On Tuesday, Jan. 28, METRO in partnership with Missouri City hosted a public hearing to discuss and receive feedback on its proposed MCTX service changes, to merge the 364 Flex Route with the 363 Community Connector.
According to METRO officials, this change was mainly to redeploy existing resources to better serve the community by simplifying customer usage with one service for the entire area instead of two services.
To assist riders transition through this service change, here are some frequently asked questions and associated responses:
What are the new changes to the MCTX METRO services?
In the upcoming weeks, the 363 Community Connector will be expanding its coverage by acquiring the areas that was serviced by the 364 Flex Route.
What is the 363 Community Connector bus?
METRO’s MCTX Community Connector brings personalized, curb-to-destination service to “Show Me City” residents and visitors. This on-demand service allows individuals to travel anywhere within a zone. The Community Connectors are 12-passenger ARBOC buses and are able to fit two wheelchairs.
Will the 364 Flex Route still be in service?
No; but its coverage area will be consolidated into the 363 Community Connector route.
Does the Community Connector have a fixed route?
No, it travels within a designated zone and will have two anchor spots as well as other points of interest. See map below for details.
Do you have to make a reservation to use this service?
Yes, to make a reservation, call 713.739.3823.
Will the Community Connector now connect the two Park & Ride locations?
Yes; Fondren Park & Ride (13849 Fondren Rd.) and Kroger (10250 Hwy. 6).
Can residents get to the Texas Medical Center on the Community Connector?
No, as the Community Connector only services within the city limits. But riders may use the Community Connector to get to one of the Park & Ride locations and then connect to a Texas Medical Center service from there.
Is it possible for METRO to partner with Fort Bend Transit, so that residents may travel to neighboring cities?
According to METRO officials, this option could be possible in the future. As it involves multiple agencies, further conversations are needed for the execution of this partnership.
What are the hours of service?
5 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.
Are there extended service hours?
The extended hours are under consideration, but nothing has been finalized at this point.
What costs are associated with this service?
METRO’s fare policy will be applicable to these MCTX METRO services. Passengers using a METRO Q Fare Card will pay $1.25 for the initial boarding and can make unlimited boardings in any direction within a three-hour time period. Half-price rides are available for students, Medicare cardholders and seniors (65-69) with a discount METRO Q Fare Card or Day Pass. All other options that fall under METRO’s fare policy, including the 70+ Ride Free Card, Veterans Pass and others will be accepted as METRO fare.
The operational cost of the service, estimated at an annualized variable cost of $500,000, will be paid for by METRO. One cent of Missouri City residents’ sales tax currently goes to METRO for public transportation, including these new services.
What is a METRO Q Fare Card?
This is a unique card that contains a microchip storing a cash balance. The card is used to pay the fare and automatically deducts the amount each time. The card can be purchased at the following local grocery stores in Missouri City:
- Kroger: 6200 Hwy. 6 (Colony Lakes), Missouri City, TX 77459
- Kroger: 10250 Hwy. 6 (Fort Bend Tollway), Missouri City, TX 77459
- Fiesta: 1530 Independence Blvd., Missouri City, TX 77489
- Foodarama: 1603 Cartwright Rd., Missouri City, TX 77489
- H-E-B Lake Colony: 4724 Hwy. 6, Missouri City, TX 77459
- H-E-B Sienna Market: 8900 Hwy. 6, Missouri City, TX 77459
Can the METRO Q Fare Cards be ordered online?
Yes. Residents may visit www.shop.ridemetro.org to order the appropriate fare card including the 70+ Ride Free Senior cards and receive it in mail within 7-10 business days.
Customers also have the option to pick up their order at the RideStore, 1001 Travis, Houston, TX 77002. The store is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; for more details call, 713.652.8994.
When was the METRO initiative approved?
At their Monday, April 16, 2018, regular meeting, Missouri City Council Members unanimously approved a resolution that grants consent and approval to the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) to provide a community connector option within Missouri City. The 363 Community Connector was launched on Monday, Aug. 27, 2018 and the 364 Flex Route was launched on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018.
Will there be increased traffic within subdivisions?
The vehicles will not operate in a traditional fixed route pattern. If a bus or van were to enter a subdivision, it would be due to a service request within the neighborhood.
How is the launch of these METRO services in Missouri City unique?
Missouri City is the first community in Fort Bend County to offer these custom services. The MCTX vehicles will feature the “Show Me City”-themed design in the images above. METRO and MCTX design teams collaborated on the customized wraps.
To watch the full discussion from the Feb. 28 METRO Public Hearing, click this link: http://bit.ly/2VbRbXY. For more details on this consolidation, contact METRO at 713.635.4000.
For updates, please watch the City website: www.missouricitytx.gov, like us on Facebook—fb/MissouriCityTX, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat—@MissouriCityTX, watch Missouri City Television (Ch. 16 on Comcast and Ch. 99 on AT&T U-verse) or download the MCTX Mobile app (available for free in Google Play and the Apple app store).