Every Houston driver knows that the freeways more resemble parking lots during rush hour, a side effect of urbanism that METRO tries to mitigate with its Park and Ride program.
For a small fee, METRO buses will shuttle out-of-town commuters from a remote parking lot to a centralized workplace, and then back in the evening. No hassle, no stress, and most importantly no traffic — but what happens if you need to leave early or work overtime?
In the event of a midday emergency, METRO's Guaranteed Ride Program will provide cab rides with no cost to the rider (up to three times per year). The transit agency started this program as incentive for people to utilize the Park and Ride transportation.
Acceptable "emergencies" are limited to personal illness, illness or death of a family member and unscheduled overtime. Personal errands, scheduled doctors appointments and scheduled overtime will not be accepted as a reasonable claim for the free fare, and riders must be registered to qualify.
The expansion of the program was recently voted on by METRO's Board of Directors, and the change will go into affect at the end of June.
Adding all METRO users to this program is expected to cost about $66,000 including administrative costs as well as the cost of all the cab rides, which is expected to tally $50,000.