Late in 2013, the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Houston METRO) launched its 5.3-mile North Line and in its first full month of service (January), averaged 4,200 weekday boardings, which is 1,600 more than what was forecasted.
“This speaks volumes about the value of rail in the community and how expanding the reach of one form of transit enhances others like our bus service,” said Houston METRO Board Chairman Gilbert Garcia.
“Though these are early numbers, they’re a good indication of how well the extension has been received by the community,” said Tom Lambert, interim Houston METRO president and CEO. “It’s providing better connectivity and improving the customer experience on many fronts.”
Since the extension, service has increased by adding 192 rail trips each weekday, replacing 149 weekday bus trips; has increased the frequency of service (peak and midday service has been running every 12 minutes compared to 15 minutes on previous bus route) and on-time performance has improved.
Ridership Houston METRO’s Main Street Red Line surpassed 100 million boardings in 2013, four years ahead of forecasted projections. Ridership on the North Line is expected to increase when two other rail lines open, the Burnett Transit Center is completed and a system remaining plan is approved and implemented.