METRO rolls out changes to Missouri City bus services
77彩票网appBus services offered to Missouri City residents are being changed, according to officials from the with Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO). Beginning in February one of the city’s two bus routes, the 364 Missouri City Flex Route, is being discontinued and the 363 Missouri City Community Connector will be expanded to include portions of the discontinued area down Hwy. 6, METRO officials said during a public hearing at the Missouri City Community Center on Tuesday, Jan. 28.
Missouri City Mayor Yolanda Ford opened the meeting by welcoming guests and introduced METRO officials. Ken Brown, METRO manager of service planning for METRO, led a presentation outlining the changes, which were made because the 363 route drew few riders.
77彩票网appFor those who depend on the 363 route, METRO officials said riders can call and schedule a ride to and from any destination within the zone including the route’s anchor stops” the Walmart on Hwy. 6, the Missouri City Park and Ride on Fondren.
A question-and-answer session after the presentation drew comments from riders and a number of Missouri City elected officials. During the recent city elections last November, elected officials at times faced criticism at forums and on social media fom voters concerned that METRO’s service offerings to Missouri City riders were lackluster.
77彩票网appAt-large councilmember Chris Preston echoed others’ comments that the city’s bus services were a topic of disccusion during his campaign.
77彩票网app“Some residents are very favorable of Metro and some are not,” Preston said. “I want to make we get this right because we owe it to the residents. Missouri City has a lot of future growth potential. But we want to mindful of the impact to our infrastructure. That’s very important. Please do your best in making sure we are successful with this, and we're going to do what we can.
77彩票网app“We want to make sure that this is a great partnership that's fair and equitable for our residents because for those that are still on the fence about this, we want to give them something,” Preston said.
Councilmember Floyd Emery questioned the level of bus service available to the city as a whole.
“All of Missouri City citizens pay sales tax,” Emery said. “We should provide the same service to all of those folks. They deserve it.”
Thomas Jasien, METRO’s deputy chief operating officer, said there is a limit to what Metro can spend to provide services.
“METRO serves an area that is 1,300 square miles and I have to tell you there are large parts of this city and this service area that pays taxes to METRO that do not have the METRO Lift service; they do not have any bus service or anything else. I hear you, but Missouri City is not alone. And you can't afford to cover every single thing on every single street.”
Missouri City’s current partnership with METRO stipulates that one percent of the city’s sales tax is paid to METRO, with roughly $10.3 million paid last year, according to city officials.
77彩票网appBeginning in February, the 363 Missouri City Community Connector will be discontinued.
Following the comments, Mayor Ford thanked the officials from METRO for the presentation.
“I foresee moving forward that this service will be successful. I think we just both have to do our part to market (the service).”