exiting a local bus
  • Only passengers with accessibility/mobility issues may request use of the front door to access the ramp

Schedules as of March 30

Local bus routes will continue to run on a modified Saturday Schedule seven (7) days a week.

  • Red and Blue routes will be reduced to service every 30 minutes
  • Green routes will follow their normal Saturday schedule
  • Community Connector routes will continue to operate

Route color designations can be found on bus stop signs and on this METRO local bus route color chart.

To see scheduled arrival times for either direction on the bus route of your choice, visit our Bus Schedules page.

Get alerted to service changes and reductions by subscribing to receive service alerts for the route(s) of your choice. We’ll send real-time, personalized route information straight to your phone or email for free. It takes just seconds to subscribe.

Schedules as of May 14

All Park & Ride routes serving the Texas Medical Center remain operational. Each runs on weekdays only, and operates on a regular weekday schedule:

170/171 Missouri City Express / Fort Bend Town Center – view schedule
292 West Bellfort / Westwood / TMC – view schedule
297 South Point / Monroe / TMC – view schedule
298 Kingsland / Addicks / Northwest Transit Center / TMC – view schedule

Conroe Park & Ride will only run 6:30 a.m. inbound and 4:30 p.m. outbound trips.

The following Park & Ride routes serving Downtown will start a limited service on Monday, May 18.

209 North Freeway (modified) – view schedule
217 Cypress – view schedule
219 Northwest Freeway (modified no Cypress) – view schedule
222 Grand Parkway – view schedule
229 Katy Freeway (modified no Grand Parkway) – view schedule
236 Maxey / Baytown – view schedule
249 Gulf Freeway (modified) – view schedule
259 Eastex Freeway (modified) – view schedule
265 West Bellfort – view schedule
269 Southwest Freeway (modified no West Bellfort) – view schedule

All other Park & Ride service is suspended.

*NOTE* - METRO is running a TMC Shuttle service from the Smith Lands Parking Lot to hospitals throughout the Texas Medical Center. The shuttle arrives every 10 minutes, and operates on weekdays only during peak times in mornings and afternoons.

Shuttle stops, in order:

Fannin and Dryden (Texas Children’s Hospital, CHI St. Luke’s)
Fannin and University (Houston Methodist)
John Freeman and Bertner (Baylor College of Medicine)
Bertner and Bates (Texas Heart Institute, MD Anderson)
Pressler St. between Main St. and W. Holcombe (Texas A&M Health Science Center) – evening hours only

Schedules as of May 4

*Red Line (Fannin South – Northline Transit Center): operating on modified Sunday schedule, every 12 minutes

Purple Line (Palm Center Transit Center – Theater District): operating on a modified Sunday schedule, every 18 minutes

Green Line (Magnolia Park Transit Center – Theater District): operating on a modified Sunday schedule, every 18 minutes

*METRO is running additional TMC Shuttle trains between the Fannin South and Burnett Transit Center stations. These shuttles help provide service every 6 minutes between these two stations on weekdays only during peak times in mornings and afternoons.

As of March 30

The number of passengers in each vehicle is being reduced to allow for social distancing. This may extend wait times.

As of May 11

HOV/HOT lanes along Interstate 45, U.S. Highway 59, and U.S. Highway 290 West, which were temporarily closed in late March, have resumed normal operations. Toll charges for use of the lanes has resumed as well.

For more information, view the news release >>

METRO has temporarily suspended collection of fares on:

  • Local Bus
  • METRORail
  • Park & Ride
  • METROLift
  • Community Connector services

The Authority has implemented this change to assist those facing sudden economic hardship and provide ease of use for medical workers.

The METRO RideStore locations in downtown Houston will be closed until further notice.

Please only take essential trips to support essential services and follow the advice of public health officials.

While METRO uses an antibacterial disinfectant to clean vehicles and facilities, self-care is still the best protection. It is important that you rely on credible sources for information and follow the guidance of health officials who suggest the following:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds (If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol)
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with a regular household spray or wipes
  • Practice social distancing – keep distance between yourself and others
  • When coughing or sneezing, cover your nose and mouth with tissue or your arm
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose & mouth with unwashed hands
  • If you feel sick, stay home and contact your healthcare provider before returning to work
  • If you travel internationally and you return home with symptoms of COVID-19, please check with your doctor
  • Learn how to make your own face covering, based on CDC guidelines

Download METRO’s brochure on how to make a face covering (PDF)

If you have questions about coronavirus, please call the COVID-19 hotline staffed by the Houston Health Department…

Phone: 832-393-4220

Hours of operation:
Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m.-3 p.m.