With last week’s referendum behind them, Metro officials are getting back to work on a transit system recovering from years of declining ridership and light rail-related battles.
And that will likely take them back to buses, where the agency began more than 30 years ago.
Metropolitan Transit Authority officials say the agency is on firmer financial footing than it has been in years. They plan to add shelters at 100 bus stops in the next year, replace aging buses with larger and smaller vehicles in some cases and rethink how the Houston area is served by bus.
The refocus is a shift for the agency, as rail has dominated the political discussion since a 2003 vote for transit improvements that included five light rail lines, three of which are under construction now.
“What got focused on and what got done was the rail component,” said George Greanias, Metro’s president and CEO. “That has not always worked to the benefit of the system. … We’ve not focused as much as we should on buses.”