METRORapid University Corridor Project

Better Access.
Stronger Communities.


This project is designed to benefit commuters in multiple residential, business and education centers.

The University Corridor represents 25.3 miles of accessible service. It begins at the Westchase Park & Ride near the intersection of the Westpark Tollway and the Sam Houston Tollway. It ends at Tidwell Transit Center, near the intersection of Tidwell Road and U.S. Highway 59. Along the way, it passes by Houston Community College, Texas Southern University, University of Houston and University of St. Thomas.

Part of the METRONext Moving Forward Plan, this project aims to improve the customer experience by reducing travel time and improving schedule reliability. The University Corridor is home to some of the region's busiest and most congested streets. Currently, buses in the corridor operate in mixed traffic. This reduces the efficiency for METRO customers and impacts motorists as they wait for buses to load and unload passengers in a shared lane.

We’ve broken the route alignment into five different segments. You can see images of each segment by clicking or tapping the button below. These images are best viewed on a desktop computer.

View Alignment Take Video Tours

Customer boarding METRORapid vehicle

Common Questions

Overview

METRORapid is a top-of-the-line service that operates like light rail to deliver faster connections and a smooth, convenient ride.

It features:

  • Modern design offering 100% accessibility, with wider doorways and level boarding
  • Outstanding customer amenities such as station-like platforms at every stop
  • Dedicated, transit-only lane to move through traffic
  • Convenient schedule for easy trip planning

The maximum capacity of a METRORapid vehicle is estimated at 126.

This project is part of the METRONext Moving Forward Plan, to create faster, more reliable and more frequent service. The project will:

Deliver on voter-approved plan

The University Corridor project was a key component of the plan, which was approved by nearly 70% of area voters in 2019.

Increase mobility

The University Corridor is home to some of the region's busiest and most congested streets. Currently, buses in the corridor operate in mixed traffic. This reduces the efficiency for METRO customers and impacts motorists as they wait for buses to load and unload passengers in a shared lane.

The new METRORapid University line will provide:

Frequent service to key destinations

Universally accessible service to multiple residential, business and education centers.

More reliable trips

Transit-only lanes will help reduce travel time and improve schedule reliability for riders.

More connectivity

The line would connect with:

  • Various local METRO bus routes
  • METRORail Red, Green and Purple Lines
  • METRORapid Silver Line in Uptown
  • Multiple METRO Park & Ride facilities
  • Multiple METRO transit centers

More access

  • Serve current riders
  • Accommodate expected population growth in the region
  • Improve access to jobs and economic opportunity

Route / Connectivity

The line will offer a one-seat ride from Westchase to northeast Houston. It will serve the following communities and more:

  • Westchase
  • Gulfton
  • Sharpstown
  • Uptown
  • Greenway / Upper Kirby
  • Montrose
  • Midtown
  • Greater Third Ward
  • Greater Eastwood
  • Second Ward
  • Greater Fifth Ward
  • Denver Harbor
  • Kashmere Gardens
  • Eastex / Jensen

The line will run past or nearby to:

  • Houston Community College (West Loop and Central Campuses)
  • University of St. Thomas
  • Texas Southern University
  • University of Houston (Main Campus)

At the Westpark / Lower Uptown Transit Center, you can transfer to the METRORapid Silver Line. That line runs along Post Oak Blvd. through the Galleria area before ending at the Northwest Transit Center.

Along the University line, you’ll also be able to connect with:

  • Various local METRO bus routes
  • METRORail Red, Green and Purple Line
  • 377 Kashmere Late Night - curb2curb
  • Multiple METRO Park & Ride facilities
  • Multiple METRO transit centers

Environmental

The study will look at the potential impact of this project on air quality, noise, traffic, land use, historic and cultural resources, and water quality, among many other factors.  It is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

METRO is also moving towards procurement of low emission to zero emission vehicles by 2030. It's expected there will be a mixed fleet with low-no emission buses such as electric fuel cell and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) buses.

The environmental process through the federal National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) is currently underway. The study will help determine the final alignment and the project alignment’s interaction with surrounding need for property. Currently, we're proposing to operate as much as possible in existing right of way and minimize property impacts.    

METRO has conducted a tree assessment for all the trees in the right of way. Our intent is to save as many trees as possible during the design process. METRO will develop a tree mitigation plan for any tree removals to be replaced along the corridor and in the vicinity of the project limits.

Upcoming Events

At various times during the project, we'll be holding face to face and online public meetings to seek community feedback. When events are confirmed, a calendar listing will be posted below. If there are no current listings, please check back here soon.


Below, you’ll find links to project-related materials and information. As rollout of the METRONext Moving Forward Plan continues, we’ll add more items here to keep you informed on progress with the METRORapid University Corridor project.

Receive updates about the project (free to subscribe)  >


Presentations  >


Virtual Public Meeting videos (2022)  >


Virtual Public Meeting detailed Q&A (2022)  >


Virtual Open House No. 1  >


Take project survey  >


Houston Chronicle Editorial: METRO’s University Line will give Houston transit badly needed reach  >


Questions or comments?
Questions? Comments?
Suggestions?

On our Public Comments website, choose Construction/Planning Projects > University METRORapid Project.

 

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