METRO launches tools to help riders find routes, track buses

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- On Sunday, METRO launches its new bus network, and they're making it easier than ever to get from Point A to Point B.

METRO's website is a common tool for commuters, but they've made a special tab just for the new bus network. By clicking on that tab, you'll receive plenty of options.

"We created a new service map that we call the New Bus Network Service Map, and that's just for the new bus network," said Denise Wendler with METRO.

The interactive service map for the new bus network gives a sneak peek as to what August 16 will look like and allows riders to find stops around them and along the route.

Another tool is the Dual Trip Planner.

"And what the Dual Trip Planner does is, it lets you put in a trip that you are taking maybe now, or you want to know what it's going to look like in the future," Wendler said.

The big game-changer for riders, though, comes right to your text messages inbox.

"Our new tool is Next Bus Arrival Texting, and you can use this with any phone that has texting capability," Wendler said.

Each bus stop now has an ID. Text that ID number to 697433 to learn what time buses will come to your stop.

"And then if you put in a space and then your route number, you'll find information just about your route," Wendler said.

Carlos Lacayo started testing next bus arrival texting in June.

"It's been really helpful because right now it's really hot outside, and I don't want to be standing outside in the sun," Lacayo said.

So since he knows his exact arrival time, he stays inside and arrives just in time for his bus.

Other riders are on board with that.

"This is something I'd want to use because I stand at the bus stop, and I don't know when it's coming," rider Nancy Bellon said.
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