METRO board approves plan to change bus routes

Plan aims to be more user-friendly and offer more connections.

By Ruben Hidalgo - News Producer

HOUSTON - The METRO board of directors unanimously approved an overhaul of the local bus system Wednesday. 

The "System Reimagining" plan aims for transit to be easier to use and faster, with seven day a week service connecting to more places.

The board has looked at making changes since last year. Last September, the board approved moving forward with the development process that ended with the new five-year plan.

Gilbert Garcia, the chairman of METRO, says ridership was on the decline and this $10 million makeover of the current system will add better frequency, more weekend service, routes in areas of town where people live and do away with the hub-and-spoke system.

"We've got to do something to pick up the ridership," he said. "We've got to do something to solve the congestion issues in this community and METRO is doing its part."

METRO's plan features the "Frequent Network" - which offers a color-coded system that lets customers see when buses will arrive. Bus service will run every 15 minutes or less, and routes will run all weekend.

"Prior to re imagining, people who would want to go from A to B would have to go from A to downtown, transfer then come out to B," said Garcia. "Now, the grid will get people from point to point from A to B."

The new bus network will be ready to implement in August.

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