Red Lanes Project (downtown Houston)

To promote safety, METRO is updating its downtown Diamond Lanes with refreshed painting and striping.


In 2005, METRO completed construction on transit street improvements throughout downtown. The right-most or “curb” lane is for buses and vehicles turning right. The second-to-right lane is for buses, vanpools, and other High Occupancy Vehicles (HOVs). METRO is updating these lanes on Travis and Milam with new red paint, striping and signage – that clearly designate these as bus-only or carpool-only lanes.

  • Safer and smoother traffic flow
  • Faster and more reliable transit trips

At METRO, safety is our No. 1 priority.

The red pavement marking, improved striping, and better signage promotes safety. These enhancements create greater visibility and awareness for all road users.

Based on nationwide research, the Federal Highway Administration has concluded that red pavement markings promote compliance with transit priority lanes.

Phase I
Travis Street, from Gray to Leeland – Completed

Phase II
Travis Street, from Leeland to Commerce – July - September 2022*

Milam Street, from Commerce to Pierce – September - December 2022*

*Schedule subject to change.

Using the Lanes

The rules for using the lanes remain the same.

When making a right-hand turn or accessing parking.

There’s no parking allowed in the transit lanes. Off-peak parking will continue to be allowed on the left side of both streets with minor changes.

There’s no idling allowed in the lanes – so pickups and dropoffs aren’t permitted.

Operation / Enforcement

Lanes are in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

METRO will continue maintaining the lanes.

METRO Police Department (MPD) is responsible for enforcing compliance.

Traffic Flow

No. The Bus and HOV lanes have been in operation since 2005.

Based on the traffic models developed during design, we expect a reduction in bus travel times, more efficient public transit service, and minimal impacts to single occupancy drivers.

No. Garage entrances and exits will not be blocked. You’ll be able to enter as you normally do.