METRO increases rail service, cracks down on safety for rodeogoers

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Thousands of people are expected to ride the rail after the first big concert of the 2015 Rodeo Houston season, and officers are asking them to do one thing in the name of safety: Remove any headphones or earbuds to listen for instructions and oncoming trains.

"The first concert of the rodeo, and it was not crowded at all," said attendee Raquel Covarrubias.

Covarrubias said the rail cars this go around seemed less congested, and it's not a coincidence. According to METRO, about one dozen additional rail cars were added into the mix this rodeo season to ease congestion.

"It's very convenient and a very smart thing that they did," said Covarrubias.

Last year, in the three-week rodeo and spring break period, ridership rose to about 1.2 million boardings. The rail became so popular, METRO set a record for the most boardings in one day, 72,000.

And with more people choosing to ride, METRO police is asking customers to take off their earbuds and headphones so they can keep an ear out for trains and officers who are giving instructions.

Many riders are hoping the additional rail cars will make a difference in how long they wait to board. Some customers said last year, they waited about 30 minutes.
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