August 11, 2011

Houston Metro forced to cut costly airport service

High costs and low ridership forced Houston Metro to end its three-year-old airport shuttle service.

The decision was made at a public hearing last month where the community was invited to share comments on the agency’s August service changes, which go in effect Aug. 21, 2011.

The Airport Direct service, also referred to as route 500, launched in August 2008, offering patrons express service to George Bush Intercontinental Airport every 30 minutes for $15 one-way.

In an effort to boost its numbers, Metro, with support from the George R. Brown Convention Center, downtown hotels and the downtown district, adjusted the route to include additional stops at hotels and reduced the fare to $4.50 from $15.

Ridership did spike following the fare decrease, but did not reach a level where service could be sustained.

"Our concern for Airport Direct stemmed strictly from the costs of the service versus revenues we could realistically achieve, not its desirability or our personal wish that it succeed," said Metro President/CEO George Greanias.

Airport Direct will run its last trip Saturday, Aug. 20.

 

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