Missouri City and METRO celebrate new park & ride partnership

Attending the ceremony were, from left: George Greanias, METRO CEO, Jay Sears, NewQuest Principal, Felecia Evans-Smith of Fort Bend County Commissioner Grady Prestage’s office, Mayor Allen Owen, Councilman Bobby Marshall, Ron Lee, Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, Frank Hester, Riverstone Resident Liaison, Councilman Floyd Emery, Christopher Breaux, Partner with Null-Lairson, P.C., and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce, Allen Watson, METRO Vice Chairman and Allen Clark, Executive Director of the Houston Galveston Area Council. Photo courtesy of Missouri City.

Against a backdrop symbolizing Missouri City’s strong growth and development over the past decade, residents joined officials and dignitaries on Friday to celebrate the new METRO “Highway 6 Park & Ride partnership”.

Gathered in the Fort Bend Town Center, which is anchored by Kroger and home to other local businesses, a ribbon-cutting ceremony hailed the start of service on Monday, Aug. 22. The convenient 38-minute bus ride to the Texas Medical Center, with transfers available to downtown Houston, will operate from the Kroger parking lot on Highway 6 at Knight Road, near the Fort Bend Parkway Toll Road.

Comfortable buses equipped with reclining seats, reading lights, and spacious storage areas will pick up passengers at the site starting at 5:06 a.m., then travel to the Park & Ride site at Beltway 8 and Fondren Road and afterward proceed directly to the medical center where riders can connect to the Red Line downtown. Bus service will be available weekdays during peak rush hours. Service northbound will be from 5:06 a.m. to 7:48 a.m.; service southbound will be from 3:15 p.m. to 7:09 p.m. Click here for maps, fares and the schedule.

“I look forward to this hassle-free new service being a great commuter option for the City,” said resident Christopher Breaux, Partner with Null-Lairson, P.C., and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce. “The convenient bus rides will provide them with reliable, comfortable transportation into town and back.”

One-way fares are $3.25 and roundtrip rides are $6.50. Students, seniors and the disabled can qualify for half fare. Click here for discount fare details.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County has partnered with Kroger to provide passengers a convenient location to obtain a METRO Q Fare Card; a minimum $5 fare load is required. The Kroger site is a temporary operating location, and a permanent location is expected to be selected by 2014.

“This is a great day for us in Missouri City,” said Mayor Owen, who is also Chairman of the METRO Multi-City Coalition. “At a time when gas is more than $3.50 per gallon and morning traffic commutes are congested, people will be able to easily be in the Texas Medical Center in thirty-eight minutes or less.” Owen went on to explain that about 27,174 commuters currently drive to and from the Medical Center along the US90A/Southwest Rail Corridor every day and that along with Missouri City and Stafford residents, thousands of Medical Center employees live in a cone extending from Katy to Pearland.

Greanias told the groundbreaking audience of about 40 that the opening of the Highway 6 location illustrates three major METRO priorities: “Providing first-class transit service, great transit infrastructure and building a trusted community partnership.”

After the groundbreaking ceremony, some Missouri City and METRO officials, residents and dignitaries boarded a METRO Park & Ride bus to travel a portion of the commuter route to the Beltway 8 and Fondren Road site. They all learned firsthand what a comfortable trip commuters soon will enjoy on the new transit service.

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