June 2024

Summer Camp Takes Students on Immersive Public Transit Adventure

San Jacinto College NSTI Summer Campers at METRO's Fannin South Transit Center.


METRO recently hosted a group of high school students for behind-the-scenes tours of its Rail Operations Facility and the Fannin South Transit Center.

They were part of this unique journey of discovery through San Jacinto College's free three-week transportation camp. It’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity offered in partnership with the National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI), exploring the intricate ways different parts of the transit system work together. It also gives an overview of potential careers.

The program immerses high school students in the multifaceted world of transportation, encompassing engineering, planning, and operations, and more—through hands-on activities, field trips, and presentations.

"We are thrilled to partner with San Jacinto College once again for the National Summer Transportation Institute," said Jeanette De Los Santos, a public engagement representative at METRO. "By offering these tours, we aim to inspire young people to consider careers in public service and showcase the many exciting opportunities available in this field."

Students had an opportunity to learn about METRO in-depth and the variety of services it offers.

Students board a METROlight rail train with a METRO instructor.
Students had an opportunity to examine METRO in-depth and the variety of public transportation services the agency offers.
Students get an in-depth look at METRO's Rail Operations Center.
Students explored the inner workings of Rail Operations, gaining valuable insights into the complex systems that keep METRO’s light rail network running smoothly.


Aside from Rail Operations, students also enjoyed boarding and exploring one of METRO's electric buses to see technology helping shape the future of transit.

METRO's commitment to engaging with the community and young people is evident in its ongoing partnerships with educational institutions like San Jacinto College.

Students view the mechanical componenets of METRO's electric bus.
One of the tour's highlights was boarding and exploring one of METRO's electric buses.

"Students need to see and learn firsthand about the transportation industry from the people who actually work in it," said Dr. Sarah Percy Janes, associate vice chancellor of Continuing & Professional Development at San Jacinto College. "Experiences like this one open their minds to all of the different career paths available to them."

Some students shared their excitement about these opportunities:

“Going to METRO was a great experience to see and learn about the different navigation routes around Houston. This gave me an open mind to see what to expect and the importance of easy, fast, and safe transportation routes for people. - Randy Alvarenda

"I saw firsthand the diverse talents of METRO employees, their deep knowledge, and the vast array of career opportunities available. It truly opened my eyes to the essential role public transit plays in our community." - Daniel Nateras

"I want to work there." - Nicholas Blythe

"My time at METRO was exciting because of everything we learned and how we learned it. It was fascinating to see all METRO does to keep people safe because they thought of all people, including those who may have disabilities." - Jaylin Ste. Martha

De Los Santos says the METRO and San Jacinto College partnership is a shining example of how collaboration between educational institutions and industry leaders can inspire and educate young people. "By providing these unique opportunities for learning and exploration, METRO is not only shaping the future of public transit but also empowering the next generation of innovators and leaders,” De Los Santos said.

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