METRO planning on new routes, high-tech changes

By Gianna Caserta - Reporter

HOUSTON - Friday marks the beginning of the 100-day countdown for METRO's new bus network. It will include high-tech tools for customers, new and more convenient bus routes and will also provide more job opportunities for people to work with METRO.

In just over three months, the way commuters ride METRO buses will change in a big way.

"People will be able to make the same trips they make today but those buses will come more often and that trip will take less time, because they are connecting in rational places," said METRO board member Christof Spieler.

The new service will link riders to more destinations during the week and on weekends.

"We will be connecting more centers together, previously people had to go downtown, connect, change, just to come back west, now people will be able to go point to point," METRO chairman Gilbert Garcia said.

METRO will also offer Next Bus Texting, which will give riders real-time arrival information right from their cellphones.

"What that means is freedom, it means you can catch a bus when you want to go somewhere, you don't have to plan your life around transit," Spieler said.

Eddie Robinson rides the bus every day and loves the idea of the new system.
"If this one bus could get me to another location without all these transfers, I am with that," Robinson said.

METRO's New Bus Network also means career opportunities at METRO. It will be hiring at least 200 new employees.

Despite the changes, fare prices will not change. METRO's new bus network will roll out on Aug. 16.

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