The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Houston, Texas (Metro) made good on its pledge to add 100 new bus shelters this year to its network of 2,000 existing shelters. On Friday, the 100th new shelter was lowered into place at the intersection of Cullen Blvd. at Griggs Rd. to serve customers on the 30 Cullen route.
On hand to help Metro mark the occasion were a number of elected officials, community leaders and Metro representatives.
“This is a very exciting day for all of us at Metro,” said Chairman Gilbert Garcia. “The installation of 100 new shelters this year encapsulates the new priorities and operating principles established by the new Metro.”
Metro President George Greanias echoed the theme that Metro operates a large and varied network of transit services that can sometimes be overshadowed by attention to light rail expansion. “I personally believe that amenities like this bus shelter are an essential part of the service we deliver,” Greanias said.
Providing additional passenger shelters aligns with the agency’s strategic priority to provide a great transit infrastructure. Additionally, the comfort provided by shelters embodies Metro’s operating principle to provide the best possible customer service. Studies show that adding a shelter can boost ridership by as much as 20 new boardings per day at a given location.
Metro has approximately 10,000 bus stops in its nearly 1,300 square mile service area. Roughly 21 percent of those stops, or 2,100, now have shelters.
A variety of factors are considered in determining where to place shelters. Factors include existing ridership levels, proximity to multiple routes and activity centers, customers with special needs and safety concerns.
The funds used to pay for the 100 new shelters came from local monies and federal grants, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Formula Funding Enhancement Grants.