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Metro’s Airport Direct Shuttle Slashing Passenger Fares

Metropolitan Transit Authority drops fares by 70 percent for airport shuttle

Houston Airport System
January 5, 2011

Beginning January 23, 2011 users of the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (Metro) Airport Direct Shuttle will pay 70 percent less than the current fee and have more options in drop-off or pick-up locations in downtown Houston when traveling to or from George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).

That’s because as of that date, Metro will be piloting a six month fare reduction and rerouting experiment to better serve the needs of visitors to the City of Houston.

This dramatic drop in fares – from $15 to $4.50 for a one-way trip – comes after careful cooperation with the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GHCVB).

“Having more travel options to and from downtown Houston from Bush Intercontinental is not only necessary, but essential for the comfort of our visitors to the City of Houston,” said Jorge Franz, vice president of tourism and international group sales for the GHCVB. “Metro does such an excellent job transporting Houston residents in and around the city, that it only makes sense to have them do the same for our visitors. We are very pleased with Metro’s new fares and routes and are certain travelers will appreciate them as well.”

For the Metropolitan Transit Authority the move also aims

© Houston Airport System
Passengers riding the Metro service are taken to the lower level of Terminal C at Bush Intercontinental Airport.

to increase ridership and reduce costs. The 52-passenger Airport Direct Shuttle currently averages only two riders per trip every 30 minutes between Metro’s passenger plaza at 815 Pierce in downtown Houston and Terminal C
at IAH.

“It hemorrhages money,” confessed George Greanias, president and CEO of Metro, about the current shuttle service. “We think it’s a valuable service, (but) we need to reconfigure it in a way that’s more cost-effective.”

The new route will avoid the passenger plaza completely, transporting travelers instead to and from the George R. Brown Convention Center, as well as downtown hotels: the Hilton Americas, the Doubletree, the Hyatt Regency, the Marriott, the Four Seasons, and the Crowne Plaza, all in downtown Houston.

In fact, the passenger plaza will be completely shut down by Metro to further reduce costs. As a result of these changes, and despite the fares being dropped, Metro authorities project a savings of $350,000 overall during the first eight months of the rerouting.

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