METRO Celebrates 5,000 Universally Accessible Stops
In December, METRO commemorated a major milestone in the Authority's Universal Accessibility Initiative---the completion of 5,000 universally accessible bus stops out of 9,000.
The program calls for updates to all bus stops to ensure they meet or exceed the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
METRO leadership, community partners and U.S. Rep. Al Green attended a ribbon cutting at The Gathering Place, a free psychosocial clubhouse for adults recovering from mental illness. Two nearby bus shelters that were improved by the program are frequently used by members.
“Eighty-five percent of our members use METRO to get here,” said The Menninger Clinic President and CEO Armando Colombo. “Now they will benefit from this shelter no matter the conditions. That is such an advantage when the mental illness they are recovering from is challenge enough.”
Universal Accessibility benefits everyone using METRO, whether a rider is in a wheelchair or a mom with a stroller.
METRO leadership and members of The Gathering Place stand in front of the newly improved bus stop.
Bus stop enhancements include wider sidewalks, wheelchair ramps, larger bus pads, and tactile paving, which assist pedestrians who are blind or visually impaired. They also provide shelter from the elements.
"All of those improvements make a world of a difference, but it's about the people," said Board Chair Sanjay Ramabhadran at the event. "It's about making their ride easier, more comfortable and contributing to a culture of inclusivity."
The initiative began in 2017 and led to millions of dollars in investments from METRO, the Houston-Galveston Area Council and through the METRONext Moving Forward Plan.
"An accessible transit system is a gateway to more opportunity as it unlocks access to a broader world—to jobs, education, healthcare and recreation," said METRO President & CEO Tom Lambert. "This initiative aims to ensure that everyone in this community has this access."
All METRO-owned vehicles are ADA accessible. METRO also offers discounted fares for passengers living with disabilities.